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

Released: 2015

Label: Cactus Jack / Epic

Featuring: Quavo, Future, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Kacy Hill, The Weeknd, Swae Lee, Chief Keef, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Young Thug, Toro y Moi, ScHoolboy Q

Travis Scott, the spaced-out virtuoso who emerged on the hip-hop landscape with his groundbreaking LP, ‘Rodeo’, transformed the sonic architecture of the genre. This album elevated him from the status of an ambitious understudy to Kanye West to an inimitable force, pushing boundaries and challenging conventions. His melodic sorcery is showcased in tracks like “Antidote” and “90210”, while his ability to synchronize with the zeitgeist is evident in “Piss On Your Grave”, featuring the rap titan, Kanye himself. The raw, unfiltered emotion in “Impossible” and Scott’s transformational narrative spun in “Oh My Dis Side” and “I Can Tell”, add more dimension to the album.

‘Rodeo’ is an auditory moonscape, brimming with innovative production techniques and peppered with notable features from Quavo, Future, 2 Chainz, The Weeknd, and others. The album has a transformative quality, it’s more than just music, it’s a journey through the psyche of an artist caught between the high towers of fame and the gritty alleyways of his past. It’s an exploration of the duality that exists within the concept of success in the hip-hop culture, a story told through the lens of a visionary who dares to venture into the realm of the unorthodox.

So, without further adieu, let’s get into it. From “Pornography” to “Never Catch Me”, here are the breaking down the lyrics on ‘Rodeo’ by ‘Travis Scott’.

1.
Pornography

La Flame mirrors his own struggle to breakout in the saturated hip-hop scene, choosing explicit rebellion over subservient compliance. The track bathes in hedonistic indulgence, painting a harrowing picture of a generation caught in a crossfire of vices yet yearning for control. The unapologetic energy Scott expels speaks volumes of a spirit unyielding to authority, echoing sentiments of countless youth feeling similarly trapped. As our ears bear witness to this gritty narrative, we are left with a haunting image of the raw, relentless force that is Travis Scott.

2.
Oh My Dis Side (feat. Quavo)

This track is a true testament to their struggles, with Scott reflecting on his journey from the rough-and-tumble streets of Houston to his Hollywood high life, signified by the lingering phrase “oh my.” Quavo echoes this sentiment, narrating the trials of his Atlanta upbringing. The lyrics trace their ascensions, painting a vivid picture of the dichotomies they faced: the harsh reality of the streets juxtaposed with the opulence of their current status. Their shared hook, “I’ve been up for a long time,” underlines the relentless grind and tenacity that have been their tickets out of hardship.

3.
3500 (feat. Future & 2 Chainz)

Travis uses powerful yet cryptic lyrical structures, painting a picture of his own daring persona, notorious for pushing the boundaries in his art and lifestyle. He’s celebrating the trill culture, which is a heavyweight statement in the South. The lyrics, layered through with references to expensive coats, illicit substances, and loyalty to his crew, the song screams authenticity and audacity, reflecting both the larger-than-life and gritty realities of the hip-hop scene.

4.
Wasted (feat. Juicy J)

Evoking images of late-night benders and reckless abandon, LaFlame recounts a narrative of debauchery, rapping about the risk and the hustle with an intoxicating blend of bravado and vulnerability. The track oozes a chaotic-yet-mesmerizing honesty, perfectly capturing the essence of the high-velocity, high-stakes world that Scott and featured artist Juicy J navigate. It’s a deep dive into the shadows and excesses of fame—a dizzying confessional that explores the intoxication of success and the dangers of excess. A H-Town anthem, no doubt, but it’s also a mirror held up to the face of the high life in the rap game.

5.
90210 (feat. Kacy Hill)

Travis Scott sheds light on the depravity of the ‘City of Angels,’ where dreams are as easily made as they are broken. The bars paint a vivid image of a young woman, lost in the glimmering Hollywood lifestyle – a metaphor for his own journey navigating the treacherous rap game. The second half lays bare Scott’s evolution, reflecting on his grind, success and the shifting dynamics it’s brought. Granny’s advice, Mama’s proud tears, homies switching up – it’s the whole picture, no cap. Man, this joint ain’t just a trip to Beverly Hills – it’s a deep dive into Scott’s psyche.

6.
Pray 4 Love (feat. The Weeknd)

It’s a matter of perspective, balancing personal demons, racial tension, and the pressures of fame. La Flame spits with a certain self-awareness, knowing his platform allows him to echo the voices of many unheard. With The Weeknd providing the haunting chorus, Travis dwells on societal ills, success’s perils, and personal struggles. Seek not love, they advise, but survival. The juxtaposition of intoxication, carnal exploits, and pursuit of social justice capture hip-hop’s paradox; Travis’s lyrical content covers a gamut of experiences, from gritty street tales to lavish lifestyles, making ‘Pray 4 Love’ an exemplar track of Rodeo’s thematic complexity.

7.
Nightcrawler (feat. Swae Lee & Chief Keef)

Tripping on the dichotomy of glitz and grimness, the track is a nocturnal anthem delving into ephemeral pleasures – money, women, and hooch. It’s a soliloquy on Scott’s meteoric rise, contrasting his past in the ‘hood with his new Hollywood milieu. The genius lies in the raw portrayal of excesses, unashamed and unapologetic. The lyrics, laden with references to high living, audibly smirk at critiques, a testament to Scott’s unflinching authenticity. “Nightcrawler” is a testament to Scott’s love for the night, the wild hedonistic energy that dwells within it, and the unfettered lifestyle of a superstar.

8.
Piss On Your Grave (feat. Kanye West)

The rebellion against industry practices is palpable, with audacious lyrics and a contentious tone. It’s a powerful statement of reclaiming ownership and power. The wall of feedback and distortion creates an unsettling atmosphere fitting of the lyrical content. Travis’s raw rage expresses the struggles of an artist grappling with the industry’s politicking. Kanye’s influence is apparent and adds to the track’s weight. Their fearless lyricism symbolizes artists who refuse to be mistreated or underestimated, marking a significant milestone in Scott’s evolution. A grim, controversial, but unforgettable standout on ‘Rodeo’.

9.
Antidote

This trippy trap masterpiece stitches together familiar Scott themes of prescription drug use and unapologetic hedonism within the backdrop of L.A.’s nocturnal playground, setting the stage for what essentially is ‘all we know’. Scott draws you in with a commanding chorus, then uncorks a torrent of introspective rhymes hinting at his struggles with fame. The repetitive refrain about not letting out the ‘antidote’ is a metaphorical plea to keep the party (and perhaps his own demons) going. It’s quintessential Travis Scott – a dark, menacing soundscape cocooning lyrics that are as introspective as they are decadent.

10.
Impossible

He’s candor personified, admitting his flaws and painting a picture of longing for something unattainable. Scott’s lyrical voyage navigates through battles with substance abuse, longing for a love interest, and dealing with the glow and gloom of stardom. On the west side, away from the drugs, he acknowledges he’s “not the best guy,” yet he’s still the one she turns to. This complex relationship, one built on convenience, mutual dependency, and a shared need for escape, is the lifeblood of “Impossible.” Travis doesn’t just give us a song; he gives us an honest introspection etched in a haunting soundscape, making the “impossible” a mesmerizing reality.

11.
Maria I’m Drunk (feat. Justin Bieber & Young Thug)

Taking the stage alongside Justin Bieber and Young Thug, La Flame gives us raw verses soaked in lust and debauchery, painting a picture of intoxicated yearning. Scott’s lyrics reveal a soul on the fringes of reason, grasping for connection amidst a haze of booze and smoke, with the elusive ‘Maria’ symbolising both a person and a state of mind. By infusing the raw emotion of the club culture and the wild nights that go down in the City of Angels, Scott created a anthem for the lost and lovelorn that’s both intoxicating in its sound and incisive in its portrayal of the fast life in hip-hop.

12.
Flying High (feat. Toro y Moi)

Dropping fly lines with Toro y Moi, Travis paints the picture of his hard-earned success, using the metaphor of constant flight. The track is filled with self-admiration and boasts, though they’re colored by darker hints of the sacrifices and challenges that come with hustle and fame. Travis references his Houston roots and the hedonistic lifestyle his successes afforded him, alluding to past experiences and cravings. The interplay between satisfaction and the struggle to maintain it is powerful, adding emotional weight to the braggadocious lyrics.

13.
I Can Tell

The lyrics reveal not just Scott’s personal odyssey but also his critical commentary on the industry, narrating the high and low points of his rise to stardom. “I can tell” becomes a repeated mantra encapsulating his astuteness and instinct; he can tell genuine from counterfeit, triumph from deceit. The line “They said my way of making dollars never made sense” throws a lyrical one-two punch at the naysayers who doubted his unique approach to hip-hop. Peppered with nostalgic references – a nod to the “504 hot boys,” a shout-out to Fort Bend – Travis Scott unflinchingly paints a vivid tableau of his hip-hop genesis in this track.

14.
Apple Pie

Not confining himself to his mother’s “apple pie,” Scott underlines his intent to create his own legacy, one that he will sweeten to his taste. His quest for individuality is wrapped in the dizzying glamour of fame and fortune, using the grandeur of Houston’s lifestyle as his backdrop. Peppered with rich metaphors like “25 lighters on my dresser,” he cleverly links success with self-reliance. The tune includes poignant retrospection, a firm testimony from Scott that serves as a testament to his invincible spirit – he won’t be just another name swallowed up in the game, he’s here to uplift and augment Houston’s legacy, not just partake in it.

15.
Ok Alright (feat. ScHoolboy Q)

Scott’s repeated phrase, “Should have never let us in,” reflects defiance and celebration of his position in the industry, even as he was initially rejected. The lyrics weave a compelling narrative about a climb from the bottom to the top. ScHoolboy Q’s verse adds another layer, with candid talk about his journey from poverty to success. This is hip-hop in its purest form—unfiltered expressions of where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re headed.

16.
Never Catch Me

The song’s lyrical content is laced with references to his relentless ambition, hustling past adversity, and determination to never fall off the game. He acknowledges the pitfalls and vices threatening his path but remains defiant, reaffirming that he will remain steadfast, indicated by the repetitious line, “never catch me falling off.” This track encapsulates the ethos of the album, offering listeners a raw glimpse into the life and psyche of the ‘Astroworld’ maestro.

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