Travi$ Scott is tipped to be a real big thing in rap. Days Before Rodeo was glorified the world over, everybody from T.I. to Kanye West gives him their blessings, and with the release of his eventual, widely-anticipated debut, the world really is his oyster. With a star-studded track listing including contributions from Kanye West, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd and Quavo of Migos, as well as production from the likes of Pharrell and Mike Dean, Rodeo had a lot to live up to.
As I often find myself saying, such as with Dark Sky Paradise, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Sremmlife and more recently, even Dr Dre’s Compton, so much of rap sounds the same nowadays. With the expected producers and features, and the omnipresent trap-stemming drum patterns plaguing every hip-hop release- I thought Rodeo would be exactly the same, but with the first few tracks I’d listened to, I was pleasantly surprised. Wasted, featuring an excellent Juicy J contribution, or 90210 standout as highlights. The latter for example starts in a similar manner detailed above, but evolves into a complicated journey of inspirations with elements of funk and brass weaving its way in. This expertly epitomises Scott’s ‘my life is like a rodeo’ album inspiration.
However, past these couple of tracks, so much of Rodeo is instantly forgettable. Autotune, lazy hooks and the same drum patterns used in such abundance make tracks such as Antidote, Apple Pie and I Can Tell look like one continuous bore fest. Now let me stress, I’m aware of the whole idea of artist identity and having your own sound, and maybe Rodeo or Travi$ Scott simply isn’t for me, but there really isn’t any harm in mixing it up a bit.
By the end of Rodeo, I wasn’t really surprised with what I thought of it. It follows the same predictable formula as everything else out there at the moment, every song sounds the same, and Scott’s lyrics and vocals are forgotten in a haze of trap. While the bulk of Rodeo is uninteresting, there is also the down-right awful, the Toro Y Moi-featuring Flying High and the horrifically crowded and bizarre Maria I’m Drunk being the worst offenders. Despite a couple of blips of intrigue, Rodeo simply isn’t very good.
Verdict – WV