After five long years, yesterday Travis Scott finally released his long-awaited new album, Utopia.
The Houston-based rapper originally planned to hold a wide-ranging preview of the album at a concert at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, but according to official press reports, the event was canceled earlier this week due to “difficult production issues.” release from Live Nation. However, Travis Scott assured fans on Twitter that the show would take place at a later date. “The show at the pyramids will take place, but due to requests and logistical details, it will take some time to get everything ready. I will keep you updated about the date soon, love you all,” she wrote.
Between mysterious briefcases, billboards and pyramids (or lack thereof), Travis Scott showed he could go further by releasing Utopia. In early summer, artists like Bad Bunny and The Weeknd (both featured on the album’s first single, K-pop), SZA (the present together with the Future in TELEKINS) and Mike Dean (album mastering) were seen with suitcases marked. Utopia.
Last month, cryptic billboards promoting the album were also seen in Los Angeles. Travis Scott also unveiled five different album covers last week. with men wearing white contact lenses, which fans suspected may reflect the idiosyncrasies of features featured on the album, given their slight resemblance to Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, The Creator, Juice WRLD, Baby Kim, and Lil Baby. But in the end, none of these artists made it to the album.
Screening of the “Big Circus” in the cinema
Starting Thursday evening, on the eve of the release UtopiaTravis Scott premiered the film’s album, Circus Maximusshown in select AMC theaters. Directed by the musician along with five other directors, the rapper “takes his audience on a mind-blowing visual odyssey through the world, woven from the rumbling speakers of the sounds of his long-awaited upcoming album. Utopia“, says the AMC website. “The film is a surreal and psychedelic journey that brings together a collective of visionary filmmakers from around the world in a kaleidoscopic exploration of the human experience and the power of soundscapes.”
Fans got T-shirts for free Circus Maximus when registering at the theatre. The shirts are black with Cactus Jack and the movie logo on the front and back respectively. Scott also revealed that some of the T-shirts were hidden in theaters and fans went looking for trash.
Travis Scott’s Inner Thoughts
Circus Maximus starts with Travis Scott being suffocated by an octopus and then transforming into a new version of himself. He then goes up the mountain to meet producer Rick Rubin, who engages him in a conversation about his feelings lately. Rubin tells Scott that he’s come a long way and admits the rapper went through tragedy, apparently referring to the 2021 Astroworld festival. Sometimes Travis Scott seems agitated. He quickly dismisses the topic, saying that he didn’t go to Rubin’s to discuss it. although he is remorseful for the situation when asked, “How are things at home?” and Travis replies, “The house hasn’t been the same for a long time. I hear the echo of noon.”
Travis Scott’s conversations with Rubin take place in the first half of the film and are interspersed with clips of the rapper in various countries. In one video, people stand on each other’s shoulders to help a child out of a hole. The camera pans to a close-up of Travis Scott tensing under pressure, perhaps a metaphor for the burden he’s felt in recent years as he grieves and struggles to figure out how to move forward in his career.
Travis Scott’s Worldbuilding and the Meaning of “Utopia”
Travis Scott was amazing at creating a whole universe around his music. Bye Astroworld 2018 was more linear in concept, meaning Utopia it is free to interpret. For Circus Maximus the artist traveled to Iceland, Nigeria, Denmark, France and Italy to comprehend his personal utopia.. Asked about the album, the Houston-based artist explains that his concept of a utopian world is not all that beautiful and non-confrontational, but rather seeks to convey its energy without breaking or interrupting it along the way.
Scott seems more in his element in the second half of the film as he performs several songs. Utopia in the amphitheater at Pompeii. In this moment, Circus Maximus from a collection of music videos and talks with Rick Rubin to a concert film. Dressed in white and leaning against a wall of speakers, dusk turns to dawn as Travis Scott rehearses a few tracks from his new catalog in an empty historic building.
Special guest appearances and performances
During his performance, Travis Scott was joined by special guests, some of whom are also featured on the album: Teezo Touchdown, Sheck Wes, Yung Lean, James Blake and model Jazzelle. Other artists featured on the 19-track album include Beyoncé, Drake, Young Thug, Future, SZA and Sampha. In conversation with director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Spy Kids) for iD in early 2021, Travis Scott stated that with Utopia it was “sound extension”. I started making beats again, rapping over my beats, putting everything together and trying to build,” he said. “It was one of the most fun things about working on this album. I’m evolving, collaborating with new people, creating a whole new sound, a whole new range.”
Cacti Jack and Gamma?
Circus Maximus partners with Gamma, Larry Jackson’s new media company. It doesn’t seem far-fetched, given that Travis Scott attended the company’s launch party in March. Gamma is a distribution, creative direction, marketing and more company. His clients include Snoop Dogg, Usher and Sexyy Red.