As someone who only started his musical journey in recent years due to conservative parents, there are many things that I have yet to experience in the vast, awe-inspiring universe that has come to exist as the music industry. Stemming from my concentrated Korean background, the only music I had any experience with was the disgustingly generic albeit, revolutionary genre of K-pop. If you haven’t heard of this genre, do yourself a favor and stay away.
Now, one can hear music and enjoy the artistic intertwining of personal identity and musical integrity. But to truly understand any given album, one must look past the audio representation and look towards the artist and the circumstance in which they came to write the music. Jacques Webster, better known by his stage name Travi$ Scott (the dollar sign is mandatory), is an American hip-hop artist and producer from the multicultural boundary-crossing city and home of Beyonce, Houston, Texas.
A college dropout and influenced by the works of Mase and Diddy, Scott first attempted his venture into the real world by couch-surfing in the land of forsaken dreams, New York City. He then migrated to Los Angeles where he got signed by T.I and later Kanye West. Scott thereafter released his first mixtape entitled Owl Pharaoh, which put him on the map due to his unique sound that resembled a cross between Kid Cudi and Kanye West.
Aptly named, Scott’s first official album, Rodeo, plays on the Southern imagery that comes to mind when one thinks of a traditional rodeo. Showcasing true artistic talent, Scott harnesses this country horse-riding visual and makes it his own with an ode to the “lean-sipping” culture that has permeated Houston with songs like “Antidote”, a reference to the nonstop party attitude. A surprisingly pleasant song I personally identified with was “Maria, I’m Drunk”, which personifies marijuana as Maria and its psychologically addicting effects.
With addictively vulgar lyrics and collaborations with numerous high-profile artists, Rodeo is a pantheon of what a debut album should be. No matter what mood you may find yourself in, you can always find meaning in the harshly true and meaningful songs that explore what it means to succumb to human impulses. Do not let the unorthodox genre of music dissuade you from taking this album for a tour. Put on some earphones, let everything escape your head, and succumb to Travi$ Scott’s Rodeo.