While the host and band of The Tonight Show celebrated Questlove’s birthday with some thoughtful presents last night, musical guest Playboi Carti gave a raucous performance of his Whole Lotta Red cut “Slay3r.” Taking over a warehouse with an elaborate skeletal stage, Carti performed the first half of the song while hanging from a ladder, then took to the floor to rage out as pyrotechnics went off around him. He was joined on the stage not only by his band, but also by a group of models, who preened in classic punk looks to give Carti more of the edge and aesthetic he’s become known for.
Carti’s rollout for Whole Lotta Red was certainly as punk as it gets. After repeatedly teasing the album for nearly two years, he finally put it out with only a week’s warning on Christmas — typically, a day musicians avoid releasing music since fewer folks are online to download, stream, or purchase their new projects. That, combined with the delays, could have been a dealbreaker — especially with all the trolling his fellow artists did over them. However, the strategy paid off for him, earning him his first No. 1 debut. In an effort to keep that success coming, he announced that a deluxe version is on the way.
Watch Carti’s “Slay3r” performance above.