travis life

Courtesy of Netflix

September 10, 2019

Travis Scott Launches Netflix Special ‘Look Mom I Can Fly’

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You’re not going to learn anything new at all about Travis Scott from watching Look Mom I Can Fly. You’ll see glimpses of his artistic process, his crew and people surrounding Cactus Jack records and of course, Kylie Jenner and their daughter, Stormi Webster. The documentary is still entertaining, even if there isn’t a ton of substance. In a way, that makes it the perfect match for his music — when you listen to Travis Scott you’re not exactly listening to the most emotional or lyrically complex music, but it’s still fun as hell to be a part of.

Ninety percent of this documentary is Travis Scott worshipping Travis Scott, which I guess is alright if you’ve done the things he’s done in the last year. But some of the scenes just really felt corny. Did we have to see him get presented the key to the City of Houston? Did we have to spend half an hour on his Grammy nominations and how he was robbed? Also, the scene of him stepping outside to smoke a blunt immediately after the delivery of his daughter was probably not a scene that I would have included but I suppose it fits the aesthetic he so carefully curates.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any genuine moments within Look Mom I Can Fly. The look into his personal life and family is touching, with the juxtaposition of his childhood and Stormi’s standing out in particular. There’s a scene depicting Stormi driving around their mansion in a toy Bentley, and it’s quickly followed by a home video of a very young Travis Scott driving around his street in a toy car. It’s a very smooth contrast of the life Travis Scott lived as a child and the life he’s providing for his daughter, and it’s executed beautifully. These splices of home videos from Travis Scott’s childhood really add to the authenticity of the documentary and do well to counterbalance some of the moments where he doesn’t seem quite as humble.

At first, I was quick to write off much of this documentary for being over the top. There are multiple times throughout this documentary where his fans say that Travis Scott’s music saved their life, and it’s easy to look at that and think they’re being dramatic considering how his music isn’t exactly the most emotionally complex. Looking a little deeper, Travis Scott has created his own community, his own aesthetic and way of life for his fans to be a part of. There aren’t many artists right now who can extract the same levels of energy and commitment from their fans to the same extent as Travis Scott. He’s masterfully crafted the perfect live experience and aesthetic, then made merch to convey this, which in turn has developed into its own staple within the streetwear community. As I type this review, there are three people near me wearing Astroworld merch, and that’s just in the lower part of the Cocktail Lounge. Look Mom I Can Fly goes beyond Scott’s music to indirectly capture some of these intangibles.

The looks into the creation of Astroworld were what I found to be the most interesting moments in the documentary. The Hawaii sessions reached their own level of concentrated fame within the Travis Scott community due to their similarities to Kanye West’s own Hawaii sessions for the creation of his magnum opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and it’s where Travis Scott created some of the best tracks from Astroworld such as “YOSEMITE” and “NO BYSTANDERS.”  It’s fun to see how Travis Scott and his camp reacted to some of the music they were creating, like when they all first heard Drake’s verse on “SICKO MODE” and knew that song was heat. Additionally, not much was ever mentioned about some of the more unique artists he brought on to Astroworld prior to this documentary, so seeing his interactions with artists like Tame Impala, John Mayer and Earth, Wind, and Fire and how they differentiate from traditional rapper collaborations is particularly interesting, even if they looked a bit awkward.

Look Mom I Can Fly may not teach you anything new about Travis Scott, but it’s still worth watching. If you enjoy his aesthetic or want to understand why so many of his fans are so crazy about his music, fire it up the next time you want to ignore that problem set due tomorrow.

Daniel Moran is a junior in the College of Human Ecology. He currently serves as the assistant arts and entertainment editor on The Sun’s editorial board. He can be reached at arts@cornellsun.com.