Getting to know Cartier’GOD: one of hip hop’s most prolific artists


Cartier’GOD is an artist that has been influencing the hip hop scene for over 12 years

Alex England

Cartier’GOD is a man that can be described only as an artist. Over the past 12 years, Cartier has been pushing the boundaries of sound and challenging industry norms by refusing to yield an ounce of experimentation and creativity to any form of long-held hip-hop motif. Obsessed with expression and infatuated with water, I had the pleasure of sitting down with one of modern music’s most underappreciated creatives. 

Alex England: Cartier, how are you doing brother?

Cartier God: My lord, everything’s good man.

AE: So you’ve been around a while, I was looking at your discography and you have projects dating back to 2010 on DatPiff.

CG: Hell yeah, definitely been around a minute.

AE: I think a lot of your earlier stuff and a portion of the more recent stuff sounds like rap music with your distinct sort of flavor to it. More recently, especially on Cartier in the House, you’ve kind of abandoned true blue hip hop in favor of sounds more in the vein of dance, house and techno. 

CG: Yeah it’s just a sound that I like. I started out as a producer. Before I fell in love with rapping, I fell in love with the beat. I’ve always been a beat guy, so that’s what brought me to loving that stuff. Any song that I like, I have to like the beat first and foremost.

AE: Do you still consider yourself a rapper?

CG: I mean, I’m an artist. I don’t just want to say rapper because I can do everything.

AE: When did you think to start experimenting with these very unconventional sounds?

CG: Probably around 2012 or 2013. I have songs dated back that far on YouTube that are like that. I have a song called “#UrSoooDown”  andI made the beat and it was a rock beat. I put the rock style on it early and I wanted to make those kinds of alternative sounding songs. I also have techno-type beats too that I made earlier, probably in 2013 or 2014.

AE: Have you ever found it difficult to get traction and have people take you seriously as an artist, given that your music is very much out of the norm?

CG: Maybe from the people who are closed-minded. I steer my music towards the open-minded group. I don’t really have a problem with it because all of my fans are here for the ride. It’s cool with me, I can just keep going as crazy as I want to. If my fans are cool with it, that’s what I’m gonna be doing. I love it too and I couldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. 

AE: Your choice in production is just as distinct as your choice in your vocal style. Are there certain producers that you like to work with exclusively?

CG: Yeah definitely. Of course I work with my little brother Tre’ Beat, he’s like my right-hand man. If we’re not making the beat together, I’m getting the beats from him. There’s a lot of producers who are out there right now doing their thing. You’ll see a lot of new names involved with me right now on this experimental journey. I just work with producers that have what I need, stuff that I can create on. 

AE: A lot of your aesthetic is based around water, where exactly does your infatuation with water come from?

CG: It started with the wordplay I was using at the beginning, around 2009. I’m not trying to say I started all of that, but I was definitely on it real early. I started using “wet” a lot in my wordplay, which became water. I was saying all kinds of stuff about water and it just became a thing, so I started incorporating it into my raps and everyday sayings. I started saying splash, drip and wet every day. 

AE: I think it’s safe to say that you’re one of the most unique artists that rap has seen in the past ten years and that’s garnered you a lot of attention, especially from other artists. With all of your water lingo like drip and splash becoming much more mainstream, do you consider yourself to be influential on newer generations of rappers?

CG: Yeah, definitely. I don’t think a lot of people know that I started it but a lot definitely do because they came up off of it. They may not admit it, but I think probably 60-70 percent of the people saying it know. They may not give the credit where it’s due because people are gonna follow whoever has the cash. They pull up in the Ferrari truck, people are gonna believe them over me. That’s just how the world is. 

AE: Do you take all of these successful artists using water lingo as a compliment or as disrespect?

CG: I take it as a compliment from people who are paying homage. It’s really a blessing and a curse at the same time. I love it because I know I created it, but I need the world to know that. I’d like to have that shine because water lingo is the culture right now, people are saying it everywhere. People have been trying to take it from me since day one, even underground rappers. It’s like Plankton trying to get the Krabby Patty formula. It’s kind of hard for me to take it in the best way all the time, but deep down inside I know that if it wasn’t for me and Soulja Boy, it wouldn’t be being said right now. 

AE: How did you link up with Lil B to do the “Go Under” remix on Pink Flame?

CG: He just wrote me on Facebook. We’d been friends on there since around 2009 and he sent me a message. So he just came to me and told me it was a beautiful song. He wanted me to keep my first verse and the hook and to send him the song with two open verses.

AE: How did you link up with Bladee?

CG: It was through a mutual friend. He came to me and he was speaking on Bladee and saying that we should work together. Next thing I knew, we were working. He just started sending me his vocals and I put together some masterpieces for sure. I don’t know if everyone else thought they were masterpieces, but “I Want It All” is definitely a legendary song. 

AE: Do you think that the exposure of being on Pink Flame with Lil B and being on Icedancer and having multiple singles with Bladee has been important for your career?

CG: Oh yes, those were some big stepping stones. After “Go Under,” I was the first rapper since Lil Wayne to collaborate with Lil B. He did the “Bang” remix with Chief Keef, a tape with Soulja Boy, a song with Lil Wayne and then it was me. 

AE: That’s pretty good company.

CG: Definitely. It got me in Fader Magazine and I think Rolling Stone. Any interview that he got off of Pink Flame had my name in it because I was the only feature on the tape. It got my name in some nice magazines and introduced me to some nice new eyes and got me some clicks. 

AE: Is clout and exposure something you put a lot of focus on?

CG: The bigger you become, the more eyes you get on you. Lil B and Bladee definitely put some eyes on me. 

AE: You’re a bit of a serial collaborator. Is there anything that you look for in an artist when they ask you to get on a track?

CG: I have to love the song. Music is fun to me. When people come to me with fun songs that I like, I have to be on it. Some people get lucky and send me the right thing.

AE: Cartier, I appreciate you talking to me.

CG: Definitely, I appreciate you my lord. 

Cartier’GOD’s newest project Gold Fangz is now available on Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud. His newest single “#WetWater333” featuring Bladee can be found on his Soundcloud. You can follow Cartier’s Instagram here and his Twitter here.