Early into his recent psychedelic-trap masterpiece Astroworld, Houston hip-hop star Travis Scott raps: “It ain’t a moshpit if it ain’t no injuries/I got ’em stage diving out the nosebleeds.”
That peculiar boast isn’t hyperbole. The 26-year-old MC and producer’s live shows are reportedly outrageous. He was even arrested for inciting a riot following a concert in Arkansas last year. And if he can make a Bible Belt crowd wild out, just imagine what will happen when Scott dives into Marquee Nightclub on September 1 during Labor Day weekend.
Born Jacques Webster and nicknamed La Flame, Scott is at the head of a new rap class—artsy, experimental, fashion-forward graduates of the School of Kanye trying their damnedest to best their professor. Scott just might be the only one to have actually done it.
Astroworld, Scott’s third solo studio LP, dropped August 3, and it’s his best yet. Busy and boisterous, the album plays like the shuttered Houston amusement park for which it’s named. Along for the ride is a carefully curated list of blockbuster collaborators, whose talents Scott plucked and placed throughout Astroworld like a master collage artist. Frank Ocean croons over a Beastie Boys loop on “Carousel”; Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker lends layered psychedelia to the Pharell- and The Weeknd-assisted “Skeletons”; Drake gets upstaged on shifty banger “Sicko Mode”; and Kid Cudi, James Blake and Stevie Wonder’s weeping harmonica help craft the boldest work in Scott’s discography, “Stop Trying to Be God.” On it, Scott raps, “F*ck the money, never leave your people behind.”
Scott backed that statement up on August 14, when he announced on Twitter that he’d be giving away $100,000 via Cash App to fans who tweet him their favorite lyrics from Astroworld. Sure enough, fans began sharing screen grabs of the money they received. In a video posted on Twitter, one lucky fan showed off his $1,000 gift from the rapper. He was so excited, he considered quitting his job at Target.
With that kind of generosity, we should all be Travis Scott fans.
TRAVIS SCOTT September 1, 10:30 p.m., $55-$105. Marquee, 702-333-9000