New + Cutting Edge: Rodeo


NMost people against rap music as a whole consider Jacques Webster, also known as Travis Scott, to be a thug. That couldn’t be less true. Scott is not much like Young Thug, Jay Rock or King Louie with their street credit and openly drinking lean on stage. Scott is a punk from Houston, Texas wearing a Thrasher hoodie, distressed jeans and classic Vans. While Scott is in fact associated with the aforementioned rappers, he’s nothing compared to them when he hits the stage. Scott is just a crazy kid inciting chaos with performance after performance; most people view this as his trademark. Multiple sources over the past year have crowned Scott as one of the best live rappers. Keep in mind that Scott is a strictly big-room performer, beating out arena sellouts and festival headliners like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and Drake. Travis’ objective is to have the crowd join him in rebellion, half the time against venue security. I have personally seen Scott three times and each time there’s an undeniable energy that pushes you to join him. While Scott is not this wild regularly, he always maintains that punk rock personality. Essentially, Scott is this generation’s Kurt Cobain with his unique style, expression and swagger.

After endless touring accompanying the release of Scott’s first mixtape “Owl Pharaoh,” the word came out that he had already began working on “Rodeo.” Scott realized that the album would take awful long time to work on so he could find the certain sound he wanted his debut LP to have. To make the wait easier to survive, Scott released the free album “Days Before Rodeo,” performing the duties of an EP. A title like that can generate a catastrophic amount of hype knowing that you have assurance of more to come. Much critical acclaim came along with the release with most of the love focused on his ability to put you in a signature vibe and provide the listeners with incredible beats. Scott’s albums are not known for their lyrical presence, but there have always been a few songs that manage to shine a light on his storytelling ability with incredible flow and wordplay, such as “Uptown”, “Hell of a Night”, “Naked” on “Owl Pharaoh” and “Backyard”, “Grey” and “Don’t Play” on “Days Before Rodeo”

Scott released his free album and then kept his fans in a yearlong state of anticipation before announcing a release date a month before it hit the shelves. “Rodeo” was a headlining topic with all of the big hip-hop culture sites during the yearlong wait. The question on everyone’s mind was if it would actually live up to the hype. Well “Rodeo” is finally here and that question can be answered quite simply.

“Rodeo” is just right. It didn’t live under or over the hype. The album’s biggest pro is its ability to give a much clearer picture of who Scott is. “Owl Pharaoh” was a very indie and experimental mixtape with a very hungry feeling; it was like Scott was trying to get his name out there while taking the role of Kanye West’s protégé. The tape went back and forth between different subgenres of rap. “Days Before Rodeo” had a much more aggressive tone and displayed what Travis does best: switch up trap rap. Scott was able to put these themes together and construct a full length LP successfully letting people know what kind of a rapper he really is.

“Rodeo” is easily Scott’s most fun album and it manages to make up for his C grade lyrics, but again, Scott can take it up a notch when he wants to. What’s great about this LP much like his first two projects, is the ability to create a very exciting opening track. “Rodeo” opens up with “Pornography.” It begins his Scott’s industry partner, T.I. telling a story about what Scott is all about. The drums end up kicking in at the end of his introduction and Scott’s auto-tune soaked vocals add a very druggy presence to the song. Scott ends up singing throughout the song and closes it with an apocalyptic verse telling you to wake up and realize the rodeo is finally in town.

There are a wide variety of features on the album. The Weeknd chimes in on “Pray 4 Love” and sings with Scott about not being to rely on love on his journey to where he is now. Kanye West appears on “Piss On Your Grave,” a psychedelic banger where he and Scott have a ton of fun venting out their frustration. Believe it or not, Justin Bieber appears on “Maria I’m Drunk” with Young Thug and does an unexpectedly fine job. Bieber spits some pop music clichés such as “I wanna see what that booty do” and “them hips don’t lie.” Bieber’s part could’ve been much worse, but it’s definitely tolerable.

Scott’s lyrics may have stepped down a bit ever since “Days Before”, but it helped listeners discover Scott in a less complicated way. Scott could have given fans a bit more than what “Rodeo” has to offer, but the album’s hit single “Antidote” was able to calm down the summer long anticipation and create a pre-mature acceptance for what’s to come. Scott’s debut LP deserves a solid 7/10.

ALBUM POSTERBOYS: “Pornography”, “Oh My Dis Side”, “90210”, “I Can Tell”, “Maria I’m Drunk”, “Antidote”, “Wasted”