As it is, hip-hop at the moment is a bit stale. Trap rap is the rage right now, but it's starting to feel like it's seen its course. That being said, it wasn't always this way. At the start of the movement, trap rap was a promising sight, and the artists that took on the genre gave it its golden moments. Travis Scott defined trap in Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight, perhaps the quintessential trap record and the shining of example of what the genre is all about.
The elements of trap rap are fairly simple: pseudomelodies (often iced up with autotune) met with bassy beats and energetic hooks. Travis Scott definitely captured that with Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight, kicking things off dramatically with 'The Ends' featuring André 3000, before bringing on the more expected elements of the genre in 'Way Back' with its flowing melodies and deep bass. Young Thug collaboration 'Pick Up The Phone' is one of the keystone songs of the genre, it's bouncy beat and energetic delivery (along with a Quavo guest spot) making it a key track for trap. 'Beibs In The Trap' with Nav is the same, its cool atmosphere taking precedence over all else.
Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight has several highs and lows. The end of the album really picks up strongly, pairing the anthems of 'Pick Up The Phone' and 'Lose' together, the latter featuring a beat that almost sounds like a march. K. Forest assists on 'Guidance' with a sweet flow and great vibe, before The Weeknd carries the album out on 'Wonderful,' and urgent song with great synths and a chill ending. There's also the classic 'Goosebumps' with Kendrick Lamar, another staple song for the genre. Not every song is a home run, though: tracks like 'Outside' with 21 Savage feel a bit repetitive, while others, like 'Through The Late Night' with Kid Cudi don't quite nail it with their hooks.
Travis Scott defined trap in Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight, bringing the genre to its peak with several staple songs and the defining aspects of it. Trap has been a pretty harsh decline as of late, though the newcomers are slowly starting to add life back into it in their own way. This album defined the genre, but perhaps its time for a new era to begin for hip-hop again; will Travis Scott be at the forefront of that movement again, or will he keep the energy flowing with trap?
Favorite Tracks: Pick Up The Phone, Goosebumps, Wonderful, Guidance
Least Favorite Tracks: Outside, Through The Late Night
Rating: 80 / 100
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