Travis Scott's solo albums ranked: from Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight to Utopia

The US rapper has built a distinctive sound over the course of his career

Travis Scott returns with new album Utopia. AFP
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After a chaotic period in which Travis Scott's Egyptian show was cancelled last minute this week, he finally released his highly anticipated fourth album, Utopia.

The release marks another step forward in terms of dramatic production and a guest list including Beyonce, Drake and The Weeknd.

However, does that star power translate into a career best effort? Here, we rank his albums from worst to best.

4. Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (2016)

If debut album Rodeo announced Scott as a star-to-be, this follow-up showed he has the sonic swag and the connections to fulfil his potential.

Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight is stacked with star-studded artists, from The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar to Andre 3000 and Kid Cudi.

While all delivered in their respective ways, the album sounds bloated as a result and Scott plays second fiddle on too many occasions.

That said, many of the club-ready tracks are undeniably thrilling, such as Co-ordinate with Black Youngsta and Goosebumps with Lamar.

The sheer energy of Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight put the controversial seeds of the mosh pits central to Scott’s live shows.

3. Rodeo (2015)

Scott’s debut album becomes more influential as the years go by.

At the time of its release, the hip-hop sub-genre Trap was in a creative cul-de-sac.

While Rodeo didn't reinvent the wheel, tracks such as Antidote and 90210, with their brilliant cinematic production and Scott's unorthodox cadences, showed Trap’s mainstream appeal.

The album's guest artists also made mainstream listeners take notice- with appearances by The Weeknd and a sly-sounding Justin Bieber.

2. Utopia (2023)

It's easy to hear why Scott wanted to launch his latest album with a show at the Giza Pyramids in Egypt.

Everything about Utopia screams epic, from its 17 tracks running for nearly 80 minutes to its widescreen soundscapes.

However, does Utopia succeed in topping Astroworld?

The answer is it falls short, albeit slightly, from that game-changing effort due to the few throwaway tracks and lack of surprises.

Utopia displays many of Scott’s sonic signatures, such as the woozy keyboards, dramatic synths and those thrilling “beat-switching” moments where the song flips direction suddenly.

Even Drake returns for Meltdown, a sure-fire hit, as it’s basically a sequel to their now classic 2018 collaboration Sicko Mode.

While impressive, and with Scott rapping better than ever, Utopia is more excellent than classic. This is what happens when your previous album is considered a game changer.

1. Astroworld (2018)

Not since 2010's Kanye West opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has a hip-hop album arrived so fully realised.

With Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight’s success, Scott could have continued with a pop-centric approach.

However, he bravely takes a left turn to create an album more obsessed with detail and nuances than anthems.

Tracks such as the aforementioned Sicko Mode and Butterfly Effect are meant to be luxuriated in with good headphones.

Scott’s heavily modified voice also acts as its own instrument with his yelps, screams and undulating rhyme patterns.

That single mindedness and sheer creativity of Astroworld makes the album a modern-day hip-hop classic.

Updated: July 28, 2023, 3:34 PM