Travi$ Scott has been one of Hip Hop’s most weirdest acts in recent years. It was only two years ago when his project Owl Pharaoh released to the public as a mixtape, and many people were astonished by the sound that he had at the time. Things began to get better when the Houston-native dropped his mixtape Days Before Rodeo, a project that managed to explain to fans where Scott’s sound was going (sort of) while also serving as a prequel to his debut album Rodeo. Now, Scott’s highly anticipated project is out, and even though it has some very good attributes, Rodeo does fall short in others.
The beat selection for Rodeo was the best element of the album. Scott succeeded in finding instrumentals that would fit him for the album. With producers like Metro Boomin, 808 Mafia, and Wondagurl, as well Mike Dean overseeing the album, Rodeo thrives off of odd-yet-intriguing beats that are filled with heavy 808’s and auto-tune. The sound is tailored for Travi$ and his featured artists, giving him the perfect canvas to paint with his rhymes or singing. In songs like “Oh My Dis Side” and “90210”, the beat transitions smoothly and actually keeps you interested in what the second part has to offer. I also can’t forget the insane psychedelic rock intro to “Piss On Your Grave” or the more folkish single “Flying High” featuring Toro Y Moi. Each song manages to provide a different environment while still managing to keep that aggressive vibe all throughout the album. Though good production may be expected from Travi$ Scott, Rodeo showcases why he should be considered a rapper who can push the boundaries of Southern Hip Hop through experimental sound. Unfortunately, excellent production in Rodeo also comes with a price…
…And this is it, Travi$’ rhyming skills. It’s not like Scott can’t rap, because he shown many in both previous mixtapes Owl Pharaoh and Days Before Rodeo that he can spit. Unfortunately, his flow in Rodeo seems to be way too familiar to a plethora of rappers now. Whether it’s Kanye, Migos, Big Sean, and sometimes even Drake, Scott’s verses feel way too familiar to someone else than him. Sometimes this observation is not relevant in songs on the album. In “Pornography”, Scott manages to set the tone of the album as well. It is also evident in “3500” that Travi$ can come up with verses that fit the tone of him and the production. However, this is very far and few, sometimes even confusing. It’s been rumored that Travi$ has been writing for Kanye for a while, which may explain the VERY similar way that Travi$ spits compared to Kanye. However, without the proof to show that he writes for Kanye, Scott will continue to be known for biting Kanye’s new flow, with Rodeo as evidence of that.
There are both good and bad things about Rodeo in the content department. The really good characteristic for the album is that Scott’s features are really good. Yes, that includes Justin Bieber verse in “Maria I’m Drunk” along with Young Thug. Each featured artist seems to fit in with Scott’s unique sound, adding on to an experience already driven by sonic sounds and heavy bass. On the flip-side, with all of these dope features and banging beats, Rodeo lacks kind of a concept that helps new and fans understanding what the album is trying to accomplish. The point of rodeo is to explain the wild and crazy lifestyle of Travi$ Scott, and the first track sets the tone for the album. But then things get completely weird with “3500”, because he ponders back and forth about his rich (yet crazy) lifestyle and his struggles without really taking the time for us to know him as an artist.
In conclusion, Rodeo is an experience that thrives off of a sound very different from what many usually expect from Southern rap. This is not a bad thing because the songs can really get some turn-up moments going either in your car, at a party, at the gym, even by yourself. However, if you are looking for an album that provides an in-depth concept with lyrical talent that’s original to the emcee, you will be very disappointed.
Most definitely turn-up music7
Production score 9
Lyrics score 6
Composition score 7