On August 3rd, Travis Scott released his third studio album Astroworld. The album dropped with anticipation as the title was announced in 2016 with the initial drop in 2017, but was delayed again until 2018. Astroworld has a total of 17 songs with features among major artists such as Drake, Kid Cudi, Frank Ocean, 21 Savage, The Weeknd, Quavo, and Takeoff of the Migos and more. The album was handled by many different major producers including Mike Dean, Allen Ritter, Tay Keith, Wondagurl and others as well.
At its commercial release, Astroworld made it to top of the Billboard Top 100 and had all of its 17 tracks on the list, getting its spot as the second largest selling album of the year behind Drake’s Scorpion. The album has over 349.43 million streams over the first week of release, marking it as the fifth largest stream week ever. On August 10th a week after its arrival, the album went gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
As a listener of hip-hop and rap and an active fan of Travis Scott and many of the artists featured in the album I was really looking forward to its drop. When I heard the single “Butterfly Effect” I knew that Scott had really worked on this album and it was going to be much different from his other projects. What I think is really unique about Astroworld is that each song is extremely different from the other.
If you shuffle this whole album it really is like a deck of cards, every song is not like the other. Songs like “Sicko Mode” and “No Bystanders” are much more beat heavy and are a faster pace than what you would find in “Stop Trying to Be God” or “Yosemite” which are much slower songs that really tell a story in their lyrics and have a deeper meaning than others. This album doesn’t only focus on its beats or sound design, it takes from instruments such as acoustic guitar and samples from past artists like Notorious B.I.G., The Beastie Boys and Goodie Mob. While many artists can sample from others, the way Travis Scott does is with very select sayings that fit perfectly with his own lyrics.
I do feel some songs begin too similarly with beats and sound designs, and just don’t hold the same weight as others on this album. Songs like “No Can’t Say”, “Stargazing” and “Who What!” all somewhat blend in with one another, never really offering much of variety to other songs.
Later, I took the chance to find out what other students across campus thought of this album,
“I thought it was a good album, but I don’t think it was that good,” said SCSU freshman Sam B., noting that he is not a big fan of Travis Scott but recognizes its commercial success.
Jaden Kroll, another freshman, really enjoyed the album, “I think that this album is really good, Sicko Mode is one of my favorite songs right now”.
With a large census across the nation, it is clear between people who like or dislike Travis Scott, this album stands out.
I think with new rap albums coming out this year Travis Scott will still have songs on the leaderboards. With his already groundbreaking success and his album only out for a month, it is clear it will be considered come award season. Personally, I give this album a good 8/10 with its differentiating sound design with each track, its strong list of featured artists, and for the different uses of instrument and sound samples. Wether you are a Travis Scott fan or not, this album is worth checking out with its mass popularity.