Cape Town – Travis Scott’s new album Astroworld was released on Friday and was met with controversy, after it emerged that transgender model Amanda Lepore was edited out of the album cover. The photo editing resulted in a storm of backlash from fans who accused Scott of being trans-phobic.
Scott has since released a statement about the photo editing apologising to the LGBTI community at large and addressing Lepore directly. You can read that full statement here.
This past weekend’s headlines about the exclusion of Lepore aren’t the only things critics are saying about the rapper’s third studio album. It has also been met with a wave of praise by the majority of music critics all over the world.
I have to agree because I think that most of these songs are going to do well on radio and that especially on a song like No Bystanders we’re getting a mainstream rapper at the top of his game. It’s probably my least favourite song in terms of lyrical content but that being said it is well produced and catchy.
LISTEN TO NO BYSTANDERS HERE:
Some of my favourite songs on the album are when Scott collaborates with artists that provide soft rhythmic beats and reprises to his hard macho verses. A good example of this is on a song like Skeletons which was produced by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Pharrell Williams and others; it features The Weeknd.
The interlacing of different genres and ideas results in a finished product that stands apart from a lot of tracks on the charts because it achieves a perfect balance that’s tough to achieve.
LISTEN TO SKELETON HERE:
What’s also absorbing about this album is that Scott gives us insight into his highly scrutinised private life. On a track titled Coffee Bean he says: “Your family told you I'm a bad move/Plus I'm already a black dude/Leavin' the bathroom, my hands is half-rinsed” and "It's been a week and a half since/We ain't been speaking in mad mins/You feeling free in my absence/I've been going through a lot behind this glass tint, yeah."
The references to his relationship with mega-star Kylie Jenner and their woes make for refreshingly sporadic moments of vulnerability amongst a lot of male bravado about sex and drugs.
LISTEN TO COFFEE BEAN HERE:
I think that is great album that deserves praise for its most forward thinking, genre-bending moments and collaborations. It’s one of the best of the year and I think offers a mix of light and dark that will appeal to most modern rap fans.
Best track: Coffee Bean
Worst track: No Bystanders
Sounds like: Hip-hop and rap