Travis Scott knows how to make bangers. The 24-year-old Houston native is neither lyrically gifted nor entirely original in his creative decisions, but he continually produces exactly what he is known for—twisted, drug-fueled trap hits. After bursting onto the hip hop scene in 2014 with his debut EP Days Before Rodeo, Scott cemented his signature sound the following year with his equally Auto-Tune and feature-heavy major label debut Rodeo. Though his sophomore effort Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight is much of the same, Scott’s sound is more concise and cohesive than ever while maintaining its boisterous confidence, making for another party anthem-laded project.
The project’s list of features includes big names such as Andre 3000, Kendrick Lamar, Young Thug, The Weeknd, Bryson Tiller, and Migos’ Quavo, along with lesser known artists including 21 Savage, NAV, and Cassie. Each brings a unique quality to their respective tracks, filling in some of the missing pieces in Scott’s own abilities. From technical verses to smooth vocal performances, their individual talents mesh exceptionally with the album’s expectedly deep, highly-layered and rampantly distorted beats. One of the most surprising tracks on the project is the nostalgic through the late night. Carried heavily by Kid Cudi, whom Scott has long hailed as a major influence, it includes an unmistakable bar from the Cleveland native’s breakout single Day ‘N’ Nite delivered by Scott as he transitions into his own verse.
Often criticized for his lack of artistic depth, and explicit sampling decisions, Travis Scott is certainly one of hip hop’s most polarizing artists. There is no denying that his projects rarely take on any non-narcotic themes, and stray very little in terms of production style and mood. Still, I find my shoulders swaying and my head bobbing every time his work comes through the speakers, and with the success of a second major label release his methods are hard to question at this early stage of his young career. The album is available now exclusively on Apple Music.
Find it Here.
Written by: Aaron Nelson