Rolling Loud 2018: Travis Scott

Aslesha Kumar/Staff

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Riding hot on the coattails of releasing the highly anticipated ASTROWORLD to critical acclaim just last month, headliner Travis Scott left no doubt as to his incomparable rap prowess among the enormous crowd gathered for his performance late Sunday night during the closing hours of the Rolling Loud 2018 festival.

Masked in a colorful array of vivid, flashing lights under a layer of  thick haze, Scott immediately claimed the stage the moment he began his first song, moving with a practiced ease that reminded the crowd that he was by no means a newcomer. Rather, during the most highly anticipated performance of the festival, Scott seamlessly hammered out hits such as “CAROUSEL,” “NO BYSTANDERS” and “SKELETONS” from ASTROWORLD with an incredible stage presence and sense of raw energy.

Yet aside from showcasing the success of ASTROWORLD and its impressive set of chart-toppers, Scott also threw it back to the albums Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight and Rodeo with hits such as “goosebumps” and “Antidote” that were key contributors to Scott’s rise from relative obscurity to rap stardom. Evidently, Scott’s high-budget Rolling Loud performance served as a celebration of not only the success of ASTROWORLD but also his quick ascent to trap fame — a feat that his fans seemed as enthused about as Scott did himself during his performance. Evidently, Scott’s Rolling Loud performance also served as a means of promoting his upcoming ASTROWORLD tour, which is coming to Oracle Arena later this year.

Notably, Scott featured an impressive lineup of guest artists during his performance, from bringing Young Thug to the stage for the hit song “Pick Up The Phone” to featuring Gunna, Sheck Wes and Don Toliver at various points during his set. Yet undoubtedly, Scott’s raw talent and impressive effort as a performer were showcased best during his auto-tuned a cappella sequences, when the sheer power of his vocals aside from his beats seemed to entrance the crowd.

Very enthusiastically rapping with or without a backtrack, Scott managed to vibe with his audience and replicate the sense of energy in the air, illustrating the mark of a performer who not only has incredible musical talent but who also thinks critically about his every move and verse on stage. Not a single track that Scott performed was met without the utmost enthusiasm, with fans moshing and rapping alongside him.

The epitome of the progression in the trap industry over the past few years, Scott’s performance as a headliner managed to bring a renewed sense of enthusiasm to the rap genre, embodying the spirit of the Rolling Loud 2018 festival itself in the process.

Contact Manisha Ummadi at [email protected].