Travis Scott appeared on the scene in 2013 with the release of his debut solo tape. ‘Owl Pharaoh’. He’s gone on to produce and assist on albums with major artists such as Kanye West, Mike Dean, Young Thug, Justin Bieber, Frank Dukes and recently André 3000.
After the fan-acclaimed success of his debut studio album, ‘Rodeo’, throughout 2016, Travis built up hype for his then unannounced title of his pending album. He spammed his Instagram with in-studio photos of him and legendary producer Mike Dean “finishing up the album”, going on tour and keeping his newest music low key. Enough with the waffle, onto the review.
From the beginning with the uncredited unexpected collaboration with André 3000, “The Ends”, Travis sets a dark, drug-fuelled and dynamic approach to how ‘BITTSM’ will differ from his previous release. Over malicious over-the-top guitars, manic synths and not ‘my cup of tea’ auto-tuned to hell vocals to start [“The Ends”], Travis then switches the beat filled with hard-hitting snares and Travis spitting about his rise to success and how he’s now on “billboards”, “watching his back” and staying as the wild card performer/artist he is. However, André’s sing-rap verse steals Travis’ shine. Although KiD CuDi appears on two tracks (“Way Back” / “Through the Late Night”), neither tracks go far enough to compete against some of Travis’ older music. Yet, CuDi’s deep-grunted humming harmonies are a treat as always.
Moving on from the criticism, the first instrumental and vocally that grabbed me was the TM88 “Coordinate”. Before the beat even comes in, Blac Youngsta gives an audacious rant about “wearing Rock star jeans” and “keep on drinking lean”. While it is lyrically, average, the energy, rage and enthusiasm for music that Travis has translates from this track and his trusty catchy ad-libs. Other tracks that notably stand out are the 21 Savage assisted “Outside”, the infectious Quavo and Young Thug featured single “Pick Up The Phone” and Kendrick Lamar’s jaw-dropping verse on “Goosebumps”.
In following up to his last album, ‘Rodeo’, ‘BITTSM’ is a stronger project vocally, instrumentally and how the albums tracks proceed one another. However, the album does lack short in actually keeping Travis interesting. While the instrumentals are the highlights of this album, as well as guest verses, Travis still seems to find time to improve on his writing.