A new documentary, Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly today, premiered today on Netflix detailing the Houston rapper’s creation of the wildly popular and successful album, Astroworld.
The doc goes behind scenes dating all the way back the conception of the album, recording it, touring, the nomination process, getting to the key to his hometown and the whole bit.
The doc was great. It gives a new appreciation into Travis’ craftsmanship, work ethic, vision and just how much he cares about his music. He also gives an inside look to his personal life, showing off his daughter, the house he grew up in, home videos of him as a kid and other gems that you just can’t get anywhere else.
Being that Astroworld was released last year August, one could ask why now? Why post-album rollout and tour would he share his life story and the making of his latest album? And the answer is simple: to control his own narrative.
While platforms like The Breakfast Club, Hot 97, Sway, Big Boy and others will always be a staple in rap, especially for up and coming artists, if you noticed, rappers are starting to no longer feel an obligation towards them.
Back in the day, media outlets needed artists just as much artists needed them but now that we’ve transitioned into a digital and stream-first society, the middle man is no longer needed.
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Artists no longer need to chop it up with a radio host for exposure just for gossip and their business to be put in the open nor do artists need to go up and rap for someone like a show pony that has something to prove. They can if they’d like, but it’s no longer a must-do in the industry like it was a decade ago.
Today rappers are skipping the traditional media run and are adopting new media practices to control their own narrative.
Nicki Minaj has Queen Radio, a Beats 1 radio show on Apple where she talks her shit when she wants, how she wants. Then you have Solange who, when her latest album When I Come Home, dropped, offered what she’s called a “Texas Film” to accompany the sounds with immaculate visuals.
Travis is just the latest of artists who are going a different route in explaining their art and that’s exactly what Look Mom I Can Fly is.
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Scott is not a vet in the game and he’s certainly hasn’t reached a level in his career where he can tell his life story.
Travis wants you to know he was disappointed about his Grammy snubs and excited when the Drake verse came in and how much he appreciates the Mayor of Houston his way, not via some outlet with an agenda. That’s the purpose of the doc.
I don’t think stars are totally against sharing intimacies of their life, I just think they want to do it on their own terms. Thanks to the streaming age, they can.