Hot 100 Review: FRANCHISE by Travis Scott (Feat. Young Thug and MIA)

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Watch the video:

Travis Scott is partnering with McDonalds on a sandwich and to flex his brand. I don’t know what more information I could give on that other than it is strange and I read that on one of the worst New York Times articles ever written. It would make sense for him to release a song about franchises considering he’s teaming up with one of the biggest. Even if that is the case it was executed terribly.

FRANCHISE might be the hardest song for me to talk about by far. It is not all that complicated, but it also makes no sense. To quote one of the few lines I could coherently understand, “got’em bamboozled like I’m Spike Lee.” A line never so true was ever uttered in a rap song.

Some of this might be on purpose since the beat and production seem to be the focus on the song. It’s all a mood piece. An oppressive beat, warning signals and other sound effects create a very chaotic and violent soundscape. I think that’s that point. To be a soundscape.

Sure, the song has lyrics. The problem is that none of them feel like they really connect or make sense as anything other than give a sense of flow. There is some rhymes and schemes going on, but it overall feels like an addition to the beat. They all feel incredibly meaningless by themselves or put together. Instead they feel like words your only supposed to register in the fact they exist while the true work the song’s doing is being used as an incidental track during a robbery scene in a movie or in a trailer for a movie.

That might be a bold statement. This song being created to only play during films and film trailers, but that’s the whole feeling the song gives off. Big starts that drown out the lyrics. Lyrics that are present enough to exist and register that they’re talking about thug stuff to give context to a scene, and then promptly disregarded. The literal only line I can pick out is MIA’s “Make’em get me Chippi Chippi (yeah).” Genius tells me this is a shout out to another rapper, and fair enough. But when you start yelling for chips like your five I’m going to laugh.

The video delivers on that moody, visuals over storytelling quality i assumed. Like each clip is less a connected story but instead a collage of short visuals that convey a meaning. Most of Travis Scott’s and Young Thug’s moments are far darker and classically gangster with MIA having a completely divergent location and color pallet. All of which comes together to have that mood piece but not really convey an idea.

I think…

I think there is no coherent idea being expressed. It could be how no matter how much stuff you have you aren’t happy. Hence why MIA’s parts are lighter. She’s out in a prairie with sheep living her best life while the two guys are stuck in a mansion with hot girls and cars and feeling sad. It almost works. It is just honestly hard to make heads of tails of the song. Partly because I think there is an idea.

The song, and lots of rap songs, constantly name drop brands. Rappers only feel accomplished with paired with brands. The brands give them meaning while being embewed with meaning by the people who get meaning from them. It’s an oroboros actually of culture. Think back to the McDonald’s example above. We all have our associations with the chain. Those associations are passed to the company which in turn tries to change or maintain said associations. It’s a vicious cycle that leads to “woke” and “cool” brands. That would mean a rap song skewering their obsession with brands and franchises would be amazing. Calling out how lambos and Rolex’s only mean anything because we give them said meaning. It’s a great idea that, due to the songs chaotic nature is lost in the swirling muck.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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