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Breaking down the Lyrics on ‘ASTROWORLD’ by ‘Travis Scott’

Released: 2018

Label: Cactus Jack / Epic

Ain’t no cap, ‘ASTROWORLD’ was a straight trip, man! The kinda trip only a legend like Travis Scott could take us on. This album, y’all, it ain’t just music – it’s culture, history, and bold strokes of genius all woven into a wild audio panorama. It’s a homage to Travis’s roots in H-Town, a nod to the now-defunct theme park where he once caught dreams and nightmares, and a defiant manifesto of his evolution as an artist.

From the celestial vibes of ‘STARGAZING’ to wildin’ out on ‘SICKO MODE,’ the extravagant eulogy ‘R.I.P. SCREW,’ to the spiritual reckoning on ‘STOP TRYING TO BE GOD,’ ‘ASTROWORLD’ is a lyrical odyssey that spirals through the smoky haze of imagination, inspiration, and introspection. It’s a soundscape sculpted with adroit lyricism and layered with complex metaphors that mirror the intricate maze that is Scott’s mind.

Drenched in auto-tune and reverberating with heavy bass, his lyrics bang with the signature swagger of trap, yet they echo with a depth that transcends the genre. Dissecting this album feels like peeling back layers of an enigma. You think you get it, then a bar hits you, and you’re lost in the astroworld again.

From the dark corners of ‘5% TINT’ and ‘NC-17’ to the uplifting notes in ‘YOSEMITE’ and ‘BUTTERFLY EFFECT,’ to the introspective narrative of ‘HOUSTONFORNICATION’ and the contemplative lines of ‘COFFEE BEAN,’ the lyrical depth of this album is as vast as the cosmos that inspired it.

So let’s get into it. From sharp flows to slick metaphors, here’s breaking down the lyrics on ‘ASTROWORLD’ by Travis Scott.

1.
STARGAZING

He’s painting a vivid, trippy tapestry of his roller-coaster ride to stardom, laced with introspective accounts of his past traumas and present triumphs. The Houston native’s shout-out to AstroWorld, the defunct theme park of his youth, is particularly poignant, serving as a metaphor for his own journey and the ups and downs of life in the limelight. Scott’s unapologetic braggadocio, blending with raw emotion and the rigors of fame, mirrors the nocturnal, atmospheric production, creating a hypnotic sonic experience that sets the tone for the rest of the album.

2.
CAROUSEL

Symbolizing the relentless cycle of life and fame, Scott presents a vivid depiction of his headspace, grappling with success, paranoia, and fading youth. The track showcases his mastery in blending harsh realities with emotional undertones, underscored by complex lyricism. The lyric “Parked at the Days Inn, ain’t takin’ no days in” speaks volume about his relentless grind, while phrases like “I live paranoid, hesitatin'” and “They bitin’, they bitin’, the cadence” reveal an artist vested deep in introspection, acutely aware of the pitfalls of fame. Simply put, “CAROUSEL” is a breathtaking, introspective ride on the wild, chaotic twirls of Scott’s ‘ASTROWORLD’.

3.
SICKO MODE

The track flawlessly maneuvers through three beat switches, mimicking a roller-coaster ride through the rapper’s psyche. Scott’s lyricism is on full display as he details his journey from grinding in Houston to popping tags with industry heavyweights. Notable lines about his early hustle, his lavish lifestyle, and candid nods to his personal life are mingled with braggadocious bars, underlining the dichotomy of his skyrocketing success and the reality checks it brings. Scott’s knack for painting vivid scenarios, blending elements of luxury, love, struggle, and triumph makes ‘SICKO MODE’ a quintessential exhibit of his surreal, often tumultuous, narrative that underpins ‘ASTROWORLD’.

4.
R.I.P. SCREW

SCREW,” a soulful dirge off ‘ASTROWORLD’. Scott’s lyrics drip with admiration and melancholy for the Houston legend, credited for creating the ‘chopped and screwed’ method – slowing down tracks to a lethargic, dreamlike pace. With lines like “Rest in peace to Screw, tonight we take it slowly”, Scott spotlights Screw’s impact on his music, evoking that same languid tempo Screw was renowned for. Yet, Scott balances this tribute with astute observations about the trappings of success and the emptiness it can bring. This track is a heartfelt ode, a deceptively profound commentary, and a shining example of Scott’s lyrical prowess in one single hit.

5.
STOP TRYING TO BE GOD

Coated in metaphor and symbolism, Travis unravels an introspective narrative questioning the authenticity of one’s self-proclaimed ‘godliness’. The repetitious phrase – “Stop tryna be God”- is the central theme, challenging the self-inflated, invincible personas many adopt. The song hints at a journey of self-realization and coming to terms with one’s humanity. It’s not just a track; it’s a mirror held up to society, reflecting our obsession with power and control. In all, Travis Scott created a lyrical masterpiece that delves deep into the human condition while laying down some of the waviest sounds in the industry.

6.
NO BYSTANDERS

He spits bars about indulging in life’s excesses and not letting anyone stand in his way. Infused with undertones of nihilism and hedonism, Scott lays down how he navigates the nightlife, unburdened by conscience or limitations. The lyrics serve as a cautionary tale, Souf souced with Texan bravado and a hint of dystopia. The repeated line “The party never ends” is both a celebration and a lament, encapsulating the endless cycle of pleasure and pain, payback and penance that comes with life in the fast lane. In true La Flame fashion, he’s lighting up the club, but don’t get it twisted—there’s a deeper introspection here amidst the turn-up anthem vibes.

7.
SKELETONS

The lyrics paint a vivid picture of hedonistic lifestyle and the emotional toll it can take, all encapsulated within a cryptic metaphor of “standing in the ocean.” Scott dextrously navigates through themes of fame, fortune, love, and loss, displaying a vulnerability that’s refreshing in its honesty. What’s not to love about a platinum-certified emcee who’s not afraid to mix tales of Coachella checks with introspective musings? With his spat bars and wordplay, Scott creates a lyrically immersive world, enveloping the listener in his challenging, yet enthralling sonic universe of ‘ASTROWORLD’.

8.
WAKE UP

He doesn’t shy away from expressing his erotic desires, adding a layer of authenticity to his verses. Through his lyrics, he channels the intoxicating allure of power, affluence, and the paradoxical realities of his life. The sense of almost cherishing his dream state blurs the barriers between reality and fantasy. He uses the enticing metaphor of a dream he doesn’t want to wake up from to symbolize his desire to constantly be immersed in this state of ecstasy. Scott creates a vivid image, presenting a narrative that is as much a statement about his own life as it is a reflection of the cultural zeitgeist.

9.
5% TINT

Scott’s lyrical flow weaves intoxicating narratives and complex emotions, luring us deep into his surreal and often ominous landscape. His portrayal of a clandestine world, symbolized by the “creeping” through tinted windows, builds an aura of suspense, rooted in the paranoia of fame and celebrity scrutiny. In the midst of this cinematic exposition, Scott maintains his Houston authenticity, and astutely weaves references to Southern culture and lingering tensions. The song serves as a testament to his versatility; a gritty testament that stays true to his roots while pushing boundaries of rap-as-art.

10.
NC-17

The lyrics delve into his unabashed, nonconformist approach towards sex and relationships, laced with mentions of jewelry, fame, and the gang lifestyle. Travis employs vivid and at times surreal imageries, evoking the chaos and euphoria of a lustful late-night rush. Additionally, the song subtly brings out Scott’s belief in commitment and loyalty towards both relationships and his crew. Juxtaposing the raw with the profound, “NC-17” is an audacious dive into Scott’s inner psyche, laying bare the complexities of his lifestyle and personality.

11.
ASTROTHUNDER

The lyrics reveal a vulnerable Scott, striving to reconcile with the life he dreams of, while being caught up in the whirlwind of fame and excess. He speaks of yearning for peace and blessings, yet being carried away by cycles of sin and excess. It’s a poignant look into his psyche—partly a confession, partly a cri de coeur. He’s not teaching here, only practicing, confronting his demons in a universe of his own—his Astroworld.

12.
YOSEMITE

Through his words, he provides a feverish flashback of his journey from the streets of Houston to the top echelons of the rap game. His versification reflects an unapologetic braggadocio, celebrating his meteoric rise and brandishing his high-end fashion, opulent wealth, and unstoppable grind. Paying homage to iconic luxury brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Rolex, and Patek, Scott paints a vivid picture of his opulence and success. Yet, there’s a subtext of unfulfilled satisfaction and a relentless pursuit of power, signaling the paradox of success. Every line pulsates with his ambition and desire, serving as a visceral testimony of his incredible ascent in the unforgiving world of hip-hop.

13.
CAN’T SAY

He paints vivid pictures of late-night exploits, abundant substance use, and sexual conquests, embodying the outward glamor of rap stardom. Yet, he’s simultaneously cautionary, laying down the hard street reality of needing to “watch for 12” (avoid the police) or potentially getting “killed” around his own town. Noting his high ambitions with “I’m high above the rim,” Scott further highlights the dichotomy of his life – soaring success against a backdrop of potential peril. This track serves as a chilling reminder that beneath the glitz of hip-hop fame, real-life challenges persist, influenced by socio-economic contexts.

14.
WHO? WHAT!

Referencing how he came up from humble origins to his current opulent lifestyle, he lyrically navigates through a terrain filled with pork and rinds, a nod to his Southern roots, and expansive lands with no fences, which metaphorically alludes to his unbounded ambition. Scott embodies the dichotomy of keeping it real while living the high life – from Gucci to La Ferrari, the ghetto to the Hills. But even with the glitz, he never deposits his street cred at the door, maintaining his ‘ghetto ties’ and subtly hinting at the tension that arises when trying to balance both worlds. On this track, Scott delivers raw emotion and lays out his life with an unflinching honesty that’s as intoxicating as it is refreshing.

15.
BUTTERFLY EFFECT

The Houston rapper deftly weaves his flashy lifestyle narrative with imagery of Hidden Hills and M&M’s, sweet like candy cane. His lyrics oscillate between the euphoric highs of fortune — the chains, the top-down rides, the “main” — and the inescapable realities of fame and excess. All the while, Scott, the maestro, conducts this lavish symphony of sounds with an unflinching steely gaze on the impermanence of it all — “For this life, I cannot change.” The track underscores the contradictions in Scott’s neon-lit world where the lavish often collides with the grim, a space where the palpability of fleeting fame and elusive contentment converges.

16.
HOUSTONFORNICATION

The lyricism here is deep, not just referencing the hedonism often associated with success in the hip-hop game, but also the pervasive paranoia and isolation that creeps in. Lines about feeling imprisoned in his own homes, cutting off his phone to maintain his sanity, and being careful about who to trust, point to the personal toll that comes with fame and fortune. It’s a potent reminder that beneath the glitz and glamour, there’s often a rapper wrestling with his reality, dealing with pressures observers can’t see. But ever the optimist, Travis insists on reinventing himself amidst the chaos, the ‘new renovations’ are a constant evolution, a theme consistent in his work.

17.
COFFEE BEAN

In this inward journey, Scott contemplates his past relationships, societal pressures, and the tribulations of fame, using the metaphor of a ‘coffee bean’, an unfiltered, raw, and natural form of self. It’s an unexpected ending to the ‘ASTROWORLD’ rollercoaster ride, serving as a sobering comedown after the adrenaline rush. Scott’s authentic self-reflection provides a resonant conclusion to an album deeply steeped in his Houston roots. It’s here that we get a reminder that beneath the star-studded collaborations and hype, there’s a real human grappling with real issues.

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