I know I haven’t reviewed Blonde yet or posted my recap of the VMAs, but this Travis Scott project is where it’s at right now. Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (BITTSM) is Travis’ second album, and it’s packed with 14 tracks of flames. This is the album that if someone asked me what type of beats/sounds do I like, I would have them play this project… in its entirety.
If this is the first review from californyinz you’re reading, here’s what it entails: me listening to the album as I write, my initial thoughts come out as word vomit, I make it readable, and publish for your enjoyment. This one’s a little different though because I’ve already listened to BITTSM three or four times, whereas my other reviews are written during the first listen. You can read a few of my initial thoughts when it dropped on Friday here.
Okay, let’s jump right into this –
the ends | When Travis hits those first lyrics, it sounds like to me it’s the beginning of a Travis Scott concert – what he would open with. It’s dramatic, has the distinct Auto-Tune sound we all know Travis for… and with the lyric “if I make it out tonight, let’s make it a bad ass time” – that is definitely a line to kick off the night – whether it be at a concert, going out with your friends, the turn up, etc. Then at about a minute in we get the tone for the rest of the album. And when that 1:10 mark hits – Travis is back with the beats. Cue André 3000. Like what. Who was expecting that? So epic.
way back | That James Harden shout out. Another banger. “It’s summertime why they tryin’ to throw shade?” This is a summertime vibe song for sure. Hanging with your friends at a house party… getting the night or party started. Although it’s only the second song, I feel like on a lot of albums, artists switch up the vibe completely from the first song but ‘way back’ keeps it going from track one. Also important to note: During his .WAV radio episode on Friday he mentioned that a lot of his songs tend to have extra sounds at the end – like an extended two minutes and some people may not like that. But he doesn’t care because that’s him. He keeps a track going because it’s what he wants to hear. To him he feels like that completes the song. I feel this is the case on ‘way back.’ With about two minutes left, the song switches up where you could have probably ended it. I am not one of those people complaining – keep the beats coming. You can hear that same theme (extension of a track) on the second half of his song ‘Pornography’ from his first album, Rodeo.
coordinate | Okay, let’s talk about ‘coordinate’ and how when I heard it for the first time, I thought Future was about to jump on the track. Disclaimer: This is not a negative thing – just making a comparison, and I love how other artists inspire one another. It has that same creep-up beat followed by some smooth vibes. Future’s track obviously hits a little harder because duh it’s Future. But I’m feeling ‘coordinate’ a lot. I would listen to this one driving late night.
through the late night | This track though has some serious inspirational vibes to it. I’m not even talking about what it sounds like but more of who is on the track. Kid Cudi, Travis’ role model and artist he looks up to, is on the track. Fun fact: Travis chose his last name of Scott because that is Kid Cudi’s real name – Scott Mescudi. I learned that on the very first episode of .WAV radio. And you have to love how Travis raps a few lines from one of Cudi’s biggest hits ‘Day N’ Night’. Like you’re listening to this new song and those lyrics drop – I definitely did a double take/listen on that. Inspo on top of inspo.
beibs in the trap | Opening this track is Nav, a Canadian singer, songwriter, and producer from Toronto. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of him, but clearly I’m fond of rappers and singers from Toronto so looks like I’ll have to check his music out. This song dips into the chill vibes, not mad about that. It’s not one of my top tracks from the album but still good to vibe to.
sdp interlude | Want to talk about real chill vibes though? This interlude is it, and I’m about it. It’s like Travis is saying, “Okay, guys intermission. I’ll be back for the rest of the turn up in two to three minutes.”
sweet sweet | And we back with the beats. I would listen to this song while getting ready for the night. He raps a few lines about how he managed to become pretty freaking successful despite all the hardships and obstacles along the way and while growing up. And during Friday’s episode of .WAV radio, Trav stated this track was his favorite off the album.
outside | ft. 21 Savage. Thiiiiiiis track right here. Love how it begins. You hear this at a club… then the DJ drops the beat… wowwww. Then jumps in 21 Savage who adds a darker side to the track with his voice and lyrics. This track is like don’t mess with me and my team. Bye.
goosebumps | This song gives me goosebumps which is ironic because that’s what this song implies. It’s Kendrick Lamar and Travis rapping about how their lover gives them goosebumps. This song is unique to me because you don’t typically think of Travis Scott and a love song, if you will. It’s about how a girl makes him feel when she’s around, when she’s not around, when he’s around other girls… lots of different scenarios. But it’s really great, and the fact Kendrick is on this. Wow. Again, wasn’t expecting this feature, but it is much appreciated.
first take | Okay, again… with the surprise feature. Were these features known or was I just not paying attention? Bryson Tiller though? “You think too much, we all know.” I have been told that too many times *upside down smiley face emoji*. Travis is getting emotional, and I like seeing that side of an artist especially an artist like Travis where you tend to think of his music as just turn-up and rage all night music. Then about three minutes in, you hear the beautiful sounds that are of Bryson Tiller’s angelic voice. Bryson was the perfect feature for this track since most of his own songs (Trapsoul) are a tad bit emotional, singing/rapping about lost love, current girls, etc.
pick up the phone | Yasssss. I act like I haven’t played this song a million times before. So glad it’s on the album, and it almost serves as a pick-me-up from the previous track. And when I say pick-me-up, I’m not talking about the meaning of the song because it’s about a girl not picking up the phone, rather I’m talking about the beat. Clearly you can tell I’m into beats. We also have the other main man of trap, Mr. Young Thug, on the track so it’s a really great collab.
lose | This song opens with a semi-majestic sound. It also reminds me of the Rick Ross ft. Big Sean and Kanye track, ‘Sanctified’ at about the 1:30 mark – like the super back and down beat; it’s like the faster version of what it sounds like on ‘lose.’ I feel boss listening to this one. You’ll also pick up on some vocals from Cassie.
guidance | Okay, now this song reminds me of the Drake track featuring PartyNextDoor, ‘With You.’ It has that sort of island vibe Drake has been giving us. I also love that Roy Woods is on ‘guidance.’ Another one associated with Drake. I love it. I want to listen to this on the beach. This song portrays another unique sound Travis is able to create.
wonderful | I could not be happier that this song is closing out the album. One of my favorite songs of 2015; I think this track dropped Christmas Eve last year. It’s wonderful. Travis is wonderful. The Weeknd is wonderful. The album is wonderful. I don’t really have anything deep to say about this track – I just really like it. It’s one of those songs I forget to play but when I hear it, I’m like waiiiiit a second… life giving. Perfect ending to the album.
Overall, I have to say I’d put this album in my top five albums that dropped this year so far. It’s what I wanted from Travis. Why do I like Travis so much? This album explains that. You have to remember that Travis stepped into the music scene as a producer – he was known for creating dope beats. Then he turned into an artist. And again, you should all know by now the beat of a song makes it for me so if you have an album of 14-beat heavy tracks mixed with trap sounds, rapping, and a hint of Kanye… you know I’m going to love it.
I even love how he left all the track titles lowercased. It’s the little things.
That’s all, yinz – stay tuned for the next post, and have a ‘wonderful’ Labor Day!