With his new track, "Franchise", Travis Scott takes one more step towards legend status.
Going into 2020, Travis Scott was already shaping himself up to be the biggest rapper in the world. The reverence around his name, and around his 2018 album, ASTROWORLD, has taken him from rapper to near deity – akin to Kanye or Drake. But, while being showered in glory and worship sounds great, it comes with a deep downside – the pressure to maintain a level of art that is so consistently well respected that your feet don’t come crashing back down to earth.
Whether Scott feels that pressure is unknown to us, but with “Franchise” – his first official lead single since 2019’s “Highest In The Room” – it doesn’t seem like he cares. “Franchise” is a smorgasbord of Scott’s talents fused into one drenched Molotov cocktail and thrown swiftly at your face. With production helmed by Scott himself, it has the same stalking, nodding feel that “SICKO MODE” had, setting the scene for a breathless run of spitfire verses.
It’s a barrage of bars from start to finish, switching quickly between Scott and his two collaborations on the track – Young Thug and M.I.A. While Scott’s verses are haunting and rapid-fire, as usual, Thug’s are cartoon-like and spritely. Couple that with M.I.A’s signature aloof delivery, and the three of them make sure all bases are covered.
The song is accompanied by a video that’s as pastiched as its soundtrack, with Scott sitting in the director’s chair. With no scene lasting longer than a few seconds, Scott is drawing inspiration from all corners of pop culture, with nods to Kendrick Lamar’s music video for “HUMBLE” and Ari Aster’s 2019 horror film Midsommar.
Ultimately, “Franchise” works because Scott is behind the wheel of it all. While Thug and M.I.A.’s contributions to the song cannot go ignored, they’re only there so Scott can match them word for word, bar for bar. Will society continue to revere him after “Franchise”? Hard to say, but his consistency and his conviction might just trick us into following his every move anyway.
Main Image Credit: YouTube, Travis Scott "Franchise"