If you’re a fan of Michigan street rap, you’ve more than likely come across songs with the tag “Who the Hell is Carlo” slapped onto it. Carlo Anthony aka WhoTheHellIsCarlo is one of the biggest emerging producers out of Michigan and is a go-to beatmaker for artists like Babyface Ray, 42 Dugg, Veeze, Lil Yachty, and others.
The 22-year-old channels an eclectic list of influences and the lessons of an already storied career to stay humble in the midst of a prolific run.
Raised two hours outside of Detroit in Grand Rapids, MI, Carlo caught the music bug early. He released his first song as a rapper in 5th grade and downloaded FL Studio on his computer the next year in order to start producing. Anthony‘s hustler instincts kicked in early as he started working his first job at a concession stand while still being only 14.
The young creative continued to work odds and ends jobs throughout high school until deciding to move to LA after graduating to pursue his music dreams. For the next four years, Carlo would work tirelessly to accumulate a diverse body of work, hone in on his craft, and build a name for himself.
“I declined every deal that was thrown at me in Atlanta and LA. I wanted to do it all on my own,” Carlo stated in our interview.
Anthony would finally settle back in down in Detroit where he tapped in with heavyweights from the city, eventually catching the eye of Lil Yachty. The two would go on to collaborate on Carlo‘s biggest song to date; “Hit Bout It” featuring Kodak Black.
“When I made the beat, it was New Year’s Eve going into 2021. A few minutes before the clock hit midnight, I locked my phone in my [bed]room, went into my studio room, took 2 X pills, downed a whole bottle of Grey Goose, and just went crazy,” the Grand Rapids native stated.
Five days later, Carlo met Yachty at an Air BnB and showed him some beats, including the one for “Hit Bout It”.
“I didn’t really hear anything back and then down the line he hit me and said he was gonna put Kodak on it and drop it. I heard the snippet that he posted and I was like ‘oh my God this is so hard’. I knew it was a special beat because I went fully crazy on it.”
Today, “Hit Bout It” has nearly 60 million streams across all platforms and served as one of the notable jump-off points for Yachty’s foray into the Detroit sound. However, accolades don’t really matter to Carlo.
“I never cared about being a popular producer, I still don’t give a fuck…I’ve been doing this a long time to where I’ve had an ego and not been fun to be around, I’ve played on both sides and let [achievements] go to my head.”
What Carlo values is his ability to have creative control over his craft, make music with great artists and enjoy the financial freedom that comes from making authentic art. His influences include Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas, and surprisingly, Mark Zuckerberg.
“Mark Zuckerberg created a whole world and figured out how to connect everybody and that’s what I’m tryna do with music,” Carlo stated in the interview. “I’m tryna speak for the people and have a piece of artwork that everyone can relate to.”
Anthony also appreciates how bizarre Zuckerberg is chuckling, “Zuckerberg funny as hell he’s a literal robot, I fuck with Zuck.” Looking towards the future, Carlo is looking forward to releasing his project Who The Hell is Carlo Vol. 1 which is set to feature the likes of Babyface Ray, Veeze, Sharc, Matt Ox, and others.
Check out his newest release with Tony Shhnow below.