Release Date: Aug 3, 2018
Record label: Epic
The rapper has produced a lush, complex, extraordinarily accomplished album that invites us mere mortals to peer in at his life behind the velvet rope Travis Scott's third solo studio album arrives mired in controversy. Its artwork, which depicts the A-list rapper as an enormous, golden statue that breathes fire, was shot by noted photographer David LaChapelle and originally featured trans model Amanda Lepore. She's been removed from the final version, prompting an outcry from social media.
I'll be damned. Travis Scott has no right to an album this good. I kid, but while Days Before Rodeo showed promise, and the hypebeasts worked hard presenting the young rapper-producer as akin to a Dr. Dre or Kanye West, when it came time for his debut proper, he delivered the rote, hollow Rodeo, chewing up decent scenery with corny verses and posturing.
In the near two years since Travis Scott dropped his platinum-selling sophomore LP Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, there have been countless acts who have attempted to emulate his sound that has engrossed millions. After a series of delays -- and a forgettable collaborative effort -- eager fans were finally gifted with the long-awaited Astroworld in the early morning of Friday, August 4. Named after a defunct Six Flags amusement park in his hometown of Houston, the LP is layered with numerous nods to both his past and future.
A mercurial figure with several vastly different deliveries, Scott offers the best of himself as both a vocalist and an orchestrator on Astroworld, named after the defunct Six Flags theme park in his hometown of Houston, Texas. Where once Scott seemed content to be a kind of geographically unanchored artist floating from one trashed hotel room to the next, his embrace of Houston--the album features samples from several members of the city's veteran rap crew Screwed Up Click-- and the Astroworld motif has helped Scott find a rich and fascinating sonic center for himself. On his last solo LP, Birds in the Trap, it often felt like Scott was capitulating to his guests, be that Kid Cudi on "Through the Late Night", Young Thug on "Pick Up the Phone", or even Nav on "Beibs in the Trap".
"Who put this shit together? I'm the glue" declares Travis Scott on Astroworld, and it's hard to think of a more accurate summation of his aesthetic approach. The 26-year-old is an avatar for a generation of playlist-making curators who have positively embraced "creative" as a job title. He's risen to mainstream rap prominence by way of pure tastemaking, exerting the au courant currency of borrowing exactly the right talent at exactly the right time since the hybrid hip-hop of his 2015 debut, Rodeo.
Who say that I ain't gon' sell? Nobody should be bothered criticizing Travis Scott for a lack of technical, classist rap proficiency-- there's not much evidence that he aspires for that-- but it needs to be written about, anyway. Even as Scott writes great choruses, sings addictive hooks, and performs chaotically, he can't help but rap without saying much. There just doesn't seem to be much that troubles or interests him.
Subscribe via iTunes | Google Play | Radio Public | Stitcher | RSS The Lowdown: Travis Scott is an immensely talented Houston native and onetime protege of Kanye West. ASTROWORLD, his third solo album, is wonderfully ambitious, at least when it comes to the beats. Fans of his first two LPs will find much to admire. The woozy Auto-Tune is back.
It seems like yesterday when Travis Scott released a solid buzz-building mixtape, Days Before Rodeo which led to the birth of his debut album Rodeo. His sixth sense for experimenting with various sounds has made him an artist with a unique voice. Although his sophomore album, Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight was filled with intoxicating sounds, many fans still consider Rodeo as the gold in his discography.