Travis Scott’s ‘UTOPIA’ is the unquestioned contender for Best Rap … – The Baylor Lariat

By Michael Haag | Sports Editor

Over a month has passed to reflect and analyze, but it’s time to confirm that Travis Scott’s “UTOPIA” should be a serious contender for the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. It felt obvious soon after listening when it was released on July 28, but sometimes a project shows a lack of shelf life.

That wasn’t the case with Scott’s fourth solo studio album, as it has only become a stronger product over the last few weeks. Listening to Scott’s “UTOPIA” for the first time was a priceless experience, and it’s something that was easy for me to take for granted. Even though the LP kept getting better the more I listened to it, there’s still something about the anticipation of seeing what comes next with each track.

Scott has built a strong fanbase and has no problem building interest for an album drop, but the fact that he hides his features at first makes for an incredible first-listen experience. Fans spent the final hours before the drop guessing which artists were going to make an appearance with the 32-year-old rapper. That, paired with Scott’s five-year break between “ASTROWORLD” and “UTOPIA,” made for a storm of excitement among hip-hop and rap fans.

It was a well-executed buildup and an even better execution. Scott went back behind the boards and put his producing talents on display. He’s always been a stellar producer, dating back to his days helping Kanye West with an album like “Yeezus.” There’s a West-like feel to “UTOPIA” as well, which shines throughout the 19-song compilation. Songs like “THANK GOD,” “MODERN JAM” and “GOD’S COUNTRY” all seem like they have a splash of West in them, despite him never being a featured artist.

It’s hard to emulate someone as talented as West, but Scott used his own sound and drew inspiration from West in order to pump out “UTOPIA.” There were a couple of safe songs like “I KNOW ?” and “TOPIA TWINS,” but each track has its place within the listing and it fits. Scott, also known as “La Flame,” is known for having a unique style and sound, but he hopped in an even deeper bag with “UTOPIA.” This let the world know that he’s in the upper tier of hip-hop and rap artists in this generation, and he doesn’t plan on slowing down.

From intoxicating instrumentals to unmatched flow, “UTOPIA” has everything someone should want in an LP. It’ll be hard to beat out products like JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown’s “SCARING THE HOES” or Denzel Curry’s “Live at Electric Lady,” but Scott released arguably his best album. And the Houston native does a good job of putting together entire bodies of work, as he really hones in on quality over quantity.

If you haven’t already, take a listen to “UTOPIA.” I wish I could go back and listen to it for the first time. Scott has my support for the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album of 2023.

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