Review | Travis Scott – Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight

The birds definitely chirped with this release.

After some slight delays, Travis Scott’s sophomore album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight was released exclusively through Apple Music on September 2nd (a year to the date, and just shy two days of the release of Rodeo).

Not a lot was known about BITTSM before its release. The only single leading up to the release was Pick Up The Phone featuring Young Thug and Quavo. If you listened to Rodeo, the album ended on the cliffhanger track, Never Catch Me. Many might have believed that Travis would release the rumored Days After Rodeo project to continue the story. That would never happen. Instead, BITTSM was born. The story that was told on Rodeo somewhat continues – On Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, Travis Scott is a new man. That’s not saying the talk of raging and getting lit is gone. Majority of the album finds Travis bragging about his new fame and wealth, but also dealing with this new found fame, paranoia of losing of what he has and haters trying to take him out.

Going into this album, the only question was “how can Travis Scott top his debut?” Well the answer was clear – Travis delivers some of his strongest bars and metaphors to date over amazing production. One thing that can be expected from Travis Scott projects is phenomenal production.

This time around production is handled by a who’s who of today’s notorious producers such as Mike Dean, Cashmere Cat, Hit Boy, WondaGurl, Frank Dukes, Boi-1da and among other A-list producers.

The album opens with the track The Ends – the familiar eerie muddy beat that La Flame is known for fades in as a singing Travis sings about trying to get a hold of his girl, but that quickly changes as this leads into one of his hardest verses on the album.

“X-ray vision, see through you niggas

Newspaper stand, we press the issue

We ain’t sendin’ shots, we launchin’ missiles

Right up at your hood and load”

Surprisingly, André 3000 makes an appearance and delivers one of the best featured verses on the album. Speaking to Billboard, Travis revealed that he asked André to narrate the album as T.I. did for Rodeo. Instead, Andre dropped a dope verse that Travis didn’t even see coming.

3 Stacks isn’t the only artist featured, Travis enlists Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, Cassie, 21 Savage, Nav, Swizz Beats, Bryson Tiller, and Blac Youngsta. The Weeknd also appears, but it’s on the previously released Wonderful. Unfortunately, Brain McKnight does not have a verse or credit on the album, but does appear in the commercial alongside Travis promoting the album.

Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight features many standout tracks. On Way Back, Travis gets serious as people who he thought were with him, have now turned on him and want to see his downfall. Though the track mainly focuses on distrust of others, it has a bouncy beat with a catchy hook – “I can’t get no rest (we in the house), I fall asleep with a Tec”. Toward the end of the track, Travis tries to warn the youth that all you see on television is not what it seems.

There is no doubt that Through the Late Night is what Antidote was to Rodeo. It’s a straight up turn-up track. Kid Cudi returns to his Man On The Moon 1 & 2 flow and actually spits a rap verse accompanied with heavy auto-tune. When Travis steps up to the plate on the second verse – he samples Cudi’s breakout 2009 single, Day ‘n’ Nite. His love for cactuses is here as he raps one of the most memorable lines on the album.

If the first half of BITTSM was the bragging and flaunting portion, the second half showcases where Travis wanted to experiment with different sounds. Stepping out his comfort zone, Travis puts his own spin on the dancehall craze with the track Guidance. The second half also features more songs about dealing with girls and the complicated relationships that come with them.

On Sweet Sweet, he speaks on his love for this girl, but she’s too in love with the “coco”, while on Goosebumps, both Travis and Kendrick Lamar sheds some light on how they feel when they’re around their girl. As the album progressed, the paranoia of fame set in on the awesome track, Lose that features Cassie. La Flame reminds himself to keep his cool when it comes to trouble because he doesn’t want to lose what he worked so hard to get.

Birds in the Sing Trap McKnight is on a level slightly above Rodeo. This album’s sound doesn’t venture too far from his last album, but the sound has evolved in a way. Travis knows how to keep his signature sound (and ad-libs) that brought him to the game in the first place, while trying his hand at different and new music with the outcome being a good one. Some might not like that there’s not a ton of tracks to turn-up and mosh to, but that’s what Rodeo is for. What you’re getting on this album is a calmer La Flame, who still likes to rage, but knows the hard consequences that come with fame.

Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight does have a massive replay value and is a step in the right direction for Travis Scott.

– Journalist Without A Beat… Out!


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