Five things you need to know about new Travis Scott album Utopia

The US rapper says the recording represents a new phase in his career

US rapper Travis Scott is releasing his fourth album, Utopia, on Friday. AFP
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The countdown to Travis Scott's Utopia is on.

And the US rapper is preparing for one of the biggest shows of his career in Egypt to coincide with the album's release on Friday.

Here are five things you need to know about Utopia.

1. The Utopia launch is (hopefully) taking place at the Giza Pyramids

Utopia is expected to be launched with a concert at the Giza Pyramids in Egypt on Friday.

As it stands, the concert is scheduled to go ahead, subject to security plans being approved by the authorities.

This comes after the show was reportedly cancelled last week after the Egyptian Syndicate of Musical Professions, the body responsible for licensing live music events across Egypt, did not issue the necessary permits.

Organiser Live Nation denied the claims in a tweet, stating: “There have been no changes to Travis Scott’s show in Egypt; any reports to the contrary are false. We can’t wait to celebrate Utopia with you in Egypt.”

Despite the unequivocal statement, doubts persist surrounding the concert.

Mohamed Sirag, managing director of ticketing company Ticketsmarche, told Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm on Saturday that the concert's technical team have yet to gain access to the site for pre-production work.

2. The album is expected to come with a film

Expect some kind of visuals to come with the album.

At the end of his performance at Rolling Loud festival in Miami on Saturday, Scott unveiled a trailer for his film Circus Maximus, which will reportedly be released with Utopia.

The enigmatic trailer has images of Scott performing in a packed crowd, people converging in a field, Roman columns and an empty outdoor amphitheatre.

3. The lead single is out now

K-Pop is the first single to be released from Utopia.

It's a sun-kissed piece of Latin-inspired pop, featuring The Weeknd and Bad Bunny.

Although it is the most commercial-sounding track Scott has released to date, it is probably not indicative of the album’s approach.

For one thing, Scott is barely a presence in K-Pop, with just a brisk verse at the beginning. And it’s hard to see how the single's laid-back groove will fit in with the signature manic energy of his live shows.

4. Utopia will introduce his new sound

Scott has been thinking about Utopia since 2021.

In an interview with the magazine CR Men, he said he was interested in exploring the concert and its themes of "being a better person, talking, language, communication – you know a utopian state."

While the recording process has been kept under wraps, Scott has dropped hints along the way.

In a 2021 interview with i-D magazine, he described his hands-on approach in the studio.

“I’ve been making beats again, rapping on my own beats, just putting everything together and trying to grow it really. That’s been one of the most fun things about working on this album,” he said.

“I might spend days banging my head against a wall trying to figure it out, but once I do it, it’s like ultimate ecstasy.”

5. The album is likely to come with a stadium tour

Scott has dropped heavy hints in the K-Pop video that he is preparing for some of his biggest shows to date, with scenes showing him walking around an empty stadium with Utopia logos and a sign stating: stadium tour rehearsals.

At present, Scott’s Egypt concert is the only scheduled gig on his calendar.

Updated: July 27, 2023, 8:50 AM