“ASTROWORLD” is Travis Scott’s ode to Houston

Nearly two years after the release of his sophomore LP, rapper-producer Travis Scott dropped his highly anticipated third studio album, “ASTROWORLD”. 

The project is a lowkey homage to the city that raised Scott, which listeners can hear in the album’s funky production, subtle references to Houston roads and landmarks, and smooth interpolations of classic Houston hip-hop songs (the callback to Big Moe’s “Mann” on “RIP SCREW” is a personal favorite).

“ASTROWORLD” is a collaborative work that brings together the joint efforts of hip-hop’s biggest names under Scott’s creative direction. He handles much of the album’s production and enlists several of his peers—Tay Keith (“SICKO MODE”), Sonny Digital (“STARGAZING”) and Boi-1da (“NC-17”)—to help create some of the best beasts on any hip-hop album released this year. Scott also calls on his A-list friends—Drake and Swae Lee (“SICKO MODE”), 21 Savage (“NC-17”), Frank Ocean (“CAROUSEL”) and The Weeknd (“SKELETONS,” “WAKE UP”)—as well as Cactus Jack signees Sheck Wes and Don Toliver (“CAN’T SAY”) to provide features that take the album’s tracks to new heights.

“ASTROWORLD” is arguably Scott’s best album, but like so many other things to which he attaches his name, the LP falls just short of amazing. While I loved the concept, production and hometown appreciation Scott and company served up, the project had little else to offer outside of some southern nostalgia and the glitz and glamour of its star-studded tracklist. I realize that Scott isn’t known for his lyricism, and I’ve come to expect little more than good beats and catchy hooks from him—but at the risk of sounding like an oldhead hip-hop purist, I just wish he’d had something more interesting to rap about than cocaine, parties and Kylie Jenner.

Listen to “ASTROWORLD” on Apple Music and Spotify.