Fans have been waiting for a new Travis Scott album after the successful Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight released in 2016 and we finally got it. Right off the bat, the new Astroworld album is beyond its years. In true Travis Scott fashion, he leaves out all the features from the track listing, but it did not take long for fans to figure them out and it is wild. During the same time as the album was released, he faced with controversy for cutting out transgender model Amanda Lepore out of the cover art in his Instagram post, which eventually got more people talking about Astroworld.
The third studio album by Travis Scott is called Astroworld after Houston, Texas’s famous amusement park Six Flags Astroworld that was demolished in 2005. He explained in a 2017 GQ interview on the impact of the park for this new album, “That’s what it’s going to sound like, like taking an amusement park away from kids. We want it back. We want the building back. That’s why I’m doing it. It took the fun out of the city.”
It didn’t take long for fans to freak out on the guest features on Astroworld starting with the elusive Frank Ocean on the too-cool-for-school track “Carousel.” The surprise continues with Drake on the very interesting beat switches approach in true Travis Scott style through “Sicko Mode.” Swae Lee of hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd also makes an appearance on “Sicko Mode,” but took the spotlight with “R.I.P. Screw,” which pays homage to Houston legend who created the “chopped-and-screwed” sound.
A few days after the album was released, Travis Scott released the video for “Stop Trying to Be God” featuring baby mama Kylie Jenner as well. This is a stand out track that features Kid Cudi, Philip Bailey, James Blake and the legendary Stevie Wonder about not forgetting your roots. Rising stars Juice Wrld & Sheck Wes also made an appearance on “No Bystanders” before an unexpected collaboration between Travis Scott with Pharell Williams and The Weeknd happened on “Skeleton.”
It doesn’t end there as it was followed up by fire tracks with features by 21 Savage, Gunna & NAV, Don Toliver, as well as Quavo & Takeoff from Migos. Despite it being such a star-studded album, Travis Scott still manages to still keep the spotlight on him as a visionary ahead of his time. Astroworld manages to stand on the same pedestal as monstrous albums such as Kanye West’s Ye and Drake’s Scorpion. He might have done it better and could potentially be a leading man among all the great hip-hop acts this year with the release of Astroworld. As Travis Scott would say in his ad-libs, “It’s lit!”
Writer | Kevin Yeoh
Former editor of JUICE Malaysia magazine, former co-founder of GUMBALLmag website and is an all-round music enthusiast from the '90's R&B to K-Pop.