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It was only two years ago a homeless Travi$ Scott was introduced to Kanye West and out of nowhere a name no one knew was on the track-list for one of the biggest albums of the year, Cruel Summer. Thrown into the extravagant world of rap, fashion and all the accompanying amenities that follow this lifestyle, for a man of 20 years old and new to the industry this could be a dangerous path. But with Kanye West and T.I as mentors he has paved a pathway to stardom. With a solo record deal with T.I's label Grand Hustle and a production deal with Kanye's imprint G.O.O.D music, it seems he has the best of both to expose his talents. And from what we have seen with the well received release of his debut EP Owl Pharaoh and production work on both Yeezus and Magna Carta Holy Grail, Travis is certainly knocking heads with the elites.

So it would seem he has got himself in a very comfortable position. However the opening track of Days Before Rodeo would tell a very different story. 'The Prayer' finds Travis in a dead end. "Drunks laps runnin' 'round the glow wild goose chasin', after three number one albums woulda thought I'd feel amazin', still impatient, still sippin' on liquor." As the murmuring groan of the baseline and despairing keys come in, Travis continues his tail of sorrow. "In your club, on your couch, just got paid to be here, On your girl rubbin' on my favourite features, how could they tease us, only wanted of Ben Franklins and Mona Lisas." It seems his sudden rise of success has not been deemed satisfactory and on his journey has even made a few enemies. This rut he finds himself has most certainly found Travis leaping into uncharted territory. As Days Before Rodeo continues, it doesn't find Travis completing reinventing his sound, but it certainly does find a largely successful progression into some truly intriguing areas.

A comparison that is often made with Travis is that of his likeliness to Kanye West and Kid Cudi. However this is addressed. Kanye has been labelled the perfectionist, and on previous work Travis certainly showed signs of this extravagance. Whilst this certainly isn't a bad thing, Travis certainly had to form his own identity. Throughout this album a much darker sound is formed. Moving away from the perfectionist standpoint, he opts for a lot of dirty and murky sounds, added with distorted voices making for quite a grimacing listen. His almost becomes the director rather than the writer. The almost hostile stadium anthem 'Zombies' and the western inspired 'Mamacita' are perfect examples of this new tone. Features come from the likes of Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan and the Migos. All of these artists have some of the most interesting and challenging voices in hip-hop and Travis almost uses them as instruments to play into this world of his own.

Over 'Metro Boomin' assisted spaced out synths on 'Skyfall' Travis declares "I don't wanna buy no more, Your shit ain't gettin' me high no more." He continues to preach "I never got down with the morals of Martin Luther, Im just tryna ball, why these niggas want me neutered?" Travis has always been sonically pleasing to listen to both vocally and through his production, which truly gives him the label of an artist. However it does become slightly overbearing, specifically 'Sloppy Toppy' almost seeming to be a parody of this new approach. This does change as towards the end of the album, with a change of a lighter tone which allows Travis to flex his rapping skills. The drowsy 'Backyard' and elevating 'Grey' both reach out a hand for a moment of variation. Yet when a lighter club hit is attempted with 'Don't Play' it can't help but feel out of place.

A huge aspect of Travis's sound is his willingness of expression and honesty, especially when it comes to females. On his previous work we had the beautifully sincere 'Hell Of A Night', this time round we have the harrowingly isolated 'Drugs You Should try it'. He comparers a certain relationship of his to that of the one he has with drugs. "We up all night, from dawn to dust it's always poppin', I fell in love, fell outta love, we both had options, I played the drums, she rolled the joints, I rocked the club, we both throw up, We was the band you never heard before." These frank confessions layer forlorn guitar strings that amble in with distant high hats. The song offers a painful insight into a sincere memory.

While some may feel he opts for style over substance, all the distorted baselines and 'straight up' ad-libs play a purpose and a role. Days Before Rodeo proves Travis does everything for a reason. When listening to the album each song plays a role and as a whole it makes for a incredibly engrossing experience. While his lyrically ability may be questioned, it doesn't really cross your mind when you are in awe of the piece that he has painted for you. He has a mission statement and he is going to stick by it. "We will understand it if they don't, we don't want they bullshit no more." It wouldn't be a stretch to say Travi$ Scott could be at the forefront for a new generation of hip-hop that have their eyes on the bigger picture.

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