It’s official: Travis Scott will be in “Super Bowl” Mode for Super Bowl LIII. After flirting with the possibility of a Travis Scott guest performance for several months, Super Bowl halftime show organizers have now confirmed that the Astroworld album-maker will appear alongside previously announced halftime headliner, Maroon 5. Fellow rapper Big Boi is also slated to join Scott and Maroon 5.
Scott’s Super Bowl booking comes after philanthropic collaboration between Scott and the NFL, who will collectively donate $500,000 to “social justice accelerator,” Dream Corps. “I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in,” Scott said in a statement that followed formal announcement of his entertainment confirmation. “I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change,” Scott added.
A source close to the “Sicko Mode” artist told Billboard that Scott’s participation in the halftime show was contingent upon the NFL’s agreement to contribute a donation to Dream Corps. Many artists rejected the NFL’s Super Bowl 2019 halftime show bids, including Rihanna, Jay-Z, Adele, and Cardi B, each of whom reportedly rejected the entertainment offer to show solidarity to prior San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the National Anthem in “protest against police brutality” in 2016. Storied and dedicated in his efforts to to bring attention to the issue of police brutality in the nation for many years preluding Kaepernick’s on-field opposition, JAY-Z supposedly attempted to dissuade Scott from accepting a halftime slot at Super Bowl 2019 prior to Scott’s confirmation.
Boston Calling revealed its 10th anniversary lineup, featuring some of the biggest names in the industry and premier headliners such as Travis Scott, Twenty One Pilots, and Tame Impala. Other big names to grace the northeastern sonic get-together include ODESZA, Logic, Greta Van Fleet, Anderson .Paak, Hozier, Janelle Monáe, Sheck Wes, and many more. With an eclectic lineup combining carefully selected acts in hip-hop, rock, and electronic music, Boston Calling tempers the array of sounds by including comedy acts such as Michael Che, Jenny Slate, and Fred Armisen.
Other electronic acts thrown in the mix include Mura Masa, a DJ set from Chromeo, Snakehips, and other various troupes that utilize strong synth protagonists. The event is embedded in prime-time festival season, May 24-26, at the Harvard Athletic Complex. Click here for tickets.
The designation is affirmed by a comprehensive year-end report published by market monitor BuzzAngle, which tracks music consumption data. Far from a fad, hip-hop comes out on top again as the most streamed genre this year, with rap singles consuming 24.7 percent of the streaming market in 2018, or a quarter of all streamed tracks for the year. 2018 shows continued year over year growth for the genre, which previously consumed 20.9 percent of single streams in 2017. The report categorizes urban songs as a combination of rap, hip-hop, and R&B, all amounting to the country’s most streamed genre, beating out pop music three years in a row.
Other trends that have emerged are the rise of pop and the decline of rock. In 2017, rock was right behind hip-hop with a 19.8 percent consumption share, while in 2018, pop overtook rock to take a 19 percent market share. Rock precipitously declined to only a 11.7 percent market share in 2018, even in a year when highly marketable albums from Greta Van Fleet, Smashing Pumpkins, and Stone Temple Pilots among others saw major label releases.
These trends are similarly reflected in album streaming patterns for 2017 and 2018. Although rock album streams superseded rap album streams in 2017, 2018 was a year of major growth for hip-hop and a considerable decline for rock. In a year when everyone from Travis Scott to The Carters, Drake to Anderson .Paak dropped full-length projects, it comes as no surprise that hip-hop dominated nearly a quarter of the streaming market in 2018.
Last month, the multi-talented Brit, James Blake, set the scene up in a blaze of intrigue, taunting his crowd with an unreleased André 3000 (of Outkast) collaboration at a Brooklyn DJ set.
Now, thanks to the hyper-vigilant Reddit community (specifically user: Misfitxxx) and a leaked Amazon link, all signs point toward a full-length album from the singer/songwriter, entitled Assume Form. The since-deleted Amazon pre-sale page indicated the album–purportedly slated for a Jan 25 release date–will feature a grocery-list-length sundry of illustrious industry faces from Travis Scott (whom Blake collaborated with for Astroworld-housed “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD”) to Spanish songstress, Rosalía.
Given Blake’s affinity for precipitate album-dropping (2016’s The Colour in Anything), a sans-promo (almost) release is certainly within the realm of possibility for the 1–800–Dinosaur producer.
Below is the tracklist as it appeared on the Amazon pre-sale page:
01 – “Assume Form” 02 – “Mile High” 03 – “Tell Them” 04 – “Into The Red” 05 – “Barefoot In The Park” 06 – “Can’t Believe The Way We Flow” 07 – “Are You In Love?” 08 – “Where’s The Catch?” 09 – “I’ll Come Too” 10 – “Power On” 11 – “Don’t Miss It” 12 – “Lullaby For My Insomniac”
Paring down an entire year’s worth of songs is no easy feat.
2018 saw the explosion of songs like ZEDD‘s “The Middle” and Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa‘s “One Kiss,” dominating both the dance music charts and the radio airwaves. Ear-catching tracks like these, along with fan favorites like FISHER‘s persuasive “Losing It” and Anti Up‘s entertaining “Pizza” wiggled their way into festival sets around the world and — love them or hate them — stood out as notable tracks that do their part in immortalizing this whirlwind of a year.
From Skrillex to Kayzo, many DJs have been tempted to try their hands at remixing Travis Scott‘s chart dominating “Sicko Mode.” The latest to join the list of artists stepping up the the Astroworld standout is none other than Diplo, although his rework of the original is more festive than it is transformative.
Diplo enlists Walshy Fire, Ape Drums, and company on a private plane for the ultimate Christmas re-think of “Sicko Mode,” fake rapping his newly written holiday-themed “Santa Mode” lyrics. The original track is an undoubted hit, but Diplo’s timely Christmas cut actually manages to hold up — we might need a full version.
For more than a decade, DJ Earworm has been blending the year’s top songs into a massive “United States of Pop” mashup at the end of each year. He began the series in 2007, kicking off with a combo of songs from Soulja Boy, Akon, Avril Lavigne, Rihanna, Fergie, and more. It’s been 11 years since that inaugural mashup, and Earworm hasn’t slowed down in the slightest.
On November 28, Skrillex dropped a spontaneous remix of Travis Scott‘s “Sicko Mode” featuring Drake — a track that’s shaping up to be the hottest feature from his 2018 album, ASTROWORLD, currently sitting at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Likely to climb another spot, Skrillex’s five-minute rework made a large dent in the dance music world, one large enough to cause Whethan to flip the track just two days later.
Fans haven’t heard much from the Chicago-based producer since the release of his debut EP Life of a Wallflower Vol. 1. He recently wrapped up a historic fall tour and has some dates lined up for December. However, he clearly couldn’t resist the temptation, creating what he refers to as a “turn” of the original masterpiece. This “turn” is shorter in length and gets crazier as it progresses (considering the drop doesn’t hit until 2:45 in Skrillex’s version, but well worth the wait), yet maintains the original’s dub-heavy bassline with added effects and overall flare.
While Skrillex‘s “SICKO MODE” remix is still hot off the press, it appears the OWSLA boss and La Flame are already plotting additional co-ventures together. Travis Scott‘s smash hit is a strong contender for Song of the Year, and with Skrillex stepping in to extend the original’s shelf life with one of his most refreshing remix efforts in years, the chemistry between the two powerhouse artists is undeniable — and the pair are primed to capitalize on it.
In a recent interview with Billboard, Skrillex and Scott both reveal that during the process of finalizing the remix together new beats were inevitably shared, and the idea of future original collaborations seemed to develop organically before the “SICKO MODE” remix even landed. Says Skrillex,
“We were kind of hanging out in the studio and I ended up playing him a ton more beats. I like taking in everything organic and making everything natural. Doing something together in the future is definitely on the horizon, you know? It’s a vibe for sure.”
2019 is already bound to be the Year of Skrillex. So what better way to cap off a well deserved year away from the road? Dropping perhaps the most anticipated remix of 2018 sounds like an appropriate way to celebrate. Skrillex’s sabbatical this year has translated into quality time spent in the studio, working on a rumored sophomore LP and collaborating like crazy. He has also made an unofficial annual tradition of delivering these singular monumental remixes that wind up being some of his most memorable cuts of each year — think GTA‘s “Red Lips,” Yogi’s “Burial,” and Kendrick Lamar‘s “Humble.” Now Travis Scott‘s Drake-assisted smash hit “SICKO MODE” will finally join those ranks. It likely goes without saying, but the OWSLA head delivers once again.
The “SICKO MODE” remix appeared on Travis Scott’s website, ahead of the track’s official debut on streaming services. The track will set you back a cool 69 cents for now, though its well worth the purchase. Keeping the track’s versework largely intact, Skrillex enhances one of the biggest rap tracks of the year with his one-of-a-kind bounce flair and head-spinning vocal chops. If anything, the remix wears certainly its name on its sleeve — Skrillex is entering “SICKO MODE” in 2019.