Before I start this review, let’s all take one second to tweet ‘Thank You’ to @therealmikedean on Twitter. After the two or 3 promised release dates for Travis Scott‘s album Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight came and passed, it seemed like we were never going to get the long promised album. But then we got the tweets from the legendary Mike Dean, which meant…it was coming!!!
Trust me kids he’s wild He’s a lunatic for y’all.
It’s almost here @trvisXX
— MIKE DEAN! #MWA (@therealmikedean) August 25, 2016
On September 4th, Travis legendarily debuted the entire project in full on his .wav Radio station that he has within Apple Music. As I sat there listening to Trav and Chase B play through the entire album, I thought damn, this is a masterpiece.
The first song ‘the ends’ is the absolute perfect way to start the album. Filled with Scott’s signature autotune to start, the track quickly transitions into a trippy spaced-out vibe that accompanies some absolute BARS. At this point (listening to the debut on Apple Music), I’m like…I’m glad I waited for this album because DAMN. Then…3 STACKS. None other then Andre 3000 comes in and lays down legendary vocals to end the track. ‘the ends’ = PERFECT INTRO.
‘way back’ is track 2 and is my personal favorite off of the album. This song oozes that Houston sound. Not only does he mention Houston Rocket James Harden right in the chorus, Travis shows sonic versatility with a tempo switch right in the middle of the song. While the beginning of the track shows off that smooth crooning, La Flame comes hard with the bars after a short bridge (he even includes an amazing line about Michael Phelps). Of the entire album, this is the track that would most likely receive the most radio play (in my opinion).
We already knew Travis Scott is a full blown rockstar, but in case that wasn’t clear to some…here is ‘coordinate.’ What sounds like a mixture of Future’s ‘Trap N*gga’ and Wiz Khalifa/Juicy J’s ‘Bossed Up,’ this song nonetheless bumps. 3 tracks in and Travis has already shown growth since his last studio album, Rodeo.
Track 4 is probably one of the most talked about tracks because of the feature from Kid Cudi. His humming in the intro alone is enough to make the song amazing, but then it actually starts. ‘Sleep through day, then we play all through the late night‘ is the likes of the chorus, and that’s when it hit me that they flipped Cudi’s smash hit ‘Day N Nite.’ Then Travis comes in singing word for word ‘Day N Nite…I toss in the turn, I keep stress in my mind mind.’ When I heard this live, I no lie flipped a table. That song was one of the very first songs that got me into hip-hop, so to hear them flip it upside down and put an H-Town spin on it, I was in heaven.
The next 3 songs are a reminder that drugs are very much a part of Trav’s life. ‘biebs in the trap’ offers clever wordplay towards cocaine, while ‘sdp interlude’ insists that we all just go ahead and smoke one, drink one, pop one. And Travis’ favorite (confessed on his radio show) ‘sweet sweet’ is a unique vibe. It’s one of the mellow songs where you just kind of bob your head and scream sweeeeeeeeeet when it comes time.
Songs 8-10 are ones that have legendary back-to-back-to-back features. ‘outside’ is simply one of those JAMS that you bump when your walking down the street with your squad. With help from 21 Savage (21, 21, 21…) this is an absolute banger for you and your friends. Then comes ‘goosebumps’ which gives me literal goosebumps. I lied, this actually might be my favorite song :/. This track is a dark love song that sounds amazing sonically. Plus, to top it it all off, none other than Kendrick Lamar adds a verse to take it to godly level. Bryson Tiller-assisted ‘first take’ comes next and this is one of the better vocal songs on the album. Bryson and Travis’ voices combine to make an absolute beautiful track (let’s hope they do more songs together!!!).
‘Pick Up the Phone’ is next…and I don’t think I need to waste words about how amazing that song is. ‘lose’ has production from Mike Dean, and that becomes evident quickly. Travis raps about being scared to lose his newly claimed fame. This track is one of the strongest, if not THE strongest on the album in terms of production. From front to back this song sonically is a masterpiece.
‘Guidance’ is a dancehall-like vibe that stands out on this album in comparison to the other tracks. Not to say that I don’t like it, but it doesn’t quite fit the style of the rest of the album. Still a good song nonetheless, just interesting placement Trav…
‘Wonderful’ comes as the last track, and as many know, that song came out waaaay before the album. With help from The Weeknd, both of their voices when they “sing” make great music together. Especially over that bass-heavy beat that ‘Wonderful’ has, it’s still an amazing song, even though it came out months ago.
Overall, Travis Scott gets a 9/10 for Birds. It’s clear that Travis wanted to make a masterpiece, and my opinion he did. Obviously nothing will come close to the Days Before Rodeo days, but I think Birds serves as one of Travis’ strongest projects to date. Everything seemed phenomenal. From the production (thank you one more time Mike Dean) to the lyrics, even down to the selection of featured artists, everything seems to me like it was very well done. This album was well worth the wait and will certainly be in discussion for album of the year. What are your guys favorite tracks? Feel free to drop them below in the comments or let us know on Twitter!
Personal Favorites: way back, first take, through the late night
Least Favorites: guidance