Miko Malabute | Tuesday, September 8, 2015
During Notre Dame’s dominant win over the Texas Longhorns Saturday night, former Indiana State Police Sergeant Tim McCarthy left the fans in the stadium one of his last punny anti-drunk driving messages. To paraphrase: if you drive half lit, you aren’t very bright. However, Travis Scott’s debut album, “Rodeo,” poses the question: what happens when a person is fully “lit” (different meaning of the word)? Does that make them fully bright? Because that is exactly how I would characterize Scott on his debut album.
Scott is known for three things: his characteristic auto-tuned delivery, his dark-yet-catchy song style and his catchphrase ad-lib, “It’s lit!” This album is chock-full of all three of these. The 14-track project features several sure-fire hits, with “3500” and “Antidote” released as singles previewing the album’s style. After listening to these two songs on repeat, I was convinced that I myself had an auto-tuned voice, braids and a knack for producing absolute bangers. The lyric content is good, if not simplistic. But “simplistic” in this sense is not condescending or negative at all. In fact, it works directly in Scott’s favor, enticing listeners to chant choruses and short, concise verses along with him over and over again.
The features on the project are also noteworthy. Guest appearances by hip-hop A-list names such as Future, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, The Weeknd and Kanye West help add a sense of vindication to the project’s likability (as if it needed any). Furthermore, pop superstar and Scott’s friend Justin Bieber, along with up-and-coming rapper Young Thug, also hops on the project’s album-exclusive “Maria I’m Drunk” to create yet another simple-yet-catchy song, with a seductively dark, unorthodox feel. The guest list itself ensures that the project is a success — not just off of name power alone, but quality by those big names. However, even without these A-list artists, Scott has demonstrated the ability to succeed on his own.
As is unfortunately all too common in today’s age, “Rodeo” leaked about a week prior to its official release. However, the album’s quality and likability was enough to compel people to support the debut effort by the artist, as evidenced by its position at No. 1 on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart and number two overall on the iTunes chart. There’s a maxim that says, “Everyone says it, so it must be true.” With so many cosigns and a loyal, rabid fan base propelling the album to success, it’s safe to say that “Rodeo” is absolutely “lit” and, therefore, very much brilliant.
Tracks: “3500,” “Antidote,” “Maria I’m Drunk”
If you like: Kanye West, Young Thug, Justin Bieber