Playboy Carti performing at the Warfield in San Francisco

Playboi Carti Shakes the Warfield to its Core

in SF Concert Reviews by

What a show last night by innovative rapper Playboi Carti. Out of all my years of covering shows at the Warfield, this was by the far the rowdiest crowd I’ve ever seen. And I’ve been in a Slayer pit. Nothing gets crazier than a Slayer pit.

The 21-year-old rapper, record producer, songwriter and model (he’s been called a “leader of a youth style” by GQ) was in town as part of his latest tour that will take him all across the U.S. Described by many as a “mumble rapper,” his style isn’t known for deep lyricism and urban poetry but is more rooted in performance art and overall rhythmic energy. I think the New York Times put it best when they wrote about Carti’s rapping, that it made it appear as if he was “more at ease with the performance of the role than with the actual act of rapping.”

Playboy Carti performing at the Warfield in San Francisco
Playboy Carti hyping up the crowd at the Warfield in San Francisco

In fact, most of his performance was mostly hyping up the audience while bouncing up and down on the Warfield stage than actually rapping. The MC element was actually rather minimal and consisted mainly of some vocal bursts from Carti overlayed over a backing track provided courtesy of his DJ propped high above stage left.

Come to think of it, the main form of entertainment was just simply him. His style, his charisma, his energy. It’s what had audience-goers swaying back and forth with their phones held high in an attempt to capture the young trendsetter in an attempt to share it with the kids up on the Gram.

The setlist was lengthy, the songs short, but it gave everyone a good taste of his ever-growing catalog. “Magnolia,” “R.I.P,” “Wokuplikethis” and “Shoota” got the biggest reactions, but really this show was lit from start to finish.

Photos by Louis Raphael

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Having released albums under Digital Nations, a label founded by Steve Vai, music critic Louis Raphael has remained deeply connected to the pulse of the San Francisco music scene. Following his tenure as the San Francisco Music Examiner for and, he embarked on creating Music in SF® to authentically highlight the vibrant offerings of the city's music scene.

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