Houston's rapper and singer Jacques "Travis Scott" Webster, discovered by
emerged as a trap innovator with the
mixtape Owl Pharaoh (2013).
The attempts to create trap versions of
Kid Cudi's Man on the Moon
(Bad Mood Shit On You) and
Kanye West's My Beatiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
(Hell Of A Night) are half-baked, but elsewhere the 21-year-old rapper
employs massive synth surges and other tricks to create an original fusion of hip-hop and prog-rock.
Several songs are
chaotic audio collage experiments, starting with Drive.
Dance on the Moon weds
an explosive sound with hypnotic vocal effects.
Some promising ideas surface in
surreal interludes like Naked and especially Chaz Interlude.
At its most austere, the album achieves a sort of
like a hip-hop version of Morricone's spaghetti-western soundtracks
(trap anthem Upper Echelon and Quintana,
both replete with church bells).
Canadian producer Ebony "WondaGurl" Oshunrinde) sculpts the beat of
By the end of the tape, Scott indulges in a combination of symphonic arrangements and quasi-house beats (Blocka la Flame and especially Bandz).
The more professional mixtape Days Before Rodeo (2014),
produced by Lex Luger, Metro Boomin, Southside and many others,
the ebullient Don't Play (produced by Anderson "Vinylz" Hernandez,
Allen Ritter and Anthony Kilhoffer, with a
harpsichord loop and electronic distortion) and especially the cosmic suspense of Mamacita, one of his artistic peaks (produced by Metro Boomin and Dacoury "DJ Dahi" Natche),
but the album is generally less adventurous.
The electric guitar in the beat of
Drugs You Should Try It stands out, the rare trap-rock hybrid (before
Lil Peep and
Rodeo (2015), produced by
Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes,
Xavier "Zaytoven" Dotson,
and others (besides the ubiquitous Allen Ritter and Mike Dean),
and featuring high-caliber collaborators such as
was obviously a marketing project but also a sincere attempt at
establishing the psychedelic branch of trap music.
The album opens with the Kid Cudi-esque Pornography,
and boasts the punk-industrial Piss On Your Grave (a hyped Kanye West collaboration, that borrows from the fashionable Yeezus sound),
and the catchy single Antidote (one of his most popular songs, delivered
in a high-pitched tone and sculpted by
Dutch producer Bryan "Eestbound" Van Mierlo
with a beat by Canadian producer Ebony "WondaGurl" Oshunrinde),
and leans towards more
intricate songs like Oh My/ Dis Side (one of his most popular songs, co-produced by Adam "Frank Dukes" Feeney, with ad-libs by Quavo of Migos)
the eight-minute trap mini-opera 3500 (a trio with fellow rappers Future and Tauheed "2 Chainz" Epps, co-produced by Metro Boomin and Xavier "Zaytoven" Dotson).
Sometimes the result is confusing, like 90210 (co-produced by Dacoury "DJ Dahi" Natche and Ebony "WondaGurl" Oshunrinde), whose first half is a surreal duet with the suave contralto of Kacy Hill, and whose second half is a prog-rock and boom-bap fantasia.
Past the hype and the glamor, the true highlights are few: the
gloomy atmosphere and African swamp beat of Wasted (co-produced by Metro Boomin and Adam "Frank Dukes" Feeney)
and the disorienting call and response and thick electronics of Nightcrawler (co-produced again by Metro Boomin but also by Joshua "Southside" Luellen and Bryan "TM88" Simmons).
The album quickly becomes a tedious and monotonous experience, and it doesn't
help that Travis drags
and Young Thug
into a trivial song like Maria I'm Drunk.
The album ends with two ventures into trap-soul, I Can Tell and Apple Pie.
The other big event of the year was the melodic and dramatic single
Pick Up the Phone, a collaboration with Young Thug
(produced by Anderson "Vinylz" Hernandez, Allen Ritter, Mike Dean and Adam "Frank Dukes" Feeney), a song later incorporated in the otherwise lame second album Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (2016), which however includes one of Scott's most popular songs,
a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar
Daveon "Yung Exclusive" Jackson,
Mike Dean and
Cubeatz (German twin brothers Kevin and Tim Gomringer)
with a beat by Ronald "Cardo" LaTour,
and one of his classic two-part songs,
the lushly arranged Way Back with synth flutes and ad-libs from Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean and Kid Cudi that are used for the beat.
Astroworld (2018), introduced by the single
Butterfly Effect (2017), a collaboration with Canadian producers Shane "Murda Beatz" Lindstrom and Donald "Felix Leone" Paton,
was mostly commercial filler (even when hyped, like
Carousel with Frank Ocean).
The hit was
Sicko Mode, a daring fusion of
trap, dubstep, Memphis' jookin and New Orleans' bounce, produced by
Ozan "Oz" Yildirim,
and Cubeatz with a
beat by Brytavious "Tay Keith" Chambers, and
samples of The Notorious BIG's Gimme the Loot and Luther "Luke" Campbell's I Wanna Rock (two hits from the 1990s),
Other highlighs include the explosive No Bystanders
(that samples both Bjork's Joga and Three 6 Mafia's Tear Da Club Up `97, again two hits from the 1990s, and features fellow rappers Jarad "Juice WRLD" Higgins and Khadimou "Sheck Wes" Fall),
the psychedelic trap of Stargazing (produced by Sonny "Sonny Digital" Uwaezuoke, Brandon "B Korn" Korn, Samuel "30 Roc" Gloade and Brandon "B Wheezy" Whitfield),
and the eccentric Houstonfornication
(sculpted by Canadian producer
Rupert "Sevn" Thomas and
Los Angeles-based beatmakers
Wallis Lane, i.e. the duo of
Nima "Nizzy" Jahanbin and
Paimon "Farsi" Jahanbin).
Gatti (2019) was a collaboration with fellow
rapper Bashar "Pop Smoke" Jackson.
Travis Scott and Kid Cudi released The Scotts (2020), credited to the Scotts.
In April 2020 Scott performed inside the Fortnite metaverse, a historical "virtual" performance.
In November 2021 eight people died in a stampede at a Scott concert in Texas.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da Damiano Langone)
Il cantante/rapper Jacques "Travis
Scott" Webster, originario di Houston e scoperto da Kanye West, emerge
come innovatore della trap con i suoi primi due mixtape: Owl Pharaoh (2013) Ć quasi la versione trap di Man On The Moon di Kid Cudi (come si puś notare in Bad Mood Shit On You) e del Kanye West
di My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
(in Hell Of A Night), ed Ć pieno di
idee interessanti, anche se non del tutto a fuoco (Drive, Dance On The Moon,
Upper Echelon); Days Before Rodeo (2014), prodotto da Lex Luger, Metro Boomin,
Southside e altri ancora, contiene le radiofoniche Don't Play e Mamacita ed
Ć senza dubbio piŁ professionale, ma meno coraggioso.
Il prolisso Rodeo (2015), caratterizzato da un massiccio uso di autotune,
annovera nomi di rilievo, sia in veste di produttori (Pharrell Williams,
Zaytoven, Metro Booming, Kanye West e altri ancora), sia come collaboratori
(Young Thug, Future e The Weeknd), e nonostante sia una abile operazione di
marketing si qualifica anche come sincero tentativo di arricchire la trap di un
elemento inedito: la psichedelia. Molto suona derivativo: il singolo
orecchiabile Antidote, il
punk-industrial Piss On Your Grave
(qui con Kanye West che ricicla i suoni del suo Yeezus), Oh My Dis Side
(con improvvisazioni di Quavo dei Migos), il brano alla Kid Cudi Pornography, e cosô via, ma 90210 (la traccia migliore, con Kacy
Hill), 3500 (lunga ben 8 minuti), Nightcrawler e Wasted garantiscono una dose di creativitł ben superiore a quella fornita
da molti album trap della stagione.
L'altro evento rilevante del 2015 Ć il
singolo Pick Up The Phone, in
collaborazione con Young Thug. Il brano viene successivamente inserito in Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight (2016),
secondo album pieno di incertezze.
Astroworld (2018) Ć realizzato piŁ che altro con brani commerciali di
poco conto (anche se molto pubblicizzati, come Carousel in coppia con Frank Ocean), ma alcune tracce risultano
comunque intriganti (Sicko Mode,
insieme a Drake) e altre si distinguono per le produzioni eccentriche (Stop Trying To Be Good e No Bystanders).