First of all I’d like to apologize for taking such a long break with posting it’s just that no artists released anything interesting to me so I’ve just been taking the time to make some Throwback Thursday Posts. For my first Throwback Thursday Post I thought that it would be appropriate to do my favorite album of all time which is Rodeo by Travis Scott. This album was released in September of 2015 which is the same year I started listening to hip hop/ rap but I didn’t listen to this album until a month or so after it’s release since I was late on the hip hop/ rap scene. In this review I will talk about the album and why I think it’s so perfect and what it has done for me personally, I have talked about Rodeo here before but it wasn’t an in depth review. Let’s get going.
Now everything about this album is utterly perfect in my opinion from the subtle messages it conveys, to the narration from T.I. explaining the story of how Jacques turned to Scott and to the dark production style that Travis envisions over the duration of the album. There are plenty of qualities that support why this album is a masterpiece and I’m here to help you realize these qualities.
“Pornography”– Starting off with the introduction track titled “Pornography” we get a title that grabs our attention with the subtle controversy it portrays. As soon as we press play we hear T.I. who basically discovered Travis and signed him to his label but that’s a different story, T.I. gives a good description of where Travis is in his life and how Travis views himself “a young rebel against the system refusing to conform or comply to the ways of authority”. This introduction sets up the track and the album with nothing but perfection in my opinion. The rest of the track is full of a dark production style with random inserts of what sounds like a machine beginning to operate. When the first verse comes in we get that dark and gritty rapping style that Travis is so good at, this is a main reason why I love this album, for its dark undertone but Travis has never been known for his lyrical ability but this track has an amazing flow and low key bars here and there, this track sets up the rest of the album really nice.
“Oh My Dis Side (feat. Quavo)”– To many people this is Travis’s best track ever, I see how this can be true but my opinions are solid on another track. “Oh My Dis Side” is a very entertaining and energetic track that goes everywhere with the production and style, starting off we get the good ole trap we all love to hear from Travis and Quavo with a very dark beat but around half way the track gets broken down into a more lyrical setting which is a huge change from what we got before had from both Travis and Quavo. Now the last minute of the track is my absolute favorite because it fades out perfectly with a very drugged out production style, almost as if Travis is falling asleep high. This track is praised for its production style and its lyrics which makes it one of the best if not the best track off the album.
“3500 (feat. Future & 2 Chainz)”– This track was one of the lead singles from the album and comes in at more than 7:30 minutes long. “3500” is one of my favorite parts solely for the production style and how it doesn’t get boring to me, any other artist can make a track this length and execute it terribly but Travis makes it entertaining every second from the lyrics, the hook, features and the production style. I don’t want to go on and on about this track but my favorite part off the whole album comes from this track and it’s the last minute and a half because the production gets broken down instrument by instrument until it’s this very dark and cloudy instrumental that I adore to this day, I listen to this song all the way through almost every day.
“Wasted (feat. Juicy J & Pimp C)”– The actual music in the track matches the title perfectly because the instrumental along with the vocals from everyone just gives me feelings of disorientation. The samples are used perfectly to convey a certain clouded mindset from Travis. I love the verse from Juicy J because it just sets a good tone for the track and matches the style really well, so does the cameo from T.I. to continue the narration of Travis’s life up until Rodeo. Travis comes into the track with a strong energy and keeps it all throughout the track whenever he appears.
“90210 (feat. Kacy Hill)”– This track right here is my all time favorite song and for good reasons. The theme so far in the album is drugged out instrumentals and an abundance of auto tune but it ties everything in perfectly. The first part of the track we get a super catchy hook, one of his best if you ask me also a beautiful instrumental and a story of Travis meeting a woman who resembles him in the way he lives his life but around the halfway mark we get a transition into this extremely sonically pleasing instrumental full of guitars, percussion, and pianos which all play in harmony to create a masterpiece of a record. Lyrically, Travis is at his peak here in my opinion because he just spits and is consistent with it until the end of the track, such an amazing track. Travis isn’t known for his lyrical ability but he can definitely rap, he chooses to let the production have more of an impact than his lyrics but his lyrics play such a big part in this track, I can’t explain much, you have to witness it for yourself.
“Pray 4 Love (feat. The Weeknd)”– This track honestly isn’t one of my favorites, I’m not sure why but don’t get me wrong I still enjoy it for what it is. The Weeknd does an amazing job on this track and it’s good that we got this Weeknd because this was when The Weeknd was his best in my opinion, around this time he was giving us classics. Travis does an amazing job also and gave us a collaboration that is appreciated from all Travis and Weeknd fans.
“Nightcrawler (feat. Swae Lee & Chief Keef)”– This has always been in my opinion the most chaotic track off the whole album because it’s just everywhere. The production is full of sirens and very high pitched synths along with very aggressive and dark lyrics from Travis and Chief Keef, the only “light” thing about the track is the hypnotic vocals from Swae Lee but we’ve gotten this off of almost every Travis and Swae track. “Nightcrawler” is one of my favorite tracks off the album for the energy and utter chaotic energy it radiates.
“Piss On Your Grave (feat. Kanye West)”– This record here isn’t that much of an appreciated track from fans, that’s at least what I’ve seen over the years but I think it’s a masterpiece of a track I’d you ask me. The dark psychedelic rock influence in the first 40 seconds of the track make up everything here and it is a highlight of the whole album. Next we get some very controversial lyrics from Kanye and Travis but the energy they bring mixed with the lyrics is just breathtaking in my opinion. This track is one of the shorter tracks off the album but it is jam packed full of energy and authentic rage.
“Antidote”– The record that really set it off for Travis and was my introduction to Travis…”Antidote”. I loved the style of production this track had when I initially listened to it and also the gritty vocal style Travis has in both the hook and the verses he raps. The auto tune is a lot of people’s main turn off from Travis’s music but I never saw it as a problem honestly, even since day one. When I first heard this record I was a different person who lacked a lot of self confidence but the thumbnail for the music video caught my attention and peaked my interest and after watching it and listening to the record it shocked me and brought me to this album, the rest is history.
“Impossible”– This track is a really good cool down track from what we’ve gotten so far, it’s dark, depressing, cloudy, and just drugged out, this track alone conveys so much emotion mainly through the lyrics because you feel what Travis is feeling during the time of this recording. “Impossible” tells a very dark story which makes this one of my favorite and go to tracks when I’m in a sad state of mind.
“Maria I’m Drunk (feat. Justin Bieber & Young Thug)”– Now for a long time this record wasn’t accessible on streaming services but I think in about 2018 it became accessible so that means that 2018 was the first time I heard of this track and it was on repeat for a very long time. I really enjoyed this track for just the haunting instrumental it has, I’m not sure what instrument is used but the off pitch keys really do a lot for the vibe of the track and theme of the album thus far, it’s all very dark. This Young Thug feature is gold in my opinion, Travis and Thug never miss when they work together especially on some earlier music like this track and the Justin feature is wonderful and unexpected as well but I also forget that around this time Justin had intentions to rap…I’m glad he didn’t stick to it. This track is a favorite by many for clear reasons, it’s consistent with the current theme and extremely entertaining with the features. The transition into “Flying High” is wonderful too.
“Flying High (feat. Toro y Moi)”– This track here is a least favorite for a lot of people and it was a skip for me for a very long time but it wasn’t until the last year or two did I start to appreciate it for what it gives the album. This track is basically a left turn with the music but in a way maintains the whole drugged out theme by comparing his drug trip to someone else and how they can’t compare to the level he is on. Toro y Moi is a consistent collaborator with Travis and this collaboration goes back to Owl Pharaoh and dating as recent as ASTROWORLD. Nowadays I really enjoy this track for the high and vibrant energy.
“I Can Tell”– This track used to be one of my favorite mainly for the baseline and the flow Travis uses but quickly became low on the list for some reason, playback value? I’m not sure but all I know is that I stopped listening to this that much after a few years. This track has many positive qualities such as the two I just mentioned along with the entirety of the instrumental all the way to the verses Travis raps, he comes with very aggressive and socially pleasing verses also some great word association towards the end of the track. All in all it’s a wonderfully produced and written track, pretty underrated if you ask me. Travis is no stranger to the guitar and this track along with quite a few more on this album had a great usage of the guitar within the last 20 seconds of the track.
“Apple Pie”– This ends the original version of the album but I’m doing the expanded so we have two more tracks to go. “Apple Pie” is one of my favorite off the album mainly for the great coordination of the piano and the baseline, it adds such a bright and fun energy along with his super catchy hook, I’ve always found “I need my own pepper pepper please, pepper pepper seeds, Need my own reme- remedy my own legacy” extremely catchy. Travis has one of my favorite verses off the whole album on this track here, it’s just lyrical to an extent and flat out entertaining. The instrumentation with the synths is absolutely amazing then we transition to an outro by T.I. summarizing the story so far of Travis Scott and leaves us hanging with what I think is a rhetorical question “Did he win? Will he survive? The Rodeo” of course he will survive, we’ve gotten a crazy album so far reflecting his life, if he made it past “Piss On Your Grave” then he definitely survived the Rodeo.
“Ok Alright (feat. ScHoolboy Q)”– The first track off the expanded edition features ScHoolboy Q which I thought was an odd feature but it does wonders and is a surprisingly good collaboration. This is another 7 minute track with an amazing beat breakdown about half way through the track, we start with an aggressive track then it gets its layers pulled back to show the vulnerability behind Travis’s music and just how versatile he can be as an artist. Wonderful and creative instrumental and it is definitely one of my favorite instrumentals. SZA delivers such an amazing unlisted feature, her feature being unlisted creates a mystery of who these heavenly female vocals come from and add a lot more to the track in my opinion.
“Never Catch Me”– The last track on the album, we made it. “Never Catch Me” closes the album out with the same energy it started with…Rage. The guitar fused with the baseline goes absolutely crazy. I have always loved the choice of guitar Travis uses in his music because he always does such an amazing job with it. All throughout the album Travis experiments with flows and lyrics and he doesn’t lack even on the last track, he finishes strong as he always does. One part of the track I love is probably the last minute or so, the breakdown of the instrumental is just gorgeous and just ends everything on a good note.
Rodeo is the best album I have ever heard. Music that has any of these qualities is great music to me, dark, psychedelic, aggressive, cloudy, atmospheric, gritty, haunting. This album has all of those qualities and then some but there isn’t a track on here that doesn’t have at least one of these qualities and that is the reason why I love this, it’s super dark and is the most dark we will see Travis in his mainstream career, everything before this is just as good and everything after this won’t compare. Travis has always had an amazing ability to execute perfect features, the features on this album are next level and just make the music better. He always makes the feature support the track and not take over the track, every feature on here is just that, a feature, no one takes control of the track besides Travis and this is important because not many people know how to use features but Travis is the best at this in my opinion. Travis’s lyrical ability has always been overlooked because of the amount of auto tune he uses but this album has a lot of lyrical gems but you have to find them yourself. In some ways I classify this as a concept album, the narration from T.I. helps a lot with this claim of mine but it tells about how his life is a resemblance of a rodeo and proves this through the music, you just have to pay attention to the sounds, lyrics, and overall music. Believe it or not but I have much more to talk about with this album but I’ve already talked about a lot so if you’re interested then message me separately on instagram or comment your thoughts.
This album helped me a lot in 2015. The year 2015 was a bad year for me because I was dealing with a lot of identity issues, I didn’t know who I was and who I wanted to be, I also had a lot of self confidence issues but after being exposed to Rodeo I felt comfortable and understood by his music. Ever since this moment I felt more comfortable, appreciated myself more and took myself more serious. Travis helped me gain an identity and a style for myself ultimately exposing me to different types of music and opening my mind to new sounds, ideas and ways of thinking. I will always appreciate this album and it will forever be the best thing I have ever listened to.
Thank you for coming back to another post by me and my first Throwback Thursday Post, this was a lot of fun making because I’ve always wanted to do Rodeo. The plan is to have people tell me what albums to go back and review but up until people start telling me what I should review I have a vinyl record collection of albums that came before me or that I never got to review that I can review on here and I also have a list of albums that were released when my parents were kids that I listened to so my options are endless really but the goal is to have people recommended albums for my Throwback Thursday Posts. My next post will go up on Sunday so be here for that and also be here for my next Throwback Thursday Post next week. In the mean time FOLLOW the page and the Instagram too @tylersmusicthoughts. See you soon!!!