[REVIEW] Travis Scott - Rodeo

Tomi Milos
September 10, 2015
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

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Rodeo is Travis Scott’s major label debut and boasts the studio-refined polish that is befitting of an artist who counts Kanye West as his mentor.

Despite being laden with all the right features, Scott’s album reeks like the output of someone who would drown without the help of those whose influence he’s leeching off of.

It’s funny that Kanye went from ostracizing Kid Cudi, who he described as his favourite artist in 2010, to singing praises of Scott, who seems intent on trying to become a current day version of the Cleveland rapper.

Everything from Scott’s faux rags to riches tale, his penchant for breezy sing-song melodies, to his adoption of Cudi’s first name (Scott Mescudi) is a poorly veiled attempt at fashioning himself into Kid Cudi 2.0.

After his 30-minute set at this past OVO Fest, Kanye grinned as he introduced Scott as the torchbearer of the new generation before the latter pranced upon stage to begin an energetic performance. Despite the excitement he inspires in crowds, the University of Texas dropout could do with less slack from his G.O.O.D. Music cohorts, as his penchant for disrespecting innocent cameramen and yelling homophobic slurs on stage will begin to grate on even the more buzzy PR companies that desire to propel him to the top of the charts. People were quick to throw Troy Ave, a talentless New York rapper billed as 50 Cent’s heir, to the curb for his shitty views, so why can’t the same be done with Scott?

While Scott doesn’t struggle to produce conventional bangers like Rodeo standouts “Antidote” and “90210,” something tells me

that’s more due to his talented peers than the meagre breadth of his artistic vision. My qualm isn’t with $cott’s induction to the mainstream, but rather with his insistence that he is pushing anything more than an amalgamation of his inspirations.

Billy Haisley best summed up my gripe with Scott in his Deadspin piece, “Travis Scott is Worse Than Iggy Azelea,” when he said: “While he talks a big game about artistry and honesty, almost all of his songs are basic party anthems; he big-ups Drake’s honesty but gets on a track with him (“Company”), waits while Drake drops a verse with concrete images demonstrating his selfish approach to relationships, then kicks a bland verse about doing drugs and hooking up with a completely amorphous girl.”

Kanye plugged millennials heavily during his acceptance speech at the recent VMA’s, but the term when used by West is a general one that only seems to encompass wealthy, apathetic, fake-deep scene kids like Scott, Jaden Smith, Ian Connor and Luka Sabbat. If the youth that Kanye so trusts with revolutionizing the world are simply being weaned on Scott’s bourgeois turn-up plagiarizing then we all have reason to fear the future.

At its best, which isn’t saying a lot, Rodeo reeks of the vapid soma-induced escapism that made Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World so incredibly frightening. In a world where the Yeezy-clad privileged middle-class is so eager to get through the week just so that they pop pills at a club, there remains little hope that anyone will actually do something to change the condition of anything in the world other than their Fear of God-inspired wardrobe.

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