Rap Album Reviews: Travis Scott “ASTROWORLD”
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For the longest of time I was not a Travis Scott fan for the longest. I listened to Rodeo and wasn’t impressed. To me, he was another one of the artists that lacked substance and glorified drug use (see what I did there?). Throughout social media and the confinements of the prison cell that I referred to as work, everyone that I knew was praising the sophomore album Birds In The Trap Sing Mcknight. I decided to give him another listen and It’s a good thing that I did because I was sadly mistaken. It has been nearly 2 years since that album was released and now ASTROWORLD has finally arrived. Did he outdo himself the third time around? How does it fare in comparison to his previous bodies of work? Stay tuned for my rap album review.
Produced by 30 Roc, Bkorn, BWheezy & Sonny Digital. It’s apparent that the birth of his child Stormi has had a somewhat positive impact on Travis.
“I was hot as hell out in the heat
Then the storm came in to save my life
Meditate, just got down on my knees
Out of nowhere, you came in to save the night”
Travis talks about life on the psychedelic drugs in the way that he knows how.
CAROUSEL (feat. Frank Ocean)
First half of the record sounds like something out of a retro video game. The beat switches mid-song & Frank comes in at the end of the record with references to his new place in New York that he resides.
“Brand new, brand new, this new place I got to
New world, new sky that’s so blue it’s black too”.
Hit-Boy gets production credit for this record.
SICKO MODE (feat. Drake & Swae Lee)
Rogét Chahayed, Hit-Boy, OZ, Tay Keith & CuBeatz are responsible for the production credits. Travis collaborates with Drake again for a song that I’m sure will be a single. I see that Aubrey talks about his alleged deal with Adidas that was sabotaged
“Jesus Christ, (yeah) checks over stripes (yeah)
That’s what I like, (yeah) that’s what we like (yeah)”.
Pretty dope track & the first time I’ve heard Swae Lee & Drake on the same song.
R.I.P. Screw (feat. Swae Lee)
Travis Scott crafted this smooth record along with FKi 1st. Travis pays his respects to DJ Screw, a Houston native who is known for popularizing the “chopped & screwed” sound to hip-hop. In the way that he knows how, Travis wants the listener to jump in the mind frame that he’s in and enjoy the ride.
“Rest in peace to Screw, tonight we take it slowly
Oh my God, I just can feel the love
Drop top with the windows up
Jump inside, oh won’t you roll with us?”
I’m feeling the vibe on this record & it’s already a favorite of mine.
STOP TRYING TO BE GOD (feat. James Blake, Kid Cudi, Philip Bailey & Stevie Wonder)
Showcasing his musical genius, Travis Scott along with CuBeatz, Mike Dean & JBeatzz create an elegant backdrop. As the title suggests, Travis talks about remaining true to who you are as a person & not looking down upon those who’ve seen you at your lowest.
“Stop tryna be God Almighty
F*** the money, never leave your people behind, yeah
It’s never love, no matter what you try
Still can see it comin’ down your eyes”
He also mentions how it’s a waste of time trying to understand his thought process. He’s a visionary & things won’t make sense until everything is pieced together.
“You won’t succeed tryna learn me
Stick to the roads in my journey”
The transition from the previous record is super dope. Another favorite of mine from the album.
NO BYSTANDERS (feat. Juice WRLD & Sheck Wes)
TM88, Larry David, Mike Dean, Gezin of 808 Mafia & WondaGurl all work their magic on this banger. This particular song is likely one that will go off in the clubs, judging by the chorus. The song essentially talks about the lifestyle of the artist, particularly sex, drugs & partying. Accompanied by new artists, Juice WRLD & Sheck Wes, both provides the backdrop to a record that will surely have plenty of people getting wild.
This reminds me of Blue Cheese of mine from the Pretty Girls Like Trap Music album by 2 Chainz.
SKELETONS (feat. Pharrell Williams, Tame Impala & The Weeknd)
Production credit goes to Tame Impala. This tracks talks about the secret relationship between Travis & Kylie while they attended Coachella.
“We just rocked Coachella, I gave her half of the check
It was good sex, honorable mention to the ‘net”
The Weeknd comes through as usual with smooth vocals.
WAKE UP (feat. The Weeknd)
I believe the intention was to blend the previous song and this one. Frank Dukes, Wallis Lane & Sevn Thomas helped create the beat here. Travis collaborates with Abel again to discuss the love that he has for the mother of his daughter.
“Took the belt-way down to your hood (it’s lit!)
Say you was in the crowd, I never looked
Looking back how things came back around
Guess I was hooked”
It’s crazy how the universe may subconsciously introduce prominent people in your life. A good track that I can see myself replaying.
FKi 1st is the contributor to this record. Nothing out of the ordinary is present here. The typical Travis Scott subject matter is showcased here. This is one of the weaker records on the album.
NC-17 (feat. 21 Savage)
An appropriate title for this song. 21 Savage & Travis says very explicit things about the women that associate with. This record was put together by Allen Ritter, Boi-1da & CuBeatz.
Matty (of BADBADNOTGOOD), River Tiber (whom I’ve heard working on some of Usher’s past albums), John Mayer, Thundercat, Frank Dukes & Travis Scott. Production on this record is “spacey” for a lack of better wording. Travis stays in his own pocket as he mentions police brutality while at the same time realizing that’s a topic that’s too much for him to dive into
“Hands up, why they tryna reach? I can’t even get that deep
Told you I don’t teach, yeah
Practice, oh no, never preach
Practice, oh no, never preach”.
YOSEMITE (feat. Gunna & Nav)
Not up on my Gunna & Nav verses but this is a nice track. The guitar prevalent throughout the record is a nice addition to the Travis Scott catalog. Turbo & June James get credit for the production on this one.
CAN’T SAY (feat. Don Toliver)
Don Toliver on this record harmonizes like CeeLo Green. It’s an alright track though it is repetitive. The song is produced by London Cyr, Frank Dukes & WondaGurl.
WHO? WHAT! (feat. Quavo & Takeoff)
Cardo & 30 Rocs put their best foot forward with this beat. Good to see Cardo getting more recognized in the music industry. I can see this one as a single. Very catchy although it’s very short.
I want to say that this is the single for the album as the song was performed last year while Travis was on tour. Produced by Felix Leone & Murda Beatz, Travis Scott coasts on this beat in and makes mention of his upcoming and such. Couldn’t stand this record but it has since started to grow on me.
Production credits go to Sevn Thomas & Wallis Lane. HOUSTONFORNICATION talks about the life of Travis in his hometown of Houston vs. his current living situation in California. Regardless of his super stardom, he is aware that he is still a Black man living in America
“How I’m supposed to feel safe? Twelve live adjacent
Yeah, crib built like a prison where that b**** is gated.”
Even with the newfound popularity, he chooses to remain the same person he’s always been and lie low.
“I’m just tryna get the paper, stayin’ out the papers”
He stays in pocket on this record and it’s really catchy.
This is hands down my favorite song of the album. Produced by Nineteen85, Travis speaks on his relationship with Kylie Jenner & the backlash that he has received because of it.
“Your family told you I’m a bad move
Plus, I’m already a black dude”
What makes that line quite humorous is the fact that the rest of the Kardashian family is known for being messy in the tabloids. In addition, the fact that both have been busy has been lingering on his mind but rest assured he hasn’t forgotten about her.
“I know they told you I’d be bad for you
Don’t worry, I’ll be back for you”
Great record from La Flame & probably his most introspective yet.
Astroworld is Travis Scott’s best work to date. His production is top-notch & serves as a testament to his artistry. At the time of this post, it is the best produced album of 2018. As expected, I wasn’t blown away with the lyrics but that’s not why fans of La Flame listen to him. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below