Scott’s ‘Birds in the Trap’ soars above expectations

By RILEY GOLDEN//Entertainment Editor

Travis Scott’s “Birds” have finally landed, and the masterpiece is well worth the wait.

Following almost three months’ worth of delays, Scott’s highly anticipated second studio album, “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight” released on Sept. 2 to an extremely eager fan base.

Sometimes referred to as La Flame by himself and his fans, Scott has delivered on what his pseudonym promises: “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight” is “fire.”

One of the most notable features of the album is that it debuted on Scott’s Apple music radio “.wav radio.” The Apple music version of the album still doesn’t list any of the artists featured, so when you first listen to the album, every feature is a surprise.

The first song is titled “the ends,” and it begins with a melody from Scott on top of a soft, slow beat. La Flame then makes the beat sound like something slowly reverberating as he lays his beautifully familiar sound of rap on top. By this time in the song, Scott’s followers know he’s done it again. La Flame has produced another work of art perfect for chilling with the lights low or partying with your friends. Toward the end of the song, the beat speeds up a considerable amount, and Andre 3000 makes an appearance that shows that the features and their verses on the album will live up to Scott’s ability to produce and co-produce beats that sound good with the vocals of other artists.

birds-cover-copy

The second track on the album is “way back.” La Flame references Houston Rockets’ number 13, James Harden which is cool because Scott is from Missouri City, Houston. A little more than halfway through the song, Scott switches up the beat and lays his vocals on top of it, which pumps you up and makes you want to bob your head to it. At this point, Scott also references Michael Phelps and Rio de Janeiro. The track also features Swizz Beats; I’m assuming he co-produced the song, because all you really hear are his adlibs in the background. Kid Cudi is also featured on the song, though it appears to be mostly background vocals from him.

The next song on the album is “coordinate,” featuring a monologue at the beginning from Blac Youngsta. I don’t really enjoy monologues on albums, but the rest of the song has a cool chorus and Scott delivers on his verses.

The fourth song on the album, and one of my favorites is “through the late night.” Without a doubt, it satisfies every fans’ long awaited need for a collaboration between Travis Scott and Kid Cudi. Fans of La Flame know that Cudi is his favorite artist; so much so that Scott was not going to release “Birds” without Cudi appearing on it. Fans of both artists have coined the song “Day ‘N’ Night part 2” because of Scott’s use of Cudi’s famous chorus to his song “Day ‘N’ Night.” Hearing Scott rap those lyrics with his own twist is so satisfying, and Cudi really delivers the sound that fans missed on his last album, “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven.”

The fifth song on the album is titled “beibs in the trap.” To my sadness, it does not feature a rap verse from Justin Beiber like “Mariah I’m Drunk” off of Scott’s first album, “Rodeo.” But, the song does feature a Canadian artist known as Nav, who I had never heard of before this song. The song has a decent beat and I really enjoy Scott’s verse. It’s enjoyable like every Travis song. But with Nav sounding very similar to Justin Beiber, I would’ve preferred that it was actually “beibs” on the song.

trav-performing

The next track is “sdp interlude” featuring female singer Cassie. Though you don’t go into the song knowing what “sdp” stands for, it’s very soon made obvious. It stands for “smoke some, drink some, pop one.” Although La Flame and Cassie pretty much just say that over and over again for three minutes, it’s a banger and one of my favorite songs on the album. Every time “sdp interlude” comes on, I can’t stop my body from moving to the beat.

“sweet, sweet” is the title of the seventh song on “Birds in the Trap,” and it’s not a bad song but if I had to pick my least favorite song on the album, it’s this one. It’s still a good song, though, and it’s also the only song that Scott recorded by himself.

The next song is called “outside,” and the title is pretty self-explanatory, it’s about Scott and his friends hanging out outside. This is a Travis Scott banger, featuring vocals from 21 Savage.

The ninth song on the album is “goosebumps” and it seriously is another La Flame banger. This song is amazing, and then Kendrick Lamar comes out of nowhere and tears up the beat.

“first take” is the next track on “Birds in the Trap,” which is very much a slow jam. Featuring Bryson Tiller, it’s a very slow beat on which Scott raps and sings with autotune. I enjoy Scott’s verses but I don’t love the parts with Bryson Tiller.

“Pick Up the Phone,” by Travis Scott & Young Thug, featuring Quavo of Atlanta rapper trio Migos, is the 11th song on the album. The verse that actually spawned the album title, “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight,” is delivered by Quavo. It refers to R&B artist Brian McKnight and how the artists can auto-tune their voices to mimic the sound of McKnight. Quavo executes the verse perfectly, and you can feel every word move through your body.

The next song on the album is “lose.” It has a soft beat and Scott delivers an enjoyable verse. Cassie’s vocals are also on the track.

“guidance,” the 13th song on the album, is another that’s more of a slow jam. Scott kind of rap-sings a lot of the song and it sounds pleasant. K. Forest is also on the song but I’ve never heard anything from him.

The fourteenth and final song on the album is kind of disappointing. “wonderful,” featuring the Weeknd, is by no means a bad song. But it’s been out since 2015. It would have impacted me better had that song been earlier on the album and not the final song, or not on the album at all. That being said, it’s still a great collaborative effort from Scott and the Weeknd.

“Birds in the Trap” is nothing if not a modern hip-hop symphony conducted and performed by La Flame and his orchestra of hip-hop artists.

Scott told Billboard that “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight” is basically about all his friends and growing up in Missouri City. “I’m not saying that it’s a trap,” Scott said. “We not in the [expletive] projects, but it’s like a social trap. It’s a social connection trap from what you want to do and how you want to express yourself. I feel like everyone just gets constricted by their parents or just, life.”

This is why so many of Scott’s songs feel like anthems for our generation and why so many people my age identify with him and his music. Scott is as much a product of this generation as he is a factor in it. I give “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight” 4.5 out of 5.

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