On April 5, 2016, Travis Scott hopped on Twitter, purged his log of published tweets, and left the focus on one 31-character message: "BIRDS IN THE TRAP SING MCKNIGHT." At the time, it was unclear whether or not this title referred to an album or impending song release. Five months removed, the birds are chirping and it's Scott's sophomore album, which arrives today (September 2) — almost a year to the date the rapper dropped Rodeo.
At 14 tracks, the album finds Travis leaving the Houston rodeo to concoct his own trap fantasy, wherein he ropes far-flung guests André 3000, Blac Youngsta, Cassie, 21 Savage, and Kid Cudi in his trappy underworld. Sadly, there is no Brian McKnight appearance, but this sonic palette is enticing enough to get the birds chirping. Debuted on his ".wav Radio" show on Apple Music, Trav premiered the music and gave some interesting background stories on how specific tracks came together, most notably the Kid Cudi features (yes, plural).
"On 'Way Back' we got some Swizz Beatz on there and ad-libs from Kid Cudi," confirmed Travis' go-to DJ Chase B, before the "Antidote" rapper let out a burst of excitement. "The stars have aligned finally! Scott and Scott have finally linked up on a moon! I wanted him on that song first," Scott said.
Cudi's appearance is only limited to ad-libs on the booming-turned-demonic funk number, but according to Travis, a verse was recorded and will be released soon. "He still has a verse on that song and I might drop that," he revealed. The reason for the omitted verse, as per Scott, is due to a late turnaround. Still, the duo make up for the "Way Back" tease two songs later on "Through the Late Night," which is an undisputed standout on the album.
Other interesting tidbits about the album are the fact that it was almost called Tina and was written during a time that Travis describes as "piss." The rapper was also gracious enough to reveal a brand new song, called "Ra Ra," which features Lil Uzi Vert and does not appear on the album. According to Trav, "It was supposed to be on the album, I didn't finish it."
For more revelations about BITTSM see below.
On getting Nav on "Biebs in the Trap":
"I heard "Ten Toes Down," "Myself," "The Man" and was like, Yo this nigga is hard. I was like this is dope. So I run into my homie Cash and I'm like, 'Yo man you heard of this dude Nav?' He was like, 'Yeah.' So he made that connect and Nav is cool man, he's a real one from the city. He's really from the trap. That's why we have Blac [Youngsta], 21 Savage, Nav on Birds. These people really hold the tone for people from the street and they really put that soul in the music."
On getting Cassie for "SDP Interlude":
"I always thought [her] voice was always underrated. I always thought she, since the Ryan Leslie days, her voice has always been ill. Her falsetto is ill. So she came through and delivered."
On "Sweet Sweet":
"This my favorite f—king song on the album. Shoutout to Murda Beatz for coming through."
Travis Scott's Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight is available now on Apple Music and iTunes.