Travis Scott’s JACKBOYS debuts at #1

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"Jackboys," a compilation album featuring Travis Scott, debuted at #1 on December 27, 2019.

Aranjit Lakhen, Scribe Reporter

JACKBOYS, a compilation album by Travis Scott and the members of Cactus Jack, was released on December 27th, 2019 and has already topped the U.S. album charts. This is Travis’s first major project since the release of ASTROWORLD, which was released back in August of 2018. Scott, himself, refers to the album as a “pack.” The music provided in the pack gives listeners a taste of what the Jackboys can produce together. 

The pack included features from Young Thug on “OUT WEST,” Quavo and Offset on “HAD ENOUGH,” and Pop Smoke on “GATTI.” Scott also included Rosalía and Lil Baby on his “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM-REMIX.”  Started by Scott, it includes the members Cactus Jack Records, which is made up of Don Toliver, Sheck Wes, Chase B, and Luxury Tax. 

At first, many fans—including myself—were disappointed at the fact that there were only seven songs. Many were expecting 17 in total, based on a leaked track list. Of the two songs, there was a remix of one of Travis’s songs and the intro (called JACKBOYS). Technically, the intro is useless as there are no actual lyrics. This left fans scattered and juicing out the five actual songs provided.

Don Toliver carried the entire pack. Of the entire pack, my favorites were “HAD ENOUGH,” and “WHAT TO DO?” Toliver had a huge impact on this: his vocals made the songs immeasurably better, and I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of his tracks. “GANG GANG,” at first, seems like a decent song. But once Sheck Wes comes into play, he makes no impact. His weak verses lead to the song’s collapse, and, after a few listens, the song becomes boring and forgettable. 

“GATTI” is influenced by Drill music. Drill comes from the Midwest, more specifically the South Side of Chicago and is a combination of Midwest hip-hop and hardcore rap. It can be described as dark and violent with deep trap-influenced beats. Drill mostly grew due to the influence of Chief Keef (originally from Chicago). While I respect the method and style,“GATTI” wasn’t for me. It was just too aggressive compared to the rest of the pack, but hardcore fans of Drill might appreciate it more. 

Intriguingly, “GATTI” had an outro, but no other intros in the pack matched it. It seems like it doesn’t fit, but that may not be a flaw.   Some fans believe that this is one of many clues, and that there are actually three packs with 17 tracks in total. “GATTI” did not match the rest of the pack. The rest of the songs were melodic, as opposed to “GATTI,” which was hardcore and a major change compared to the rest of the songs. It didn’t fit into the feel that the other songs provided, but maybe it’ll sync up with other possible tracks yet to come.

In this album, Scott allows other members to carry the Cactus Jack (like Don Toliver). The pack was interesting; however, it did not meet up with the variety of music that Scott provided back in 2018 with ASTROWORLD. Instead of Scott being in the main focus, it was Don Toliver who was first featured on Travis’s “CAN’T SAY” in ASTROWORLD. In my opinion, the pack can be compared to Travis’s Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight, with highly addictive and melodic songs. My hope is that the album is just the start for Scott and his team at Cactus Jack records. It’ll be interesting to see where they go next.

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