Travis Scott has become a household name in hip-hop and is currently one of the genre’s most influential artists. Akin to acts such as Playboi Carti and Lil Yachty, Scott was rapidly thrust into the limelight and instantly became an icon. Like all musicians, the rapper’s journey to fame came as a result of hard work but also an incredible amount of luck. Before the ‘SICKO MODE’ rapper became the formidable force he is today, he was merely a kid from Texas.
Born Jacques Webster II, the performer was born and raised in Missouri City, Texas, a small town on the outskirts of Houston. However, like many rappers born in the South, Webster knew that he would have to relocate to surpass the glass ceiling of local fame. Deciding between New York, LA or Atlanta, Webster chose the bright lights of Los Angeles. Webster’s father had previously made a living as an amateur musician and taught the ‘UTOPIA’ artist to play the drums when he was young. His uncle named, Travis, was also an instrumentalist. With music in his blood and wanting to pay homage to his uncle, Webster adopted the stage name Travis and moved to LA.
While Scott was in high school, he began rapping with his friends and attempted to form several rap groups but had little success. One group he attempted to form was a duo alongside his friend called The Graduates. However, they did not gain as much traction on MySpace as they would have liked. During this period, his father was still performing here and there part-time. With a full-time job at an AT&T store, the lyricist’s mother encouraged him to attend college after high school. Webster briefly attended the University of Texas at San Antonio but dropped out in pursuit of a music career.
Although Scott wanted to move to LA, he initially attempted life in ‘The Big Apple’. After leaving college, Scott moved to the Manhattan neighbourhood of Washington Heights to work with his friend Mike Waxx. Waxx founded Illroots, a popular music, fashion and entertainment website. Scott managed to book time at Just Blaze’s studio, but his recordings went nowhere, and he quickly moved to his dream destination. Los Angeles. In 2012, Atlanta rapper T.I. would eventually run across Scott’s song ‘Lights (Love Sick)’ and signed him to Grand Hustle Records.
From there, things snowballed, and it wasn’t long before Scott was getting scouted by all kinds of people and music manager Anthony Kilhoffer ended up arranging a production gig for Scott at Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music festival. Travis Scott has released three solo studio albums and in this article we rank them from worst to best.
Travis Scott’s albums ranked:
3. Rodeo (2015)
Rodeo was Webster’s first commercially released album. Released in 2015, the project was met with mixed reviews. The record was still a contestant in the charts. However, unlike his following two albums, it did not debut at number one but, instead peaked at number three. The album’s rollout was a bit messy as some of the tracks were released but then revised and appeared differently on the album. One track entitled ‘Drunk’ featuring Young Thug was even leaked online before the album’s release.
The album’s lead single, ‘3500’ did not perform as well as the Texas rapper would have liked it to. However, the project’s second single ‘Antidote’ manged to reach number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Speaking to French online arts and culture publication Clique, the rapper shared his intentions while recording Rodeo. The Texas musician explained, “I want people to have the best time ever, especially if they’re around me. I feel like God put me here to help out with people’s souls… Just seeing a congregation… lose their fucking minds to some music, that’s the best feeling ever. It’s better than any drug, any piece of pussy, any friendship, anything you got. It’s like you’re saving somebody’s life for 40 minutes. That’s what I do it for.”
Rodeo was certified platinum by the RIAA and was the rapper’s first curated body of work released through a major label.
2. Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (2016)
Scott’s second album, Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight, performed far better than Rodeo and was superior to its predecessor concerning critical reception and overall cohesiveness. The record boasted guest appearances from legends such as André 3000, Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, and the Weeknd. The highly anticipated project was released in collaboration with Beats One and initially premiered on Scott’s show Wav Radio.
Explaining the album, in an interview with Billboard magazine, Webster detailed, “It all stemmed from me having that frustration of just like wanting to do creative sht and just not being able to do it. I just felt like I was confined in a box. I couldn’t do sht I wanted to do to help forward pop culture and music. It’s like motherf*ckers still tryna hold me back so that was the whole gist of it. ‘In the trap’ has nothing to do with coke or anything. It’s literally a trap!”
The project spawned multiple hits, the most notable of which was ‘Goosebumps’ featuring Kendrick Lamar. Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight debuted at number one on the billboard 200 and is certified platinum.
1. ASTROWORLD (2018)
ASTROWORLD is indisputably Webster’s best album yet. Released in 2018, there was a lot of anticipation ahead of the project’s release. The body of work’s second single, SICKO MODE featuring Drake, was so popular upon release in 2020 the song was certified Diamond by the RIAA. The track has accumulated over 1 billion streams on the popular streaming service Spotify and the album is four times platinum.
However, the album’s rollout was highly controversial as it superseded Nicki Minaj’s Queen to clinch number one on the Billboard 200. However, the female rapper claimed that Scott had sold albums to individuals involuntarily under the guise that they were buying other items. Known as “bundles”, it sparked a fiery debate online about the music industry. Scott was accused of selling merchandise such as T-shirts and sweatshirts without allowing fans to purchase them as singular items.
Individuals had to purchase branded clothes as part of a bundle that included the album to get access to them. This forced people’s hands and made them buy physical copies of the album even if they only wanted the clothing. Most had streamed the album online, which went towards album sales, meaning fans were involuntarily buying the album twice. Webster done the same for tour tickets meaning many fans ended up with two physical copies of the album.