Three chart-topping rappers face off

Reviewing the newest releases from Travis Scott, Brockhampton, and Lil Wayne

Rap serves as a distraction from stressful moments in the semester.

This has been a great year for rap—which is important because students could use a distraction from their semester.

The Journal reviewed three rap albums that recently topped streaming charts to help you conquer upcoming midterms, final assignments, and December exams.

ASTROWORLD, Travis Scott

ASTROWORLD is hearty, feel-good, and full of diverse styles.

While heavily-autotuned music is typically seen as lazy or non-expressive, ASTROWORLD challenges this generalization. The dissonance in Scott’s autotune carries with it a surprising warm quality, as displayed in the song “YOSEMITE.” 

ASTROWORLD is a fantastic album, with songs perfect for every occasion. If you’re at a party, you may want to listen to “SICKO MODE,” “BUTTERFLY EFFECT,” or “NO BYSTANDERS.” If you’re in bed drinking tea and finishing up a reading, “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD,” “SKELETONS,” or “COFFEE BEAN” might fit the mood. 

On the album, Scott’s lyrics evoke wonder, happiness, pain, and inner-reflection. His musical style speaks to the existential angst among coming-of-age youth and young adults. But even with all of Scott’s concerns, ASTROWORLD’s lyricism and up-beat, party tempo keeps it certifiably fire.

iridescence, Brockhampton

While ASTROWORLD attracts listeners with autotuned dissonance, rap collective Brockhampton’s iridescence engages fans with its unusual, but fresh-sounding beats.

Each song is a distinct piece. The album is a collection of clashing sounds and rhythms that come together for an overall enjoyable listening experience. iridescence is representative of an impromptu dance party with your housemates—laughable, with no holding back, and thoroughly entertaining.

A few highlights of the album include “BERLIN,” “HONEY,” and “DISTRICT”—they’re brash, loud, and unapologetically explicit. While iridescence probably wouldn’t be your grandma’s favourite album, it still has at least one song to every person’s liking.

Tha Carter V, Lil Wayne

There’s not much to get excited about in Lil Wayne’s newest album.

Wayne’s previous work, which means it doesn’t contain the diverse musical breadth ASTROWORLD and iridescence boast.

Apart from the track “Mona Lisa,” featuring Kendrick Lamar, the album is bland, lacks innovation, and doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

The interesting part of Tha Carter V is the four-year struggle Wayne had trying to release it. Due to a dispute with his former record label, Cash Money Records, the album took nearly six years to come out—which may explain its limited appeal to some of rap’s more contemporary audience.

The album mostly sounds like something you’d skip when it’d come on Apple Music’s Hip Hop workout playlist. Sure, it’s rap—but it’s not very substantive or interesting. In comparison to the exciting sounds of Scott and Brockhampton, there’s little reason to pay this album any serious attention.

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