Rodeo is a true journey not only musically but it is the sonic metaphor for Scott’s leap of faith and subsequent rise to stardom. Southern Hip-Hop king and label boss T.I. narrates the entire album and concludes the opening track ‘Pornography” with the line “La Flame says let your ambition carry you” this can be seen as Travis Scott’s mission statement.
Rodeo plays as a dark rebellious nihilistic anti-establishment opus. It’s no surprise that Scott lists deceased Sex Pistols’ bassist Sid Vicious as an inspiration to his style and persona, many themes on the album touch on sex, drugs and Rock & Roll. Rodeo comes off very Punk for a major label commercial Hip-Hop release. Even musical heavy weight Kanye West stops by to show his rebel side and voice his frustrations further on “Piss On Your Grave” La Flame showcases his broad musical palette as well sampling the late great Jimi Hendrix’s most notoriously rebellious anti-establishment anti-war track “Machine Gun” from his last band and album Band OF Gypsys. Subtle musical touches flesh the album out and take it further than the releases of his peers. The additional stadium-Rock 80’s electric guitar on single “3500”, a song which boasts one of 2 Chainz hardest verses and another hard hitting introspective verse from Future, takes the otherwise standard song to new heights along with it’s unconventional long length.
La Flame rarely keeps the beats in one place, placing many departures and complete 180 beat switch ups mid-song. His eclectic taste in soundscapes also spills over into features as he has Hip-Hop’s most eccentric trap star Young Thug and worldwide pop sensation Justin Bieber trading verses on the same track. ‘Pray 4 Love’ and ‘Flying High’ are the only glimpses of light in this grim tale Scott has weaved together. Travis has mastered the art of walking the line between styles, at times rapping songs with complete non-stop hooks and at others switching immediately to your standard live-in-the-radio-studio- 16’s. The only notable surprise is the fact that Scott, an artist who for most people is known for his beat-making and production on Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” , didn’t do any of the beats on his debut. Perhaps Scott is waiting til his next journey, as T.I. says to conclude the project “Will he make it? Was it worth it ? Did he win? Will he survive? ..The Rodeo”