On Sept. 2, Travis Scott released his album Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. The album first premiered in full on Scott’s show, .wav radio, on Beats 1. Scott had originally teased the album through social media, but had deleted the tweets about the album while he was on tour.

The album features a jam-packed list of guest artists including André 3000, Kid Cudi, Swizz Beatz, 21 Savage, Kendrick Lamar, Bryson Tiller, Young Thug, Quavo and The Weeknd. One of the most surprising guests on the album is André 3000 is resurging with features on Frank Ocean’s Blonde and Vince Staples’ Prima Donna. He is also working on a solo album due out sometime in 2016. “The ends” serves as a teaser for what is to come and shows that he still can perform at a high level.

Another surprising performance from a featured artist came from Kid Cudi on “through the late night.” It was a change from what he did on “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven,” which was alternative and grungy, unlike previous music in his discography which was rap-oriented. The hook in the song almost mimics his hook on “Day ‘N’ Nite,” which makes the song sound like a return to form for Cudi.

“Pick up the phone” draws off the strengths of Scott and Young Thug. Digitized steel drums bang in the background as Scott and Thug rap through an auto-tuned haze. “Goosebumps” serves as one of the most triumphant performances on the album with Kendrick Lamar’s feature playing out as one of the strongest parts of the album.

This album doesn’t draw comparisons to Scott’s first album, Rodeo, but instead comes from a different inspiration from earlier in Scott’s career. Kanye West was a huge presence as a producer and performer on Rodeo, but only advised post-production on Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. Stylistically, the album draws from Cudi, but for Scott, Cudi played a role as a writer rather than a producer. Even with a smaller role, Cudi’s style still impacts the album, making it more cohesive.

By Sean Lynch

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