On September 4th, Travis Scott is set to drop a project that is expected to take him from loyal descendant of Yeezus and Mr. Rager to lord of the new-school. “At this point, I’m riding a bull for just eight-seconds and it’s hard as fuck,” he told CR Fashion Book earlier this year about Rodeo, his first major release, and its western theme. “But we made it.”
In a lot of ways “we made it” has become relative to Travis, and not just for what he’s accomplished thus far, but also for the potential he sees in the future. With the high-profile collaborations (Jay Z, Kanye, Rihanna), the excellent releases (Owl Pharaoh, Days Before Rodeo), and the nationwide tour, Travis is a star in his own right.
However, it will be on Rodeo, where all of that gets put to test. Will Travis hit a 3-Peat with Rodeo? Can this solidify the Houston native's position as music’s newest golden child? Or, as skeptics continuously point out, will this just be an “overhyped” package? Next week will provide those answers, but either way, whilst paraphrasing “Quintana, Pt. 2,” the quest for La Flame has entered its last days. So as the sky turns grey with the world prepping for Scott’s next sonic palette, here’s a concise gathering of everything there is to know about Rodeo. Oh, it’s lit.
‘Rodeo’ Is Inspired By Houston And Steered By Ambition
After initially tossing around Fuego as a possible title, on April 1st the G.O.O.D. affiliate announced he had chosen Rodeo. Despite making the formal announcement this past Spring, the concept behind Rodeo had already been settled prior. Driven by Houston, the wrangling theme of the album title was broken down by Travis’ longtime pal and DJ, Chase B, to REVOLT. “All of us are from Houston — Missouri City, Texas [specifically] — and every year the rodeo comes to Houston [and] it’s like a huge deal,” he said. “That’s what really inspired the aesthetic and a lot of the music for the album.”
However, in interviews like his January feature with CR Fashion Book, Travis, himself, has added extra depth to the concept, calling it a cross between a Beyoncé concert and a carnival:
“The carnival, the livestock, and the show are all parts of the event. I feel like that’s how my life is. The carnival is like my imagination — it’s the drive behind my vision. Even though I don’t feel like I’m at a point where my sh-t is at an all-time high, we’re working to get there. We are working to get to the level of where your magazine is and to stand on that level. The livestock show is the road to get to where I’m going. At this point, I’m riding a bull for just eight seconds and it’s hard as f-ck But we made it.”
Kid Cudi Isn’t Featured, But Gave His Blessing
“I won’t drop my album unless I had Kid Cudi on it,” Travis told MTV earlier this year, regarding the status of his debut LP. When asked why, he answered, “He’s part of my story. There would not be a Travis Scott if it wasn’t for him.” Fans of Scott should know his admiration for Cudder runs deep. So when Cudi himself took to Twitter over the weekend to give Travis a shoutout, it was like a holiday had taken place — and yes, the net went apeshit.
Theres only one young man within the industry whos been a loyal dedicated fan & supporter of mine since day 1, its time we support him too— The Chosen One (@KidCudi) August 22, 2015
Despite the major co-sign, Cudi revealed that he will not be featured on the album, and with good reason because, as he tells it, “It shouldn’t be about me… it’s about Travis Scott.” Enough said.
The Credits List Is Stacked
As is typically the case with highly-anticipated releases, several rumors have flared regarding Rodeo and it’s buttoned-up guest lineup. Yesterday, a photo of the album’s packaging surfaced the net, revealing the tracklist.
According to the above photo, Kanye, Toro y Moi, and The Weeknd all make appearances, in addition to Future and 2 Chainz (who appear on “3500”). But the speculation doesn’t stop there. Per the rumor mill, names like ScHoolboy Q, Juicy J, and Justin Bieber are also reportedly involved. A couple since-deleted tweets popped up over the last few weeks, including the below, that teased the possible lineup.
Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Future, The Weeknd, 2 Chainz, Juicy J and ScHoolboy Q will all be featured on Rodeo.— (@RodeoTheAlbum) August 20, 2015
Bieber x Travis $cott can't believe im saying that but that track— Josh P. (@j_pollack11) August 20, 2015
While this all should be taken with a grain of salt, the news certainly confirms one thing: Rodeo is poised to be one hell of an event. On the production side of things, Metro Boomin, Mike Dean, Kanye, WondaGurl, and 808 Mafia are just some of the sonic architects.
It Won’t Sound Like Days Before Rodeo & It's By And For the Youth
Just like the shift in sonics from Owl Pharoah to DBR, don’t expect the Rodeo to sound like anything you’ve heard on the prior projects. While talking to Complex last year about Days Before, Travis’ response to a question about whether or not the vibes of DBR will trickle onto Rodeo, was simple: “Fuck no.”
Elaborating a little further, he said, “It’s so good. It’s opposite of what a rapper should be doing, which is awesome.”
In addition to providing something that’s missing, a big message that has come along with this album is Trav’s focus on highlighting the youth. From recruiting a young talent pool to join him on production side to the “super tangible” action figure that accompanies the LP, Travis is catering to his core. In an interview with L.A. Leakers a few months back, he also relayed that message. “I’ve been working like a year for this, fighting for what I wanted for this album, just for the kids, just to make it right,” he said. “So, I’m excited.”
Overall: Expect Nothing Short Of Great
Given the frenetic waves that vibrate from Owl Pharoah and Days Before Rodeo, expect Trav’s new album to crack through the pavement— and then some. And according to the “Antidote” rapper’s mentor T.I., fans should also expect the “and the some,” because as he puts, it’ll be something for the books. “It’s probably the most impactful debut album since Kendrick,” Tip told REVOLT a few months back. That same message was shared by Trav’s DJ, Chase B. “Moving forward, it’s really about building off of [Days Before Rodeo] and really developing one of the best debut albums of all time.”