Carlito’s Way: How Maryland-born rapper CARLITO wowed fans with a deeply intricate style and searingly honest lyrics


By combining a laidback vocal style with complex lyrics, Carlito manages to load his verses with fiery honesty. It’s why his latest single, ‘Losing Control’, has become a hit with listeners


Who is Carlito?  


Hailing from Largo, Maryland, Carlito is an emerging rapper who is already winning fans over for his meticulous yet honest rapping style.


Having grown up around music, Carlito took inspiration from a number of places when he was younger. Carlito’s original love for music is closely related to his Afro-Latino heritage. Similarly, this unique heritage is what encouraged Carlito to start penning lyrics about identity, representation, individuality, and what it means to be a man in modern-day America.


But despite his love for making songs, Carlito’s journey into the music industry has been “far from traditional”, as he is the first to admit. Carlito started off as a film student and an actor in New York City, and thought his career was destined to go down one of these routes.


But the freewheeling creativity of New York City was constantly opening up new avenues for Carlito - and he quickly found himself inspired by rap artists who were emerging at the time.


In particular, Carlito witnessed the meteoric rise of Pop Smoke during the 2010s, admitting that it “ignited a fire within him to carve his path in the music industry.”


A future rap star was born.


What do I need to know about Carlito’s music?


Carlito's vocal rap style and the production of his songs are what make him unique as an artist. He has been called “genre-defying”, for the simple fact that his songs blend, rap, R&B, soul, and a pop sensibility - all while keeping the listener guessing in terms of the lyrical content.


Carlito’s music is prized for the fact that he can take a deceptively simple laidback beat, and deliver all manner of thought-provoking, dynamic lyrics into the mic. He has said that his creative process mirrors his “free-spirited nature”, and that he favors spontaneous and intuitive songwriting above planning everything out in advance. You can hear this clearly on recent releases, such as his October 2023 track ‘Losing Control’, where he spits ferociously emotive bars like they’ve just sprung to his head at that moment.


In terms of inspiration for his music, Carlito draws from the greatest rap legends of his era - Lil Wayne, Drake - as well as finding inspiration from the timeless harmonies of Michael Jackson.


But if his music sounds different from the artists who have inspired him, that’s because Carlito has perfected a style that is distinctly his own.


Where can I hear more from Carlito?


Carlito’s latest single, ‘Losing Control’, was shared with the world late in 2023. It was the follow-up to his previous project ‘Conversations’.


‘Losing Control’ is currently available on all major music platforms, and he has also shared an excellent music video to accompany the release.


You can hear Carlito’s music on Spotify, or follow him on Instagram and X (Twitter).  

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