ASTROWORLD is Travis Scott’s long-awaited third studio album, following his 2016 release Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. The album is titled after Six Flags AstroWorld, a popular Houston amusement park. The park was demolished in 2005. Despite several developers staking claims to develop the large vacant lot into use, nothing has been done with the space since. In a 2017 interview with GQ, Travis lamented on the park’s prominence in Houston and its impact on the album:
That’s what it’s going to sound like, like taking an amusement park away from kids. We want it back. We want the building back. That’s why I’m doing it. It took the fun out of the city.
Travis initially confirmed the title in a May 2016 show, stating that it would follow BITTSM. Almost two years later, he released a promotional single for the album – “Watch” – which features guest vocals from Lil Uzi Vert and Kanye West. However, the song did not make the album, with his platinum single “BUTTERFLY EFFECT” appearing instead.
Scott confirmed that the album is a sequel to his 2015 album Rodeo, saying:
My whole idea was, if you locked into Rodeo, you definitely locked into ASTROWORLD. I’m just finishing the saga I started on my first album. This is supposed to be my second album. I had to go quick, because like I said, I had all these ideas, I just had to get off real quick, but now I’m finally back home with ASTROWORLD.
In early July, Travis Scott assembled a “supergroup” of artists and producers in Hawaii to finish the album.
Leading up to the announcement of the album’s release date, gold inflatable Travis Scott heads popped up in various locations, including Amoeba Music in Los Angeles, Minute Maid Park in Houston (home to the Houston Astros), and on top of the Hard Rock Cafe in NYC’s Times Square.
The inflatable head ended up being an integral part of the album’s artwork, which was announced on July 31st, days before the album’s release on August 3rd.
On December 7th, 2018, the album was nominated for the GRAMMY’s best rap album of 2018. Additionally, the hit “SICKO MODE” was nominated for both the best rap song and the best rap performance. Travis expressed his gratitude the next day, saying:
Thank u record academy it’s took a whole 24hrs for it to really hit me. Plus this has Also been my duffle all year.