JackBoys / Travis Scott


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With the formation of his Cactus Jack label, Travis Scott followed a blueprint laid out by some of the biggest rap stars that precede him. Much like J. Cole's Dreamville label or Lil Wayne's Young Money roster before that, Cactus Jack allows Scott to slowly build an empire in his own image, offering a platform for new artists he handpicks. The brief Jackboys compilation acts as an introduction to the Cactus Jack roster in its earliest stages. Though it spans only a slim seven tracks and 21-minute running time, the scant material is packed with big-name appearances and attention-grabbing performances from the new Cactus Jack signees. There's a feature from Young Thug on the slithering flute-loop driven "Out West" as well as established stars like RosalĂ­a, Offset, and Lil Baby stopping by on various songs. Cactus Jack newcomers Sheck Wes, Luxury Tax, and Don Toliver trade verses with Scott on "Gang Gang," and Toliver stands out on the mournfully soulful "Had Enough" and the ominous "What to Do?" Jackboys is multifaceted even in its brevity. The seven tracks move across druggy trap vibes, brooding emo rap hooks, and bravado-heavy bangers like the Pop Smoke-featuring closer "Gatti." The various creative directions are cohesive enough to gel, but the songs rush by in a flash, making Jackboys feel less like an introduction to an exciting new label and more like a sneak preview of what's to come.

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