How “Great” is Travis Scott Really?


((I’m not a hater, I’m just conflicted on Travis Scott))

The long-awaited “Astroworld” is here and blew up as per expected. The album, which was released this past August is breaking streaming numbers, the second biggest album release of 2018 and Scott’s second number one debut on the Billboard 200. The 26-year old rhymer is accomplished, and rightfully so, but I do have to ask the question…Is he really one of our current generation’s “GREATS?” As a new Travis Scott listener, my virgin ears are picking up a very clear pattern in Mr. Astro’s music. Travis Scott’s use of melody and bumpin 808’s makes him seem like more of a musical strategist than a rapper.

Take for example “Antidote,” probably the most recognizable track in the Hip-Hopper’s discography; is dynamic, yet fiercely simplistic. An unassuming viola-like string is greeted with smoky vocals and then a sudden overwhelming tundra of synths and drums. Followed by quite a few breaks and a switch in the melody, the song naturally gives you a drama and heightened sensitivity with so many changes in sound in a small frame of time. This is the magic of Travis Scott. It’s not at all surprising he signed to G.O.O.D Music a few years back. The goldmine is in Scott’s production.

In almost all of the Texan’s music he never shares the full “symphony.” With a bar or two over one instrument- one sound before giving you the whole sonic feast of his creation, the enticement is intentional. Much like Kanye, Travis Scott surprises his listeners with a new perspective of the same instrumental, now it’s all just dependent on HOW it’ll be done. A couple breaks here? A drum switch there? Maybe just drop the melody? It is admirable and quite impressive how (I assume) Scott approaches his music- but does that qualify him as this invincible Hip Hop artist fans perceive him as?

“SICKO MODE” achieves all the signatures of Travis Scott’s sound, without even including Drake’s feature. I’m just very hesitant to include him in our current “Greats.” I could be saying this prematurely though- Ask me in a year.

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