Travis Scott’s third album is inarguably his strongest to date. His skill as a curator helps sculpt a sticky, humid, psychedelic world with dazzling production and odd pleasures at every turn.
“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.
Depending on a variety of factors—age, genre predilections, level of active investment in the myriad intersections between popular culture and social media—Scott’s artistic approach can come across as inspiring or infuriating, but it’s also proved undoubtedly successful.
He’s wielded his own influence over areas of pop culture—Drake’s 2017 “playlist” More Life was arguably as influenced by Scott’s revolving-door A&R approach as it was by the evolving fluidity of the album format—even as he remains indebted to mentor Kanye West, whose titanic 2013 album Yeezus (to which Scott contributed) was its own ultra-collaborative, cut-and-paste monster. If Yeezus embraced by-committee creativity as a means to an end, Scott has taken it several steps further by allowing such an ethos to define his very artistic being.
This has, of course, made him a divisive figure in hip-hop circles and elsewhere. A 2015 Deadspin post titled “Travis Scott Is Worse Than Iggy Azalea” made the case for Scott as a canny cultural plagiarist—a notion that became somewhat more fortified the following year, when he was accused of essentially stealing the framework for the Young Thug and Quavo collaboration “Pick Up the Phone” from Thug himself.
Last year’s full-length collab with Migos member Quavo, Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho, felt driftless and tossed-off by comparison, suggesting a weird paradox embedded in his career thus far: For someone so reliant on others to properly perfume his own work, Scott seems to be most engaged when he’s able to solely take credit for it.
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Stream Astroworld Below
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See ASTROWORLD’s tracklist and production credits below
Produced by B Wheezy, 30 Roc, BKorn, Sonny Digital
Produced by Hit-Boy
Featuring: Frank Ocean
3. “Sicko Mode”
Produced by Tay Keith, Oz, Cubeatz, Hit-Boy
4. “R.I.P Screw”
Produced by FKi 1st, Travis Scott
Featuring: Swae Lee
5. “Stop Trying To Be God”
Produced by Cubeatz, Travis Scott, Mike Dean
Additional production from James Litherland
6. “No Bystanders”
Produced by Gezin (808 Mafia), wondaGURL, Mike Dean
Featuring: Juice Wrld, Sheck Wes
Produced by Kevin Parker (Tame Impala)
Featuring: The Weeknd
Additional production from Pharrell Williams, Reine Fiske
8. “Wake Up”
Produced by Sevn Thomas, Wallis Lane, Frank Dukes
Featuring: The Weeknd
9. “5% Tint”
Produced by FKi 1st
Additional production from Cyhi the Prynce
Produced by Cubeatz, Boi-1Da
Featuring: 21 Savage
Produced by Frank Dukes, John Mayer, Travis Scott, Thundercat
Produced by Turbo, The Genius
Featuring: Gunna, Nav
13. “Can’t Say”
Produced by wondaGURL, Frank Dukes
Featuring: Don Toliver
14. “Who? What!”
Produced by 30 Roc, Cardo
Featuring: Quavo, Takeoff
15. “Butterfly Effect”
Produced by Murda Beatz
Co-producer: Felix Leone
Produced by Sevn Thomas, Wallis Lane
17. “Coffee Bean”
Produced by Nineteen85
Astroworld Album Trailer
Album Cover Art
“Butterfly Effect” is the lead single of Astroworld.
Travis Scott debuted “Butterfly Effect” back in May while on his ‘Bird’s Eye View’ Tour, and dropped the official music video in July.
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