On paper, Travis Scott is a talented artist and an especially gifted hook writer. But it is a great mystery that he's been painted as the pop rapper of this era that took risks and pushed rap forward with each release because, truth be told, his sound hasn't evolved much in years. This decade, Scott has satisfied a strange, misguided craving from hip-hop fans that have deemed the Houston artist a genre-transcending figure who can craft gorgeous rap songs with swaths of strings, synths and harmonica solos. Thus far, this formula has done a decent enough job shrouding La Flame's blatant co-opting of flows and cadences from Atlanta and Chicago. Case in point: Scott's latest single, "HIGHEST IN THE ROOM."
Produced by OZ and NIK D, the track should sound familiar to Scott's fans. In fact, "HIGHEST IN THE ROOM" is what it'd sound like if you told an AI to make a Travis Scott song. There's a trap bounce, cryptic lyrics grafted onto a repetitive melody, and, of course, a massive, stadium-ready beat switch-up. That's not to say that it's bad or boring, though. The song is irresistible and seeps into your consciousness in the way every good Travis Scott song does.
"She fill my mind up with ideas / I'm the highest in the room," Scott croons, a possible reference to Scott's now-ex, Kylie Jenner, that will dominate Instagram captions for the foreseeable future. The accompanying Travis Scott-directed video features LaFlame sparring with a purple cyborg Street Fighter-style if you need some bizarre eye candy.
Scott has been previewing this track at shows for months, but kept fans waiting on an official release. "I'm just taking my time to come up with my next album, but I'm always down to drop music and serve some packs to the fans," Scott told Apple Music's Beats 1 host Zane Lowe. "I think it's time for the LaFlame fans to eat."
This single comes on the heels of Travis Scott's Astroworld — Wish You Were Here tour, which wrapped up in late March, and a new Netflix documentary about him titled Look Mom I Can Fly. This isn't the end of new music, either. In the same interview with Zane Lowe, the rapper teased the return of his Apple Music show, .WAV Radio, through which he's previously premiered loosies like "Houdini" and "Hooch."