Co-producer – Tracks: 1 to 4, 15
Ryan Carter is known for surprises, he pushes the limits of contemporary rap both forward in time (Innovation), and backward in time (Political-Cultural Tupac Rap). This album deals conceptually with the often jarring truth of the world in which we live.
The album opens with a plethora of news clips, interviews, and gunshots portraying the sharp and broken psychological state of society, and of perhaps Carter himself as he continues fixating on the darkness in our midst. Then the album immediately slides into more traditional Hip-Hop—steady percussion beats and rhymes--but the lyrics referencing Botox and stalking celebrities definitely catch the intellectual and political corner of the mind.
On songs like "Borrowed Time", "Retarded", and "Crappy" Carter’s highly developed sense humor rises to the surface while lyrically being a bit serious at times. The song “Crappy” is placed between a semi-serious track and a much more dark humor/intense track, which definitely helps, in the sense of the album as a whole, to lace the funny spoof tune with a few sharp teeth. The dark humor/intense tune, is “Don’t Try to Do This”, the ninth track on Welcome to Planet Earth 2 is absolutely perfect anger music, complete with break downs of politics, misunderstood intentions, breaking away, and confrontation.
By this time in the album, we as listeners understand Carter to be a very talented lyricist who creates a meaningful experience in every tune, even when, and maybe especially when he samples the music from popular songs, allowing him to attack pop culture from both humorous and serious angles, both literal and figurative.
“Got a Hold On Me” might be the most interesting tune on the album, simply by nature of its contrast to the others, especially musically. A light, strumming guitar and rock-like snare drum comprise most of the background at first, layered with soft melodic vocals and easy, relatable lyrics—‘I got this problem/I can’t get enough of you.’ Then, BOOM. Carter whips out his humor again, but this time musically, by challenging every fiber in our ear drums, changing beauty and simple unrequited love into a violence—just like that—complete with overlapping walls of electric guitar sound and Eminem-like vocal assaults.
Finally, “Friday Night,” which, amidst all the humor, interesting compositions, and political statements, seems incredibly lighthearted musically, even as it continues to push the boundaries word by word (jail time, tying up Miley Cyrus in the back of a car, etc…).
Welcome to Planet Earth 2: Supreme (Machines) and Devolved (Monsters) proves Ryan Carter to be both a hip hop musician, steeped in tradition and somewhat of an activist with the desire for the world to change. This album expands on the first of its kind very nicely, while also making a trail of its own, ever building on Carter’s name breaths of excitement, opening doors, humor, and surprise.