Travis Scott has solidified himself as a star in rap. He released a Grammy nominated album in Astroworld, broke a record after grossing $1.7 Million in one night selling more than 16,300 tickets for Astroworld’s “Wish You Were Here Tour”, released a number of fire collabs with Nike, and even got a documentary on Netflix.
With fans eating up everything that the Houston rapper does, Travis took that opportunity to put his Cactus Jack imprint in the spotlight with a compilation album titled JACKBOYS.
Cactus Jack is composed of 3 artist, “Mo Bamba” rapper Sheck Wes, Don Toliver who stole the show on Astroworld’s “Can’t Say” , up-and-coming rapper Luxury Tax 50 (who hasn’t even been confirmed to being signed to the label) and Travis’s DJ Chase B.
All three artist are featured in at least one track on the tape ( Don Toliver is on 4 ).
Below I give a track by track review of the 7 song album below.
Track 1: HIGHEST IN THE ROOM REMIX (feat Rosalía Lil Baby)
All Travis Scott fans will be able to recognize the albums opening song, it’s a remix to “Highest In The Room”. This time around Travis enlisted Atlanta star Lil Baby and The Spanish phenom Rosalía. Both artist compliment the song well and is an added bonus to an already solid track.
Track 2: JACKBOYS
Named after the project, you’re probably thinking this song has to feature all members affiliated with the label right? Well how about this, it’s a 46 second instrumental that transitions smoothly into the albums third track.
Track 3: GANG GANG GANG (Feat Don Toliver, Sheck Wes, Luxury Tax 50)
The track opens up with an emphatic “WHAT THE F*CK IS WE DOING” and those are my exact sentiments. Track one was cool, track two wasn’t even a song but now we get to a song that showcases the talent that Travis has amassed on his roster.
Travis’s prints are all over this track from the beat to the flow that the other artist use. We get a brief verse from La Flame while he let’s his signees shine. Don Toliver did what he does best, catch a melody on the hook and take off but the stars of this show are Sheck Wes & Luxury Tax 50.
Sheck is far from lyrical but I feel this may be his best verse in his young career. Even with Sheck laying his best verse ever I caught myself continuously rewinding Luxury Tax 50’s verse. He just had a certain swagger to him on this track that you can feel through the speaker.
Track 4: HAD ENOUGH (Feat Quavo Offset)
There is some obvious chemistry between Travis Scott and the Migos (particularly Quavo) stretching back to 2013’s “Quintana Remix” and let us not forget the greatness that was “Kelly Price” off of CULTURE. Since then Travis & Quavo have done several tracks together and even dropped a joint project “Huncho Jack Jack Huncho”.
This go around Don Toliver replaces Travis and vibes out with Set and Huncho. Starting off somber, the track picks up as soon as the beat drops and Don’s catchy melody captivates you similar to his verse on Can’t Say. Offset’s verse is really good, I feel he is one of the most slept of features in Hip-Hop. Quavo’s verse is sub-par but is serviceable in this instance since his is the last one.
Track 4: OUT WEST (Featuring Young Thug)
Talk about chemistry, I think we would all appreciate an album from Travis and Thug. I mean they gave us “Mamacita”, “Skyfall” “Pick Up The Phone” & among other notable tracks. Travis and Thug are two of the most experimental artist in all of music so whenever they link on a track you can expect something good.
Out West isn’t bad but when I see the names Travis Scott and Young Thug I’m thinking of something more grand. The track seems rushed with little to no direction. Topics varry from shanking people (Young Thug is obsessed with shanking someone) and hopping into whips to hop into another whip. I was kind of confused about this one.
One thing I will say is the beat is pure flames.
Track 6: WHAT TO DO? (Feat Don Toliver)
This track is very artistic, the sounds used in it are are futuristic, something that Travis always infuses into his music. However, this is Don’s track. Travis assists on the hook and provides a few lines. At first I wasn’t the biggest fan of the track but it grows on me the more I hear it.
I will say “Still Fu*ked Up” Don’t Know What To Do” is a pretty relatable line especially after night out with one too many drinks.
However, I expected more from Don Toliver on this one.
Track 7: GATTI (Feat Pop Smoke)
Maybe it’s the New Yorker in me but I was hype to see Travis link up with the city’s hottest young star. Pop Smoke’s profile is rising fast. As soon as the record starts you can hear the thunderous UK Drill production which Pop Smoke has literally made his career off of.
What Pop lacks in lyricism he makes up for in flow and charisma, he attacked this verse like he knew he would have an opportunity for the world to hear what him and others in Brooklyn have started and that energy can be felt throughout his verse.
As for Travis this is our first time hearing him on this type of beat. At first I wasn’t feeling it but like other songs on the project his verse grew on me. I tip my hat to Travis for keeping his ear to the street and dabbling with a bubbling sound that the world may not be hip to.
The album is really 5 songs when you think about. “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM” is the same song with added verse, and “JACKBOYS” is an instrumental. I liked how Travis wasn’t overbearing on the songs he shared with his artist and allowed them to shine. The length of the album was refreshing especially in the day and age of 19 song projects (snooze fest).
I didn’t like that Sheck Wes & Luxury Tax 50 are only on one track. I would’ve liked to see them on more throughout the tape. Although I don’t believe this is Don’s best work he was able to demonstrate his talent to a larger audience.
Cactus Jack is a talented label and released a decent project worth giving a listen to. I give this album a 5.5 out of 10. Give JACKBOYS a listen below.