Typically, after an artist releases even a fairly mediocre freshman album, music fans tend to start paying attention, waiting patiently for the sophomore effort.
Travis Scott’s Rodeo was no different. With multiple instant hits like “Antidote,” “3500,” “Pray for Love,” and “Oh My Dis Side,” Scott established himself as a platinum-certified threat in the rap game.
Following this massively successful effort, he was everywhere. With guest appearances in tracks by Wiz Khalifa, DJ Mustard, Juicy J, Kanye West and Gucci Mane, nobody could quite get enough of Travis Scott’s unique sound. While it’s not popular with everyone, his high-pitched whine combined with the magic of auto tune make his music almost instantly recognizable.
On September 2 Scott made his triumphant return to studio-length form with Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. After some extensive research, I have not been able to come up with a thorough explanation for the whole title. I do know, however, that the reference to “birds in the trap” is a reference to Scott’s upbringing in Missouri City, Texas. Scott feels that the neighborhood is a social trap that shelters its young people too much.
Rodeo, too, was a reference to his southern upbringing. This time, Scott was out to send a very clear message: he is here to stay and ready to blow away expectations once again. Birds in the Trap opens with “the ends,” a melancholy, solo effort by Scott which documents his meteoric rise to hip-hop fame.
All in all, this album is pretty average for the first eight songs.
However, number nine puts the whole record over the top. “goosebumps” features arguably one of the most talented rappers of our time, Kendrick Lamar, at his eerie and reflective best. The track puts the remaining five songs on the album over the top.
Scott strategically placed songs that had already been released as singles and found commercial success such as “wonderful,” a collaboration with The Weeknd, and “pick up the phone,” another collective effort featuring Young Thug and Quavo of Migos fame, after this dynamite effort.
Travis Scott’s music is not for everybody. I think that was pretty well established with Rodeo. His music and style are not meant to be heard in clubs. An album like Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight was made to be heard from car speakers and stereos across the country. This album was made by and for the streets and it absolutely delivers.