Music Review: Travis Scott's Birds in the Trap Sings McKnight

Only 364 days after Travis Scott released his debut album, Rodeo, he put out his second studio album: Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. The album was originally set to release August 5, but was then delayed. Only one week later, Scott said that it would be released on the 26 of the same month. However, like the previous date, there was no album. After months of speculation and false reports of the release date, Scott finally released the project on his Apple Music radio show “.wav radio.”

It is almost a certainty that with every new album that an artist releases, there must be growth. For most hip-hop artists there is growth within their lyrics, their flow in which they deliver the lines and the production of the music. Birds is absolutely no exception. Scott grows leaps and bounds as an artist from Rodeo to Birds. Not only does Scott himself improve, but as do the artists that join him on the album.

Artists such as André 3000, Kid Cudi, Nav, 21 Savage, Kendrick Lamar, Bryson Tiller, Young Thug, Quavo and The Weeknd accompany La Flame on the album. A beautiful balance of young artists and veterans make for a successful album. On the previous album it seemed as if Scott recruited some big artists only for their name, rather than the substance in the music. Artists such as Juicy J, Chief Keef, Swae Lee and even the man who groomed Scott, Kanye West, all provided forgettable cameos in what was Rodeo. However, in Birds every single person contributed what was seemingly the correct cameo at the correct time.

The album flows together very well. Any Travis Scott project should be anticipated as a productional masterpiece, this follows suit. In other projects that Scott has released he seems like he is trying to juggle many different subjects. In Birds it seems as if Scott has finally found the happy medium in which he so desires in his music. In “Through the Late Night” Scott himself raps, “Find your balance.” It seems that he has in fact found his balance, and that could be quite scary for other artists.

With all of that being said, this album is far from perfect. Scott delivers what every single hip hop fan expected, an album filled with autotune, beautiful production, and subpar rapping. Scott and his supporters may believe that he is an above average rapper, but he still is not. Scott raps about little-to-nothing when given the opportunities for a longer verse. Scott’s niche is songs filled with autotune and short verses with little substance. In Birds, Scott does a good job of choosing the artists that will compliment his style the best. Using rappers such as André 3000 on “The Ends,” Kendrick Lamar on “Goosebumps,” and 21 Savage on “Outside,” Scott hides his subpar rapping ability with the above average abilities of his peers.

Regardless of his rapping ability, Scott makes his music fun. Birds is a fun album, that is fun to listen to. Travis Scott has now come out of the shadow that is Kanye West. Travis Scott is his own artist, with his own style, and his own plan. Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight is not a perfect album, but it is Scott’s best work to date.

He cut away some of the fluff that was thrown into Rodeo and created a fourteen track album that does not disappoint. From the contrast of singles such as “Wonderful” and “Pick Up the Phone” to a slow track like “First Take” Scott shows his balance. There are several layers to the project that Scott teased for so long. Scott knows what his niche in hip hop is, and it is very evident that he plans to stay there for quite some time.

Birds shows the growth of Travis Scott, but it also shows that there is even more growth that needs to happen. Nevertheless, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight is a beautifully produced album, with better balance, and wonderful guest appearances.