Houston-born rapper Jacques Webster—better known to the public as Travis Scott—emerged on the music scene about eight years ago. Since then, he’s released three studio albums. Scott’s latest, ASTROWORLD, has enjoyed two weeks at No. 1 … and generated accusations (mostly by angry rival Nicki Minaj) that its sales were boosted unfairly due to social media tactics used by his famous girlfriend, Kylie Jenner.
The album’s second single, “Sicko Mode,” is one of 17 explicit tracks on ASTROWORLD. A mixture of bravado and flexin’ what (or who) you have, Scott is joined by a bevy of guest contributors bragging about their material possessions and the status that their bling brings.
Three separate sections in “Sicko Mode” span more than five minutes, with each one switching between different beats and featured artists. Drake begins the first in typical Drake fashion: a slow beat combined with lines that eventually dish out support for Scott: “Young La Flame, he in sicko mode,” Drake sings.
The beat then drops into the second section, featuring a fusion of Scott’s raps combined with samples from Notorious B.I.G. Scott brags about what he has, who he’s working with and how he’s just getting started: “This s— way too big, when we pull up give me the loot/ … Different colored chains, think my jeweler really sellin’ fruits/And they chokin’, man, know the crackers wish it was a noose.”
Big Hawk and Swae Lee show up for the song’s bridge, reminding listeners that each of these artists are in the game for the long haul, and that they’re not to be doubted “To win the retreat, we all in too deep/Pl-pl-playin’ for keeps, don’t play us for weak (someone said).”
Scott, Swae Lee and 2 Live Crew’s Uncle Luke continue the second verse, which focuses on status, sex and alcohol: “All of these hoes I made off records I produced/ … In the 305, b–ches treat me like I’m Uncle Luke.” Explicit references to the female anatomy and sexual activity follow (“We ain’t even make it to the room”) with a nod toward alcohol lowering the woman’s inhibitions (“Now I got her open, it’s just the Goose”).
The third section, featuring Drake, Scott and Sheck Wes, revisits what’s already been covered: status, money and sex. It also refers to Xanax (“I did half a Xan, 13 hours ‘til I land”), one misuse of Jesus’ name and other harsh profanities, including the f-word, “n-gga” and “b–ch.”
The collective beats in the song’s three sections may make for a musically diverse tune. But the subject matter and content are all the same: Bravado, harsh profanity and graphic references to sex all accurately reflect the song’s title.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, loving raising their little guy, Judah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).