It's been over two years since Travis Scott's last full-length solo effort. On Monday (July 30), La Flame officially announced that his highly anticipated Astroworld project would arrive Friday (Aug. 3) with a trippy coinciding album trailer. "I'm just finishing a saga I started on my first album," Scott told Beats 1.
AstroWorld was a Six Flags theme park located in Houston, T.X. that Scott would frequent as a kid, but the attraction ultimately closed down in 2005. Inspired by the park's creativeness, Scott looks to execute a fantasy vision he's had since Rodeo. It's been a life-changing year for the H-town native, as he became a father for the first time to daughter Stormi back in April with his famous girlfriend Kylie Jenner.
To increase hype surrounding the project, massive Travis Scott heads have popped up around the Houston and NYC area this week. "People have been waiting so long. With albums, I be feeling like no need to rush. It was so much fun making this album -- it took a lot. Astroworld has been set in stone since Rodeo. This was supposed to be my second album," he told Beats 1.
Here are five things we want to see from Travis Scott's third studio LP.
Experimentation With His Sound
Travis Scott's Auto-Tuned sonic infested rap circles back to around 2012; his futuristic sound immediately caught the ear of Kanye West, who invited Trav to join him for the genre-blending sessions that led to the polarizing yet futuristic Yeezus album. Scott is now dragging his intoxicating style of rapping into year five under mainstream fame.
Meanwhile, Scott possibly oversaturated the market by leaving his mark with a cameo on just about every prominent hip-hop album in 2017, which sparks a question: does Scott's riotous sonic still reign supreme and unique when compared to his successors?
Prior to taking Astroworld to the finish line, the 26-year-old took a page out of Kanye West's Dark Fantasy book and assembled an outfit of superstar producers out in the creative safe haven of Hawaii earlier in July. The dream team was headed by La Flame's reliable right hand in the multi-faceted hip-hop veteran Mike Dean, along with appearances from Sonny Digital, WondaGurl, Wheezy, NAV, Amir "Cash" Esmailian, Gunna, Don Toliver, Sheck Wes, Allen Ritter, and Frank Dukes. FKi 1st also teased the idea of a follow-up to Days Before Rodeo's "Drugs You Should Try It" landing on Astroworld. With that kind of artistic firepower at one's disposal, the possibilities of pushing the genre's boundaries are endless.
Opening Up as a Songwriter
Even throughout his relationship with reality star Kylie Jenner, Scott has been able to keep his private life out of the limelight and tabloids that many Kardashian partners couldn't seem to avoid over the years. In interviews, Scott has remained tight-lipped when it comes to anything that doesn't concern advancing as a rap star. He rarely lets fans in on what's going on for him personally and never dares to touch on social or progressive issues in his riotous turned up raps.
Without truly opening up to the world, is Scott's cinematic stardom capped at a certain level by not developing an emotional connection with his maturing and wide-ranging audience? Artists such as Kid Cudi, J. Cole, and Kanye West have achieved longevity in part by not only being prolific rappers, but by being vulnerable in their art. This allows fans to deeply connect with their heroes through relatable issues to help them get through whatever they have going on. Fans are familiar with Travis Scott, but will they ever find out who Jacques Berman Webster II is?
The only verse that comes to mind that Scott allows fans into his family life was the third verse on Rodeo standout "90210." "Yeah, my granny called, she said 'Travie, you work too hard/I'm worried you'll forget about me'/I'm falling in and out of clouds, don't worry, I'ma get it, granny/What happened? Now my daddy happy, mama called me up/That money coming and she love me, I done made it now/I done found life's meaning now/All them days her heart'd break, her heart not in pieces now/Friends turning into fraud n----s," he raps. Hopefully, Astroworld will provide more of this type of insight.
Keeping a Concise Track List
Cactus Jack has actually done a solid job of keeping his track lists exclusive through his first two solo albums. Rodeo clocked in at 75 minutes and Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight was chopped down to just 14 songs. In a world of double-albums and Kanye's seven-track theory, Scott should find a happy medium, despite the streaming statistical benefits of longer projects. At such a critical part of Trav's career, 10 to 12 tracks without filler could make Astroworld the classic album that vaults him to hip-hop's forefront and rightfully headlining raucous arena tours in the near-future.
Finishing Leaked Tracks Like "Too Many Chances" and "Stargazing"
The soothing "Too Many Chances" surfaced online back in February; the track features a tuneful hook from Scott as he recounts his drinking habits and time in the strip club, and there's definitely room for an additional verse from the Houston-bred rapper or the chance for a possible assist from another artist to power the track. There's still no consensus as to where the song was actually unearthed from, but a second edit arrived online a couple weeks ago (July 12) courtesy of the notorious Music Mafia, and fans definitely wouldn't mind a finished version of "Too Many Chances" landing on Astroworld.
Travis has also teased "Stargazing" on his Snapchat throughout 2018, and the tune landed in Astroworld's trailer, a good sign for its arrival as a promotional single on Friday (Aug. 3). He's even performed the track in full at recent concerts such as New York City's Governors Ball. The chorus finds La Flame under the influence staring into the sky and also paying homage to fellow Houston native Big Moe.
Travis Scott Featuring Kids See Ghosts
Kanye West appeared on Rodeo and Kid Cudi joined Travis for Birds' standout cut "Through the Late Night." Scott was actually supposed to link up with CudYe on their Kids See Ghosts project, where he admitted to sending over a guest verse in his recent GQ cover story. The assist didn't ultimately end up making the collaborative album -- so Astroworld is another great opportunity to connect with his idols and return the favor by having the powerful triumvirate form on the record.
#KanyeSquad vibes: Kanye West, Travis Scott x Kid Cudi at Yeezy Season 3 on February 11, 2016 in New York City. pic.twitter.com/SuW0enSTB5— KANYE SQUAD (@KanyeSquad) June 25, 2017