Travis Scott Borrows And Blends With Exquisite Taste On His Debut Album On his debut album, Rodeo, the young rapper appropriates the sounds of his forebears, like collaborator and mentor Kanye West, to create a musical collage of his own.


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Travis Scott Borrows And Blends With Exquisite Taste On His Debut Album

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One of the most polarizing and intriguing figures in hip-hop right now is a 23-year-old rapper and producer who goes by the name Travis Scott. He grew up as Jacques Webster in a suburb of Houston. His mentor is Kanye West, and he's signed to the label imprint of hip-hop star T.I. His first official album is called "Rodeo," and NPR Music's Timmhotep Aku has our review.

TIMMHOTEP AKU, BYLINE: Like Kanye West, Travis Scott is a college dropout with a middle-class background who chose music over higher education. Scott has a lot in common with West when it comes to attitude too. He's passionate, almost to a fault, and a recent spate of controversial outbursts have earned him a reputation as an enfant terrible.


TRAVIS SCOTT: (Singing) Jacques to La Flame, now you rolling on an Addy - 50 on her chain, another 50 on her caddy.

AKU: Travis Scott is both a musician and a master thief. On his full-length debut, "Rodeo," he appropriates the sounds and aesthetics of forebears like Kid Cudi and contemporaries like Chief Keef to create a dark, visceral sonic collage all his own.


SCOTT: (Singing) Don't you open up that window. Don't you let out that antidote. Popping, popping's all we know. In the hills is all we know. Don't go through the front door. It's low key at the night show. So don't you open up that window.

AKU: Musically, "Rodeo" is sprawling. It blends the cinematic synths of Atlanta's trap scene, the aggressive percussion of Chicago's drill music and the auto-tuned singsong rap of the city's bop music with the more-is-better maximalism that Kanye West is known for.


SCOTT: (Singing) Thirties in city moving slow, $3,500 for the coat. Only, only, only real, real keep you afloat. Only trill, trill, I know. Only, only, only trill, I know. Only, only, only trill, I know. Only trill, I know. Only, only, only trill, I know. Ladies order up the champagne, a whole lot of it. Painkillers - they got back pain. Now you got to love it.

AKU: Lyrically, "Rodeo" is debaucherous, disaffected and rude. This is attitude for attitude's sake or, more precisely, because the words aren't there to convey deep meaning as much as to accompany the music's overall mood.


SCOTT: (Singing) Calling for Maria - lost without Maria. I dive in the marina. So trust me, Baby. Trust me. Trust me, Baby.

AKU: Travis Scott's musical collage is all about atmosphere. Sure, some will dismiss "Rodeo" as derivative, but that's not his concern. He knows that if you're going to be known as a thief, you should be known as a thief with impeccable taste.

CORNISH: Timmhotep Aku of NPR Music reviewed "Rodeo" by Travis Scott.

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