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Meaning of the song ‘SICKO MODE’ by ‘Travis Scott’

Released: 2018

Aight, let’s take a trip through “SICKO MODE”, Travis Scott’s multi-layered banger off his “Astroworld” album. It’s like a rollercoaster with its beat switches and Scott’s signature auto-tuned ad-libs, where Travis flexes his success while reminiscing about his come-up. It’s a trip through the high life, the hustle, and the streets of H-Town, chopped full of references that might go over heads if you ain’t dialed in.

From the jump, “Sun is down, freezing cold,” Travis sets the grim vibes of winter symbolizing the tough times, contrasting his rise from those struggles. His “dawg” would do crazy things for a Louis belt because that’s the only way of life he knows—striving for them status symbols. Travis tried to school his crew, but old habits die hard. Then the beat flips, and we into sicko mode—the level of hard Travis brings to everything from music to business, a nod to his relentless work ethic.

He hits us with the flex, “made this here with all the ice on in the booth,” showing his ice (jewelry) is as frosty as his rhymes. The “Jump Out boys” line salutes his crew and contrasts the Nike swoosh with cops (police often wear Nikes)—the Nike boys hop into coupes, fast cars, not cop cars. “This shit way too big” reminds us the scale of his ambition is massive, and he’s out for the loot—money, success, respect. Spotting the wordplay in “Was off the Remy, had a Papoose,” there’s a double entendre with Remy Ma and her husband Papoose, plus Travis was feeling the effects of Remy Martin, the cognac.

The reference to “Chase B” shouts out his DJ who keeps the hits coming like a dope mix at Jamba Juice. “Different colored chains” and his jeweler selling “fruits” sounds like a play on flavors and colors, but check the deeper cut—Travis is aware of the racism around him (“know the crackers wish it was a noose”). There’s defiance in his voice here, a reminder not to underestimate him or his crew.

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The lyrics “This shit way too formal” reveal Travis ain’t about the conventional life, the suit-and-tie scene. He throws shade with the “Stacey Dash” line—Dash is an actress who’s outspoken about her conservative views, which stands in contrast to much of hip-hop culture. When he speaks of making “hoes” off records he produced, he’s talking about creating hits (tracks) that get massive play, not literally turning women into prostitutes.

Moving to the 305, Miami, Travis feels like a king, calling himself “Uncle Luke,” a hat tip to Luther Campbell’s legendary status in Miami for his raunchy hip-hop and wild parties. As the song progresses, it’s a whirlwind of flexing, from cutting the top off his car to boasting about his influence (“I’m the glue”).

Then the scene cuts, and we get a glimpse of his past with “She’s in love with who I am, back in high school, I used to bust it to the dance.” It’s a quick look back at his more modest beginnings. Now he’s loading private planes and zoning out on Xanax to pass the time. Lyrically, he’s showing how far he’s come, yet how his past and present intersect.

Scott doesn’t forget to talk cash and the clashes. “Lost my respect, you not a threat” – he’s got zero time for folks who aren’t on his level. “Jesus Christ (yeah), checks over stripes (yeah)” – this is his allegiance to Nike over Adidas, in case anyone doubted. With “I crept down the block, made a right,” he might be painting a picture of his stealthy moves in the game, or even literal street moves. It’s cryptic but slick.

Flipping to the last part, Travis touches on his legacy with “Pass this to my daughter,” speaking on generational wealth and showing how he wants her to see what it took to earn it. Mentioning his “Baby mama cover Forbes” – a clear nod to Kylie Jenner and her financial achievements – puts a stamp on the power couple’s hustle.

All in all, “SICKO MODE” is a fragmented but vivid diary entry from Travis Scott’s life, blending braggadocio with rare peeks into his journey. It’s a track that’s both an anthem for the come-up and a scorecard for the riches and reputation he’s earned. Each line is laced with cultural shout-outs and layered with multiple meanings that bounce between his Houston roots and the heights of fame.

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