Ever since Jacques Berman Webster II, AKA Travis Scott, burst onto the music scene, his experimental and psychedelic hip-hop style has taken the world by storm. Starting with his first official mixtape release, Travis Scott has defined a new genre of hip hop and inspired a generation of artists to follow in his footsteps. Today, we’re going to be ranking Travis Scott’s five major albums, starting with Owl Pharaoh all the way to his most recent and widely hyped release: Astroworld. We’ll be leaving out his side projects Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho, and Jackboys.
5: Travis Scott’s first official album-Owl Pharaoh
Starting at fifth place is Travis’s first official mixtape release in 2013: Owl Pharaoh. On Owl Pharaoh, Scott experiments with his sound, not quite reaching the psychedelic highs of his later albums but forming the base of what would eventually become his style. Standout tracks include “Uptown” featuring A$AP Ferg, an artist who was facing a similar rise in popularity at the time. “Quintana” remains as one of Travis’s iconic tracks, and is beloved by die-hard fans. It’s in these tracks that you get a hint of what Travis Scott would eventually be, but the rough sound of the other tracks leaves this project in fifth place.
4: Days Before Rodeo– Travis Scott’s second mixtape
Days Before Rodeo, Travis’s second-ever mixtape, places fourth on our list. If Owl Pharaoh was Travis experimenting with his sound, DBR is perhaps the closest precursor to his signature style that we see before he eventually nails it on his later projects. DBR’s eclectic mix of bangers and slower songs makes for a vibrant and interesting soundscape that entices from the beginning. From Sloppy Toppy to Skyfall-the beginning of a long and musically incredible set of collaborations with Young Thug-Travis has something for everyone on this project. Not to mention Drugs You Should Try It, arguably one of Travis’s most iconic songs and the one that he has called the favorite that he has ever made. Travis’s progression between Owl Pharaoh and DBR is hugely significant, which is why we placed DBR at fourth.
Perhaps a controversial take, Astroworld has been placed third on our list for a number of reasons. While the album’s sound was unique and thrilling, it seemed to be more of a novelty than a deliberate stylistic direction by Travis. The theme park motif was exciting, playing into several of the songs on the album including the intro Stargazing. Sicko Mode was of course the standout hit from the record, with supporting acts such as No Bystanders, Skeletons, and Houstonfornication filling out the rest. The replayability value of the album as a whole however is low, and we found that there had to be a certain mood for Astroworld to fit into, whereas the remaining two albums were more applicable to many situations.
2: Birds in the Trap
Birds in the Trap is perhaps Travis Scott’s most iconic summer banger album, featuring hits such as Way Back, Pick up the Phone, and Goosebumps with Kendrick Lamar. What the album lacks in narrative structure it makes up with stellar, replayable tracks with a wide array of features and sounds. Travis has a way of utilizing every one of his features to their maximum potential and this can be heard in 21 Savage’s confident cadence on Outside, and Andre 3000’s interlude on The Ends. This record places second for the sheer timelessness of its tracks, able to be played in any setting.
And finally, in first place, is Travis Scott’s first studio album: Rodeo. Rodeo was released in 2015 and initially did not receive high praise from media critics. In fact, Pitchfork has it rated the lowest out of his three studio albums, at a 6.0. However, as time has passed, many have come to recognize the revolutionary nature of Rodeo. Rodeo redefined the trap genre, with moody and spacey sounds interspersed with excellent storytelling and a beautiful narrative structure. Narrated by T.I, Rodeo tells the story of Travis’s upbringing and his introduction to the world of hip hop, money, drugs, and fame. Rodeo is real, it doesn’t glamorize the journey but tells it for what it is: a grind. Rodeo is the ultimate culmination of Travis’s sound, one that he had been looking for on Days Before Rodeo, but finally perfected on this record. This album places first for its cultural impact and phenomenal track listing, featuring hits such as 90210, I Can Tell, and Antidote, among others. There is one weak point on the album, however, the track Flying High does not live up to the standard that the other songs set, but it can be excused given the almost perfect nature of the rest of the album.
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