For 2 long years, rapper Travis Scott’s 3rd official album has been waited on by many in the hiphop industry. Announcing the album shortly before he released his sophomore album Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, the only real update on the album’s progress had been a vague “soon” given at many points when asked about the release date. Fans had received a collaboration album between him and fellow rapper Quavo entitled Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho as a surprise drop in December of 2017 but we wanted more, we wanted the thing we’d waited for over a year for. We wanted Astroworld. Eventually, come 2018, after many months of waiting for more news on it we got the date we had finally waited so long for, August 3rd. Come that date, ASTROWORLD lived up to all of the hype it had created over this long wait with it’s lush tones, dense lyrical matter, thorough features such as Stevie Wonder and Frank Ocean, and the catchy hooks that had been laid down on tape.
The album starts off with a barrage of trap classics with STARGAZING, CAROUSEL (with a feature from Frank Ocean), and SICKO MODE (with Drake). This barrage of songs creates the feeling of a rollercoaster; a whiplash of sounds and hooks that glaze through your ears at high speed, switching up beats during the halfway point of STARGAZING and twice during SICKO MODE to good effect. Though it takes a few detours with RIP SCREW and STOP TRYING TO BE GOD (which has features from Kid Cudi, James Blake, and Stevie Wonder) they’re greatly welcome to keep the sonic soundscape different and unique from other hip hop releases this year. The album continues on with more songs that would be great in concert or on the radio (NO BYSTANDERS, CAN’T SAY, NC-17), with every song managing to sound different and unique compared to the last, ending with a song reminiscent of Kanye West’s “30 Hours” entitled COFFEE BEAN, a mixture of string sections, guitar strums, and a slight beat as the backdrop to a strong ending track. Considering the context and delivery, ASTROWORLD is looking up to be the best album of 2018, having spent two weeks at #1 after its release and a strong contender for Travis Scott’s best project thus far.