All the way back in May 2018, Playboi Carti dropped his beloved, star-studded debut album, Die Lit, which eventually hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Nearly three years without an album can be a long time in the streaming economy — especially with peers like Taylor Swift releasing two in the span of five months — and as Carti kept busy popping up on features with Solange, Tyler, the Creator, and Drake (and dealing with persistent leaks), his second LP became extremely anticipated.
That likely explains the groundswell that’s caused Whole Lotta Red to hit No. 1 this week, knocking Swift’s Evermore from the top spot, as Billboard reports. It’s Carti’s first No. 1 and features guest appearances from Kanye West, Kid Cudi, and Future.
The rattling and booming Whole Lotta Red was first announced in 2018, shortly after the release of Die Lit, and was finally released on Christmas. It features 24 tracks across just over an hour — and in addition to being Carti’s first No. 1, it also marks his third charting release; his 2017 self-titled mixtape reached No. 12.
Before Whole Lotta Red‘s release, numerous Carti songs were leaked online, including some presumably meant for final inclusion on the album. Complex talked to a person who claimed responsibility for uploading them, via The Fader, who said, “It will keep happening because there are die-hard fans of the artists out here. It’s just the nature of things.”
Regardless of the backstory, Whole Lotta Red is here, and it’s connecting. Carti tweeted out his thanks to fans when the news of his latest milestone hit.