Rodeo

ROUNDTABLE REVIEW

Bradley Cummings / Wang Han / Sunny Sanghera

 

22-year old Houston rapper and producer Travi$ Scott, signed by T.I.'s Grand Hustle for the former and Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music for the latter, released his much-anticipated debut album Rodeo on September 4, 2015. We've now had a couple months to let the hype fade away and digest the album, so we at Herban Indigo decided to sit down together to listen to it, put a few wands in rotation, and dissect and discuss the album.

ARTWORK FOR TRAVI$ SCOTT'S  RODEO

ARTWORK FOR TRAVI$ SCOTT'S RODEO

ARTWORK FOR THE DELUXE EDITION OF TRAVI$ SCOTT'S  RODEO

ARTWORK FOR THE DELUXE EDITION OF TRAVI$ SCOTT'S RODEO

 

Pornography

Bradley: "They wanna put my soul up on an auction/ but I'ma make em take the fall like August/ and they gon' vote me right in on my caucus/ And I'ma show these niggas how to get lawless/ why your hands out asking can you hold one?/ Who do I owe, nigga, no one."

I thought it was fitting that Travi$ used T.I. for the intro and intro/interludes in the song since T.I. was one of the first really big artists who started to fuck with Travi$ for his musicality, especially his production skills. Speaking of the intro/interludes they were dope little gems that tells us about Travi$'s rebellious attitude toward the system and the music industry. Like he said in an extensive interview with Complex:

"I’m big on diversity. My music is very diverse, I don’t want it to ever be typecasted." 

The interludes also tell the story of Travi$'s family kicking him out and his constant struggle with deciding to go his own way like T.I. says in the interlude "living like a bronco, lifestyle wild and untamed...". The hook is also dope too (and pretty damn catchy) and again follows the same theme of going against mainstream society and all its norms. Obviously "No monogamy, menage with me" says it all. The first verse is so-so, and honestly a little disappointing for the first verse of the album (although it is just the intro track), but the second verse (peep the bars at the top) is on point and full of witty lyricism like "Animated actin Frozen" and "Ima make this chick crack Lamar Odom" (not to mention the reference he made to August Alsina falling at one of his performances in New York City). Travi$ ends the song by leaving us with the quote "La Flame says, 'Let your ambition carry you.'" I thought this was a little cliche way of ending the intro track, but it did stick to the theme of the Bronco (also alluding to the rodeo, which of course, is the name of the album), and his corresponding rebellious and independent nature. In my opinion the intro track was good, but it could've been a lot better.

Sunny: Pornography's a cool song, but I'm not gonna lie, 90% of the time I skip it. This is partially because it's too slow for me, but probably more so because of how much I love "Oh My/Dis Side." I do dig the last minute or so of the song though, after T.I.'s annoying, cheesy narration and Travi$ Scott's distorted Kanye-esque singing, starting with Scott rapping "Wake up nigga, gotta get the cake up, nigga." Sonny Digital and Metro Boomin' killed the beat (what's new) and the bars Scott delivers over them serves as a proper introduction. The narration, though, reminded me of Common on Kid Cudi's Man on the Moon. I didn't like it very much then, but I think it worked better in the scope of that album. Scott's narration tells a very predictable, often-heard story that I think should go without saying. It wasn't the biggest detractor but I think it was unnecessary.

 

Oh My/Dis Side

Wang: I was a big fan of the way Quavo was featured on "Dis Side."  It played to his strengths (timely ad libs) and his experiment with auto tune singing was pretty mesmerizing.  

Sunny: I don't know if that slash in the title is supposed to be there or not, but it damn sure should be. The song starts off pretty dark - the album is fairly dark in general; for the first half of the song Scott repeats "oh my" during the hook and throughout his verse, sharing his despair and fatigue from being awake for so long and living the ambitious rager lifestyle he's now become known for. Unlike the second half of the song, which is more reflective of the past, the Houston rapper shares how he feels now, in the present, as a result of his hard work and many of the things he talks about later in the song. I got to attend a Scott concert on Tuesday, September 15, nine days after the album release, in LA, and this was one of the most well-received songs. The lyrical content, along with the ridiculously well-crafted backdrop, make it no surprise it was a fan favorite. 

Much like the rest of the album, this song is a masterpiece of production. It follows Scott's tradition of long songs that acoustically morph over the course of the song. Instead of aimlessly switching up, however, it follows the story arc of the song. The beat is fairly stagnant until about 2:30 minutes in, when the instrumentation falls out and a trippy arp takes us to "Dis Side." As Scott begins to talk about what happens "there" - in the past where he made his first bucks, got his first kiss, etc. - we hear an amalgamation of softer sounds replacing the harshness of the guitar stabs et al on "Oh My." Unlike the first half, "Dis Side" is a bit more cheerful; it reminds me of the fact that we as humans often look to the past and regard it as being more happy than we remember it being - "the good old days." Scott is fed up with all the bullshit he has to deal with now and how strenuous his life has become, he misses how it was back home when he was growing up and life was easier.

Slowly but surely the beat gets more soulful as we get some vocoder and harmonization to back the rapping, along with more sung adlibs as opposed to the more traditional "BANDO!" in the first verse. By the time Quavo makes his rapping entrance, we're fully immersed in what sounds something like "Oh My" fused with a Noah "40" Shebib beat Drake would've used. In addition to perfectly complementary adlibs on "Oh My," the Migo's "Dis Side" verse sits finely alongside Scott's reflexive verse. Probably more so considering the established authenticity of his origins, as opposed to Scott's heavily criticized questionable come-up. After the two verses, the melodic keys at the end of the last chorus take us away to what would be the softest and warmest tones of the songs - that is, right before being detuned and faded away to introduce the leaned-out "3500.”

 

 
Travis Scott 2 Chainz Future artwork 3500
 


3500

Wang: I've been listening to this song for a couple months now  and have only recently realized its brilliance as a perfect metaphor of the consequences of day drinking on a Sunday (aka a Sunday Funday, if you will). Travis' first verse sounds like your friend who hypes the night to a point it will never reach (unless you're Travis, but you're not.  You're that guy ad-libbing in the back yelling "yeah!" and "straight up!").  Future's verse is pretty much the leaned out after party once the sun's gone down and everyone is slipping in and out of being kush comatose and one guy is ranting about his girl who left him for the corniest starting quarterback in sports.  The chorus after that is pretty much the equivalent of passing out with the lights on and your favorite song blasting on the background on repeat.  And 2 Chainz's verse? That's your boss yelling at you.  Its a startling interruption of your braindead Monday morning, but you begin to to tune him out once you realize he's just going on about how rich he is again.  Once he's gone, Future and his sleepy fairy syrup once again lull you into a nap at your desk.


Wasted

Wang: Most albums would let up after such a frantic opening, but Travis, true to his billing, keeps the party going, albeit at a slowed down pace, on "Wasted."  From the title of the song and the Juicy J feature, one might assume this is another party banger.  Instead, its somber beat and Juicy J's foreboding warning: "There’s a lot of muthafuckas that can't handle they liquor.  Can't handle these drugs..." coupled with La Flame's spoken word outro invoke the exhausting reality of the rager lifestyle.

Sunny: A$AP Rocky? Is this ALLA?


90210

Sunny: The first time I heard "90210" I legitimately thought I was listening to a Kanye West song. The singing, full with the auto-tune and distortion effects, resembles a mixture of 808s- and Dark Fantasy-Kanye. But got damn, this might be the craziest beat on the album, although that is a very difficult claim to make. A look at the production credits tells a lot about why it's so hard: it was produced by DJ Dahi & Hit-Boy, with additional production from Wondagurl, Allen Ritter, Mike Dean, & Apex Martin. When you got six producers on one track, and heavy hitters such as those, it's destined for greatness. These kind of production credits on the album were absolutely no surprise to me - I listen to Scott largely for his ear for and involvement in the production element.

I initially didn't like this song very much, but as I listened to Rodeo more, it grew on me and that was largely because of my ability to relate to the lyrics (it's perfect for those late late nights in LA), the singing chick's voice, and the second half of the song. Of all the beat switch-ups on the album, this one is the most drastic, and probably my favorite. The keys in the second half of this song straight-up give me a boner. Layered with those drums, the synth bass, and the vocal sample - my god.

Lyrically it isn't much different than a lot of what we've heard already repeated on this album until that turning point where he starts rapping, a common theme with the album as whole. Jacques turned La Flame - cool. He does a lot of drugs, he's trying to find the alley - cool. He likes pornstars - cool. When the keys come in, though, we get some substance and heart-felt bars from Scott as he shares his love for his family and reflects on coming up in the rap game through a rather hard flow. As the beat got more up-tempo, so did Scott's words over it, kind of like he "woke up" from the drug-induced first half to assure his grandmother everything would be all good because of how hard he's worked and what he's done to deserve where he is now.

   

 
The Weeknd Abel Pray 4 Love
 

Pray 4 Love

Bradley: A true ode to the woes of an entertainer, “Pray 4 Love” gives us court side seats to the emotional roller coaster ride that is the life and times of the modern day rock star. This theme in combination with the production reminded me a lot of Kanye's 808's and Heartbreaks, and I would be surprised if that album didn't play a part in the inspiration for the song. Going above and beyond, the addition of the Weeknd really puts the icing on the cake. This song was perfectly crafted for the Weeknd and his musical stylings (he also received production credits on the song), and he delivered a gem with the final verse. 

"I'm right here, you know where I stay/ And if you don't, then ask your girl, she/ probably know the way/ She like my show lights, she want to be wife/ She know that if she got me that she gon' be good for life/ So I pull out 'fore the climax/ Faster than a hi-hat, sorry baby, I don't play/ And if I did, you know my kids would be ballin'/ And my daughter gon' never meet a nigga like me"  - perfect encapsulation of the idea of the entire song, The Weeknd really killed this verse.

Wang: This record kicks off Rodeo's most exciting stretch.  The song follows the tried and true formula of recruiting the Weeknd for a synth laden chorus. His forlorn wailing is as feels-giving as usual, but his #rare rap verse provides an unexpected highlight to close out the song.  Despite touting his A-1 pull-out game as being "faster than a high hat," Abel humors the idea of becoming a father, which is quite uncharted territory for him.  "My daughter gon' never meet a nigga like me," he raps, lamenting every potential father's worst nightmare: his little girl falling for as depraved of an individual as himself.

Sunny: Word, that Weeknd verse really stole the spotlight on this one. I originally thought the song was going to end the first time I heard it, so it was a welcoming surprise. It was moreover a very pleasing way to end the song as it detracts a bit from the feeling of the song being a cheesy, played-out ballad like so many others that sound like it. It's a great pop song, no doubt, but I'm not listening to a Travi$ Scott album to hear pop music. Another critique: The Jacques-turned-La Flame refrain makes yet another, not so pleasant re-prise. It appears on damn near every song. Themes are cool but you gotta have some diversity with the lyrical subject matter, young La Flame.

 

Nightcrawler

Wang: "Nightcrawler" is probably the album's most curiously titled song because it involves neither a teleporting furry blue mutant nor the 2014 Jake Gyllenhaal crime drama of the same name.  Swae Lee and Travi$'s voices sound almost childlike on this song as they tout the outlandish lavishness of the parties they attend, evoking images of "Cirque du Soleil" (quite possibly the best reference of the entire album).  "Young free and wildin, order more kidneys," Travi$ raps in the chorus, giving a much deserved shoutout to his (overworked to say the least) internal organs in this song while simultaneously throwing shade on their inability to keep up with his lifestyle.  Chief Keef provides comic relief with his signature bluntness at the end of the track: "I just ordered me some brunch, curry and spicy garlic, bitch I came from eating McDonalds, girl you know I'm from the projects."  Whatever, Chief, brunch is still hella basic.

Sunny: I'm a pretty big fan of Nightcrawler though. If you're gonna make an ignorant anthem, might as well go all the way with it, and this song achieved that. Bolstered with the on-spot additions of turn-up god Swae Lee and the poster-boy for ignorance, Chief Keef, this song kicks off a chaotic line-up of songs that will turn any normal human beings into mosh-pitting zombies. "Nightcrawler" topped-off the most turnt songs played when I saw Travi$ Scott at the concert days after the release of Rodeo. The crowd went absolutely nuts. It was rivaled closely by the next two songs on the track list: "Piss On Your Grave" and "Antidote," as well as the aforementioned "Oh My/Dis Side.”

 

Piss On Your Grave

Sunny: "Piss On Your Grave" is the kind of song, especially under the influence of any kind of mind-altering substances, that makes you want to break some shit and slap someone. I think a couple people may have lost some teeth at the show when this came on. The Kanye West influence is moreso present on this album then other tracks, but that's probably because he's actually on it. Sounding like something left off of Yeezus, this song is a direct message to the powers that be. The sampled Jimi Hendrix distorted guitar riffs (from Hendrix’s “Machine Gun”) are everything on this song, and perfectly fitting as he was quite the rebel himself.

Wang: "Piss on Your Grave" and "Antidote" back to back are almost too much to handle.  As in every time I listen to those songs in succession I feel obligated to do some apeshit moshing in my head or in real life if the setting permits.  Its seriously mentally exhausting in the best way possible.  Travi$ chooses the optimal tag team partner in Kanye to deliver a Degeneration X style "Suck It!" to their despised record executives, haters, and doubters in "Piss on Your Grave.”

 

Antidote

Wang: As for "Antidote," I'm not even going to bother writing about it because it's been floating around the interwebs for months.  This video of James Harden slurring its chorus coming out of a La Flame show where he was brought on stage is pretty much all you need to know about this song: it's very lit.  Adidas is about to crack, indeed, James.

 

Impossible

Bradley: In a more depressing turn of events... Travi$ directs us on his own drunken detour reminding us of our own mortal limitations in his song “Impossible". In a very literal following of the old "sky is the limit" mantra, Travi$,  lets us know that our highest aspirations are all checked by reality. The story he tells about his "best high" (contrary to what we would think, this isn't about drugs, but a female that he has fallen for) and the harsh, albeit relieving, reality that the relationship was "never love" makes us all remember about the time that one girl we really cared about played us and broke our hearts. 

Travi$ relays the realest of observations through the "best high" that he can never get back (his love for this girl is a powerful drug like that of heroin, he's chasing the dragon - or feeling in this case - that he had while being with her)  because the girl doesn't actually love him. In the words of the great Rolling Stones, "you can't always get what you want" and Travi$ presents us with this reality in terms of coming to grips with human limitations which to him is represented by this girl. Sometimes we all wish we could just do anything we want in life a.k.a the impossible. 

I really love the hook too, because it reminds me of those college nights being really turned up where the party refreshments (and maybe a few doobies added to the mix) have got you on your level just thinking about life, where you been, and where you are going… Without getting too philosophical I thought this was a great addition to the album since it gives us a nice break from the usual turn up vibe and shows off his artistic range.

 

Maria I’m Drunk

Sunny: "Maria I'm Drunk" is a song that's equally hated as it is loved. I'm more on the love side, myself. The intro alone makes that so. That shit is beautiful. I love marijuana personifications in music and I saw it as an interesting approach. When I got to see Young Thug & Travi$ Scott perform at the Rodeo Tour in Santa Ana's Observatory in March, they played an early version of this song as last little sneak-preview before the curtains rolled out. It was obviously rough though and as a result, pretty different. Besides lacking the intro part, there was no Justin Bieber at the time. Scott's verse was a little different, too, and the album version was more well produced.

I try not to look at track lists when listening to albums all the way through for the first time. That Justin feature was not expected at all. A pleasant surprise that's up there with Quavo and Erykah Badu on Surf earlier this year; he actually did his thing on it and didn't sound too out of place. But did I mention how well produced this album was? Audio-wise, this song, particularly the beginning, sounds like something I haven't heard before. It's a different take for a beat on a totally different kind of turn-up song. Considering it's about interacting with females at the super star stages of their careers, expectations for the verses weren't set super high, and the trio all delivered. Bieber stole the spotlight cause, well, he's Bieber, but Thug definitely had the best verse as he continues to innovate with the unorthodox flows and mannerisms.

 

Flying High

Bradley: I haven’t personally listened to Toro Y Moi religiously or anything, but every track I’ve heard from him or that he has been on I have definitely enjoyed. And while I did enjoy this song, I feel like it was screaming for a Kid Cudi feature. “Flying High” with the addition of the fabled Man on the Moon?? Could have been legendary. With that being said, the whole idea of the song being double entendre for being high from the drugs and also from success was nice and it is a catchy song especially with Toro Y Moi killing the hook and that amazing bridge in the second half of the song saved the song for me. Otherwise I feel like Travi$ could have come a lot harder on the song, especially since Pharell had a hand in producing it. (The production was absolutely fucking outstanding, especially the outro at the end of the song). And the fact that in parts of the hook Travi$ sounds similar to Kanye is a little weird.

 

I Can Tell

Bradley: What you know about the skruggle?! Not everyone can tell a tale of hardship and misfortune that they transformed into successes through their work. Travi$ can tell that story. It is a huge theme in music, and in the hip-hop/rap genre especially, to be authentic. You can say that this song is further validation of that for Travi$ who lets us know how he came up and what he has had to overcome to make his music career work (“It all started in the basement/ Was an attic but we called that shit the basement/ Basis to break all my momma’s vases” - loved these lines in the first verse paying homage to the “started from the bottom” attitude). The first verse was definitely raw, but Travi$ absolutely snaps on the second verse with his word play and flow. “I top a, pop a pill, pop a seal to forget about you/ I’ll bombaclot you, bomba bomba blocka shot you/ bling and bang, a bang a rapper/ bangarang I brought my money back/ Orangutan diamonds hangin on my neng-a-lang/ bitches hanging on my dang-a-lang.” Absolutely ripping the track! I also loved the melodic singing on the hook, but my only criticism would be that he sounds a little bit too much like thugga, (I heard a few people thought it actually was Young Thug on the hook back when Travi$ released a snippet of the song before the album dropped) who he could of just recruited to do the hook. This is a recurring problem for me in the album, and the only major disappointment I had with it…. On a lot of songs he sounds very similar to other artists (Kanye, Young Thug, Future). This problem may be because of the collaborative aspect of the album, (production from basically all the biggest names in the game and a feature on almost every song) but I definitely thought it took away from the album in the aspect of original artistry. Still this song is an absolute banger and one of my personal favorite songs on the project.

 

Apple Pie

Travis Scott Apple Pie Rodeo image

Sunny: "Apple Pie" is the song on Rodeo most reminiscent of a Travi$ Scott from a couple years ago. It's probably the best actual song on the album. Most of the album is focused around Travi$ Scott's rock and roll lifestyle and the production generally reflects that. This is song feels realer than the rest, though - it's warm, more sincere, and likely the most relatable song on the album for the average person. It isn't as in-your-face as the rest of the album (although fans will probably still mosh to it at a show) and Travi$ seems to actually be saying something here. He uses apple pie, a sweet (much the opposite of what Travi$ would probably like to be known as), as a metaphor for aide and guidance to suggest to his mother or significant other that he's at the point in his life where he longer needs that. We've surely all felt a need at some point in time for separation from someone, particularly after having been together for a long time, and it's importance in allowing one to grow individually.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

Sunny

I feel like most of the problem that people generally have with Travi$ Scott goes beyond the music he makes. People love to attach perceptions of personality and what they gather from news and social media to put stamps on artists - it's natural in our society and everyone does it, in varying levels, whether or not we know it. I consciously distance myself from doing that when it comes to art I digest and I think I've been better off.

But if you deny that this album's production is not superb damn near front to back, you either lack taste or are one of those haters who has to take it beyond music to involve your perception of the artist as a person to distort your opinion on their art. Hailing from Chicago and recognizing good music in general, I'm big on Kanye West. Every week or so I come across a devout Kanye hater and have to hear endure all this slander on the man - none of which ever has to do with the music he makes. It's an argument that, no matter what day it is or what the weather's like, holds absolutely no value in a discussion of an artist. I don't give a fuck what Edgar Allan Poe did in his free time or how he came to write what he wrote, that dude produced excellent pieces that have made people all over the world quiver.

This takes me back to Travi$ Scott. He's said some dumb ass shit. He's done some ignorant ass things. His come-up is extremely sus. I can't vouch for any of that shit.  If you don't like his music cause you think he's not "real" or a respectable human being, cool; that's an opinion you're totally entitled to have. Don't listen to the music, no one's hurting. But don't talk down on the music out of spite. That's what haters do.

The other big reason is his lack of originality, or, put more simply, his status as a "biter." Have there been times where I was like, "Damn, is this a Kanye song?" "When did Cudi drop this?" "Is this new Thug?" etc. Hell yeah. No denying it, audio aesthetic from other artists can often be heard littered throughout Scott's music. But did I follow that up with "This knocks!" Yeah, a lot of the time. Across the board, people interpret and remit influence differently. I don't knock Scott for the way that he does it. When I personally listen to music, it's 100% about the vibrations entering my ear. I'm not judging anything but the specific song/album I'm listening to; the means to reach it are irrelevant in that instance. Does hearing others in one's music detract from the song while listening? It definitely can; sometimes it does more than I want it to... but at the end of the day, if it slaps, it slaps.

However he assembled the cast that he did for this album, I don't think it matters. However he came up from being a "homeless" to being connected with some of the biggest names in the industry, I could give a shit less. When the music's in front of me, being listened to, in the moment, that is what I'm judging; nothing else really matters. After all, the artists that he's "biting" don't seem to care much, why do you? I'd rather critique the music I'm hearing through my ears than be a critic about matters I don't have direct access to.

In terms of the album Rodeo, it has a lot of great, well-produced songs, but my biggest quarrel is this: Most of the time, Travi$ Scott's not really saying anything. He's not a lyrical writer and just a decent rapper - which is okay because he makes up for it with great production and occasional flows - but he's not delivering a real message in these verses apart from (the now quintessential) depiction of modern day substance use and your slew of everyday rap antics and cliches. It feels very forced; instead of being shown what the album is about through the substance in the songs, it's more like listeners are being told what the album is about. It's like Scott started at Point B - the album as he envisioned it released by Travi$ Scott, a character he aims to build by perpetuating a persona/image - and used that as a basis for the actual words that would fill the flows on the tracks. Owl Pharaoh being a bit of an outlier, this could be said for Days Before Rodeo as well.

It's pretty ass-backwards, but the point is, he's getting to that Point A. Although this process is effective in creating bangers, it certainly leaves the music with a huge hole in it - it doesn't feel genuine and can fall short in creating a true link with fans. It's kind of like the undertones of the album are subtly an advertisement. An ad showcasing "Travi$ Scott" as opposed to a story of who Travi$ Scott is. It doesn't help at all that the image he's chose to perpetuate is awfully gimmicky and comes off as naturally dislikeable.

His strong suit is definitely on the production side. He recognizes and knows what a good song sounds like. He has an ear for song structure and pushing boundaries with the execution of songs. More importantly, he's good at picking out and aggregating what's dope. This goes for picking beats, features, production and writing credits, etc. He's a master curator for what people want to hear. Gotta utilize your strengths. He and his team knocked it out of the park with putting this one altogether. Yes, it's a big project that's largely the result of getting a lot of pieces to line up, and you can credit or discredit as much of it to Scott as you want, but it sounds good. Throw someone that's not Travi$ Scott in place of his verses and I bet you a lot of detractors of this album would flip sides.

Favorite tracks: "Apple Pie," "Maria I'm Drunk," "90210," "Oh My/Dis Side"

Overall: 7.25/10

 

Bradley

I have to admit that even before listening to this album, I wasn’t the biggest Travi$ Scott fan. At first couple listens I found myself really enjoying the project, however, as time has gone on I would have to say that it has lost its impact for me. I have also not really wavered in my opinion of Travi$ Scott being just “ehhh.” At risk of sounding like a hater, his music just doesn't really do it for me. With that being said I did really fuck with a few songs on the album... “3500,” “Maria I'm Drunk,” and “Apple Pie” to name a few.

There were three main categories for me when it came to the album and I couldn't help but be reminded of famous spaghetti western director Sergio Leone’s infamous film The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - especially because the album title is “Rodeo” and Scott's continual references to being a wild bronco-esque figure. Therefore I’ll break it down for you using those 3 categories: the good, the bad, the ugly.

The Good:  Oh my goodness do you see all the amazing features?!?! I won’t go down the whole list, but Justin Bieber though?! And JB really killed the verse, definitely was not expecting that out of him. Also the Toro Y Moi and The Weeknd features were absolutely classic and they both killed it on the hooks. It seems that Travi$ really brought the best out of the artists on the features and the collaborative effect was very strong there. This collaborative effect was also mimicked in the production, which in my opinion, was the real gem of the album. Every single song had an all-star production team, and they did not fail. In particular, in the songs “Oh My/Dis Side,” “3500,” “Maria I'm Drunk,” “I Can Tell,” and “Apple Pie,” the production in combination with the artistry of the lyrics made them the crem dela crem of the album. The most former was simply a masterpiece. The switch up/transition from “Oh My” to “Dis Side” was probably one of my favorite moments of the album, not to mention the well-placed Quavo feature. On top of that “Apple Pie” had to have been the best song not only in terms of production and lyrics, but also in terms of originality and overall artistry. Something I’ll get to in more depth in this next section. 

The Bad: Just as Sunny brought up above, there are a lot of critics of Travi$ who point out his habit of “biting” other artists. And these criticisms are not unfounded. As Sunny and I have pointed out, there are quite a few songs that have us like “This is really Travi$ Scott and not so-and-so?” While Sunny is right that it is not necessarily a bad thing, it comes up way too often for me not to criticize it in terms of originality and artistry. This was more of a collaboration album than just a piece showcasing Travi$ himself which was very disappointing to me especially because of the fact that I already was not the biggest Travi$ Scott fan (on top of the fact that I was expecting more after my friends were clamoring about how good it was). I also find myself skipping more and more songs off the album as time went on which really is not a good sign. In all honesty, I think the album should have been at least 3 songs shorter because it definitely began to feel like it dragged on. It is upsetting because while I did really enjoy parts of the album, I just could not overlook these flaws when scoring the album, and I think they really took away from the quality of the album. 

The Ugly: As Sunny also stated above, this album felt really forced in terms of trying to relay its message to the audience. It often times sounded very corny, especially during the intro track. And a lot of the lyrics were forcing us into his drug induced lifestyle when the production and auto tune clearly already displayed that. This also took a lot away from my opinion of the album.

Favorite Tracks: “I Can Tell”, “3500”, “Maria I’m Drunk”, “Apple Pie”, “Oh My/ Dis Side”

Overall: 7.5/10