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Travis Scott survives the Rodeo

Houston rapper releases third studio album

rodeoalbum

Album: Rodeo (Deluxe)

Artist: Travis Scott

Label: Epic Records

Release Date: September 4

Grade: B

Rapper Travis Scott, born Jacques Webster in Houston, Texas, has found his niche in the hip-hop subgenre of trap.

His recently released debut album Rodeo comes with an Editor’s Notes in iTunes: “Those who think Travis Scott is only about partying and turning up, you’re partially right. Yes, he gets lit like a Christmas tree but the hangovers and consequences are real. Hence, the title Rodeo.”

The album is a reminder to Scott’s listeners that the rapper is still as much of a partier and “turn up” enthusiast as ever, but now has a newfound understanding of the negative effects of partying.

This way of life is never as easy as one would hope.

Scott speaks to his difficulties: the pain caused by being blinded by the highs, experiencing the lows of fame for first time, reminiscing about his old life in the hood and feeling trapped in but also comforted by the darkness in his life.

Anyone who has ever felt anger or betrayal can relate. But Scott simultaneously creates dissonance between himself and his audience by depicting his life as a party all the time while also having his listeners relate to the feeling of the all-too-regrettable hangover and the painful realizations that accompany it.

The title Rodeo is meant to capture the craziness and seemingly never-ending highs and lows that make up this baller lifestyle he lives.

When MTV asked Scott about the album, the rapper said, “I’m really into depicting what’s in my life – anything I say in these verses, that’s who I am.

Scott openly talks about the struggles he faced at the beginning of his musical career. These lows are not new obstacles to Scott but it troubled him to realize that most people only see the glamour involved in his current position at the top of the rap game.

In Rodeo, Scott wants people to look at both the ups and the downs.

For production, Rodeo relies on kick-drum beats and layered synthesizers, commonplace instruments used in contemporary rap.

Scott is the primary rapper and singer, with features from Future, 2 Chainz, The Weeknd, Kanye West and Justin Beiber, to name a few.

In collaboration with these artists, Scott was able to express the experience of his non-celebrity past that pushed him to create the music.

The track “On My Dis Side” exemplifies the separation between Scott’s former life and his current one.

“Got my first kiss on dis side,” Scott raps. “I made it out the hood / I'm on the other side.”

He reminds his audience he no longer has to deal with “the hood life.” At the same time, Scott explains his trouble with being out of “the hood” and how that lifestyle will always be part of who he is.

Across the album, a drug and alcohol-induced haze covers each track – Scott said this defineshis party lifestyle.

Scott creates within a boozy darkness that acts as a conduit for his creative genius. He embraces his darkness.

This back and forth between being relatable as an artist and trying to distinguish himself from normal individuals is the dissonance keeps listeners on their toes.

Rodeo illustrates the story of a man who was doubted by others and told that his success was unlikely.

In “Piss On Your Grave,” Scott spits in the face of the people who have ever doubted his success.

In the end, the question still remains as to whether Scott can truly make his mark in the world and “survive the Rodeo”.

It is a question that almost everyone can relate to – the question of one’s potential.

Tomas Olivier is a staff writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com


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