CUDI: Keep them on their toes. Do you see yourself as a rapper or something else entirely?
CARTI: Full rock-star. Hip-hop is my category, for sure, but I’m full rock-star. I make music for people who feel themselves. I make music for models. I make music for young niggas in high school trying to get a new girlfriend. I make music for a young nigga before his basketball game in the locker room. I make music for a motherfucker who got down smoking too much weed and now he’s in his head about shit. I make music for all of them. There’s no lid on my shit.
CUDI: Talk about the link between your visuals—the way you dress, the way your videos look—and your sound.
CARTI: Big bro, this shit that I do is not just for the ’gram. It’s not just to make people think I’m weird. This is really me. I get a lot of my inspiration from vampire movies, because when you see a vampire, he always looks good. He don’t age. He can’t die. He’s beautiful. I won Best Dressed in high school. That’s what I was on. I did the streetwear shit. Now let’s see if I can pop this shit that they’re wearing on the runway. If it’s a challenge, I’m doing it.