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Ranking Travis Scott’s Projects From Worst to Best

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Ranking Travis Scott’s Projects From Worst to Best

Releasing a new project each year since 2013, Travis Scott has built a near-bulletproof discography, earning him a place among the most popular rappers on the planet. Now that he has a half-dozen projects to his name, and as the five-year anniversary of Days Before Rodeo approaches, we took the opportunity to rank all of his releases.

As we revisited each project and compared them to one another, we were struck by how consistent Travis has been since releasing Owl Pharaoh back in 2013. The commercial success and overall scale increased with each project, but the quality of the music has always been remarkably high. Travis’ consistency makes the task of ranking his albums and mixtapes a difficult undertaking, but that’s what we do best at Complex (feel free to argue in the comments). Here are Travis Scott’s projects, ranked from worst to best.

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6. ‘Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho’ (2017)

Label: Cactus Jack Records/Capitol Records/Epic Records/Grand Hustle Records/Motown/Quality Control
Producers: Mike Dean, Quavo, Travis Scott, Allen Ritter, Buddah Bless, C4, Cardo, Carlos Desrosiers, Cubeatz, Felix Leone, Frank Dukes, Illmind, Murda Beatz, OZ, Pas Beatz, Southside, Supah Mario, TM88, Vinylz, Wheezy, Yipsy, Yung Gud, Yung Lean
Features: Takeoff, Offset, Yung Lean

It should come as no surprise that Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho sits at the bottom of this list. For the first time since they each started releasing music, Quavo and Travis Scott left fans disappointed when their highly anticipated collaborative album dropped. The potential to release a project full of hits was high after we heard tracks like “Oh My/Dis Side” or even “Pick Up the Phone.” But this, simply put, just wasn’t it. The project is full of forgettable tracks that blend into each other without any real distinction. La Flame and Huncho linked up once more on Quavo Huncho for “RERUN,” another example of what this should’ve sounded like. Granted, the last track, “Best Man,” is a standout, smothered in sedative melodies, but the replay value for the preceding 12 tracks is shallow. —Kemet High

5. ‘Owl Pharaoh’ (2013)

Label: Grand Hustle Records
Producers: Travis Scott, J Gramm, Anthony Kilhoffer, Mike Dean, DJ Dahi, Emile, Justin Vernon, Kanye West, Lex Luger, Rahki, Rey Reel, Sak Pase, Toro y Moi, WondaGurl, Young Chop
Features: T.I., Wale, 2 Chainz, Toro y Moi, ASAP Ferg, Theophilus London, Paul Wall, James Fauntleroy, Meek Mill

Travis has come a long way since 2013, but when you listen to Owl Pharaoh, you can hear the sounds that have turned him into a household name. While the project is relatively low on our list, it’s highlighted by some of his best songs. “Upper Echelon,” with T.I., ran the summer when it dropped. You couldn’t go to a party in New York City without that song making people lose their minds. “Uptown,” with ASAP Ferg, had a similar effect, and it remains Travis’ most underrated banger in my book. Then you have “Quintana,” with Wale, and “Bandz,” with Meek Mill. The former still has the ability to ring off, and the latter is a strip club deep cut. It’s really nuts to think about Travis’ standing when this dropped compared to where he’s at now. He used to play intimate venues, and now he’s in stadiums and arenas on worldwide tours. Still, his music gives fans out-of-body experiences and it’s still impressive all these years later. The fact that a project like Owl Pharaoh is this low on the list just tells you how great the rest of his discography is. —Angel Diaz

4. ‘Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight’ (2016)

Label: Epic Records/Grand Hustle Records
Producers: Travis Scott, Jason Geter, Mike Dean, T.I., Allen Ritter, Boi-1da, Cardo, Cashmere Cat, Cubeatz, Daxz, dF, Frank Dukes, Hit-Boy Honorable C.N.O.T.E., Illa Jones, Mel & Mus, Murda Beatz, Nav, Nisi, OZ, Ricci Riera, Rogét Chahayed, Sy Ari Da Kid, T-Minus, TEAUXNY, TM88, Vinylz, WondaGurl, Yung Exclusive
Features: André 3000, Blac Youngsta, Kid Cudi, Nav, 21 Savage, Kendrick Lamar, Bryson Tiller, Young Thug, Quavo, K. Forest, the Weeknd

Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight is a thrilling experience. Travis stacks the record with a roster of premier guest features, from André 3000 on “The Ends” to Kendrick Lamar on “Goosebumps.” Although some have criticized its lack of lyrical content, La Flame shines in his ability to take unrelated digitized sounds and transform them into fresh, exciting songs. In many ways, Birds in the Trap helped set the stage for what was to come on ASTROWORLD. It laid the foundation for Travis’ artistic identity, one that relies heavily on fun, high-energy mosh pit music. Each track creates a world within a world, in which you can get lost for hours, appreciating every little quirk and hypnotizing hook. I dare you to press skip on any song from Birds the next time it comes on during a party. —Jessica McKinney

3. ‘Rodeo’ (2015)

Label: Epic Records/Grand Hustle Records
Producers: Travis Scott, Jason Geter, Mike Dean, T.I., 1500 or Nothin, Allen Ritter, Ben Billions, Charlie Heat, Darren King, DJ Dahi, Eestbound, FKi, Frank Dukes, Illangelo, Kanye West, Maneesh Bidaye, Mano, Metro Boomin, Noah Goldstein, Pharrell Williams, Sonny Digital, Southside, Terrace Martin, TM88, the Weeknd, WondaGurl, Zaytoven
Features: Quavo, Future, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Kacy Hill, the Weeknd, Swae Lee, Chief Keef, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Young Thug, Toro y Moi, Schoolboy Q

Rodeo is a valiant release that solidifies Travis’ identity as an artist and serves as the first project where all the pieces of his creative process really come together. On the 14-track LP, Scott perfects his formula of layering distorted sounds with foggy vocals. From “Antidote” to “Nightcrawler,” Rodeo is chock full of bangers that helped shift the sound of trap music and redirect it into the mainstream spotlight. Rodeo is similar to The Infinity Gauntlet in how it arranges a handful of gem features such that it still feels cohesive and whole. The guests—Kanye West, Quavo, 2 Chainz, and Justin Bieber, to name a few—are so expertly placed that they don’t take away from or outshine one another, but instead complement the overall feel of the songs they appear on. Although Rodeo only debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 charts, it attracted significant attention for its risks, and ultimately paved the way for Travis Scott to transform into a household name. —Jessica McKinney

2. ‘ASTROWORLD’ (2018)

Label: Cactus Jack Records/Epic Records/Grand Hustle Records
Producers: Travis Scott, 30 Roc, Allen Ritter, B Wheezy, Bkorn, Cardo, Cubeatz, David Stromberg, Felix Leone, FKi 1st, Frank Dukes, Gezin 808 Mafia, Hit-Boy, J Beatzz, John Mayer, June James, London Cyr, Matty, Mike Dean, Murda Beatz, Nineteen85, OZ, Ramy, River Tiber, Rogét Chahayed, Sevn Thomas, Sonny Digital, Tame Impala, Tay Keith, Thundercat, Tim Suby, Turbo, Vegyn, Wallis Lane, WondaGurl
Features: Kid Cudi, Frank Ocean, Drake, the Weeknd, James Blake, Swae Lee, Gunna, Philip Bailey, Nav, 21 Savage, Quavo, Takeoff, Juice WRLD, Sheck Wes, Don Toliver

ASTROWORLD is wildly ambitious and innovative, like the rest of Travis Scott’s projects. But this time around, he was at a point in his career where he finally had enough resources at his disposal (and overall visibility as an artist) to execute his ideas on a much larger scale than ever before. After coming up with a plan to pull sounds and influences from his hometown of Houston and launch years them into the future, Travis got to work building his own amusement-park-themed universe of ASTROWORLD. He didn’t reinvent his sound, but he did pick out things he did well on every other project and blow them out to a bigger proportion. Six projects into his career, Travis had the balls to make a roller coaster ride of a song with three wild beat changes, and put one of the biggest artists in the world (Drake) on it. It all paid off when “Sicko Mode” became arguably the most successful song of his career and the overall impact of ASTROWORLD pushed him to the highest rungs of rap’s hierarchy—finally putting an end to any lingering doubts about his status as one of the biggest stars in the world. ASTROWORLD, and the over-the-top live shows that surrounded it, came as a true blockbuster moment in rap. Only Travis Scott could pull something like this off. —Eric Skelton

1. ‘Days Before Rodeo’ (2014)

Label: Grand Hustle Records
Producers: Travis Scott, Allen Ritter, Anthony Kilhoffer, AudioKlique, Charlie Handsome, DJ Dahi, FKi, J. Hill, Lex Luger, Lil’ C, Metro Boomin, Mike Dean, OZ, Southside, Syk Sense, Tane Runo, Aykeboy, WondaGurl, Vinylz
Features: Young Thug, Big Sean, the 1975, Rich Homie Quan, Migos, T.I., Peewee Longway

Days Before Rodeo is the sound of frustration, restlessness, and, ultimately, manifest destiny. Heading into 2014, Travis Scott had a considerable amount of attention directed his way: a reputation for rowdy bangers (“Upper Echelon”), twin homes with Grand Hustle and G.O.O.D. Music, and enough clout as a producer to land prime placements on new albums from Kanye and JAY-Z in the span of a month. But it wasn’t enough. He admits as much in the first bar of Days Before Rodeo, on the aptly titled “The Prayer”: “Would’ve thought I’d feel amazin’—still impatient.” And, like that old Drake bar, the rest of the project is the sound of Travis getting what he just prayed for.

Days is where Travis refined his flair for orchestration and curation: tapping Thug and Quan for a song during the summer that Rich Gang popped; assembling the Migos and Peewee Longway for an Atlanta rap crossover event; and putting Big Sean alongside the 1975. Throughout, La Flame and collaborators like Metro Boomin, Vinylz, and Southside cultivate sounds that solidify Travis’ signature aesthetic of gothic, futuristic dystopia rap. It’s the sound of a rebellion, as he roars against the old guard (“Yo shit ain’t getting me high no more”) while corralling a mosh pit of kids to chant, “We don’t want their bullshit no more.” Does he have more polished projects? Of course. His process only got better, and bigger, with each release. But there’s something raw and concise about Days that hits to this day. It’s free of Rodeo’s lag, it’s lighter on skips than Birds, and formidable enough to stand up against the blockbuster scale of ASTROWORLD. Days Before Rodeo is the sound of the sky falling, indeed, and from the rubble, a new star emerged. —Frazier Tharpe

About Ugo Godson

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