More abruptly obtrusive is Travis Scott’s Rodeo album, a caustic collection of pragmatic tunes and unexpected rhymes. Some call it rap, some say it’s hip-hop, but undoubtedly it is trap music, the type you would expect to hear outside when driving with your windows cracked on the sketchy side of town. It’s almost like it was made to be blared over the speakers in your friend’s friend’s dark basement on a Saturday night, invading the eardrums of people you’ve never met while they sit on tattered couches and illegal fumes fill the air. But when played from car speakers, the music spews out in energetic bursts, instilling its listeners with exhilaration and courage and thrill. It’s exactly what to listen to before a big game or an extreme workout or after a get-together with new friends.
At a Travis Scott concert, the audience is constantly jumping around and “dancing” and throwing their hands in the air. Grunts and groans and “yeahs” that aren’t part of the songs echo from the microphones on stage. The vibrations from the bass are so potent and forceful that you can feel them in your chest. In fact, the whole building seems to be shaking. Shirtless crowd surfers are hoisted toward the stage by strangers with tattooed hands and unique haircuts. Most audience members are dressed in the latest streetwear fashions. Vendors on the street corners sell counterfeit t-shirts and hoodies for half the actual cost. If your conservative, white, Christian mother caught you listening to this music, she’d ground you after hearing the first word. But its explicit content is part of why it’s so hype.