Inside Astroworld: Travis Scott’s Netflix Film

The documentary opens with the Houston, Texas native talking to a night vision camera, explaining the concept behind Astroworld; an album that shook the rap world to its core, making Scott the biggest rapper of 2018.

Look Mom I Can Fly shows the real Travis Scott. Behind the loud bass, smoke clouds, and paparazzi flashes, Scott is a family man to his core. Keeping a tight-knit circle, he often runs backstage to hug and give thanks to family and friends. Girlfriend and businesswoman, Kylie Jenner makes a couple appearances as they welcome their daughter, Stormi, into the world. Scott is seen kissing and playing with his daughter with a big wide smile plastered on his face. “Ain’t going to lie, It’s the livest thing of all time” is how Scott described what it was like to listen to his unborn baby’s heartbeat.

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Image via Complex.com

Fans are quickly swept onto the Astroworld journey to fruition, seeing behind the scenes snippets of how the legendary album was made. James Blake, Kevin Parker (Tame Impala), and Earth, Wind, and Fire all make a quick appearance as contributors on the album. But what the fans really learn about is what Astroworld means to Scott. The album is inspired by the AstroWorld theme park that was located in Houston, Texas. The Six Flags-owned park later closed down in 2005. On the theme behind this album, Scott says, “They tore down AstroWorld to build more apartment space. 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.” That angst and rioting anger can be heard all over the Astroworld album.

The rapper created his own Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas last November. This sold out festival looked like something out of a video game. Fans practically bent down barricades to run inside and go crazy in the world of Travis Scott. Not only did this festival promote Scott and his new music, but brought fans from all over the world to his hometown of Houston to relish in the magical Astroworld.

It’s safe to say it’s been a long time since a rapper has had such a massive effect on people of all genders, races, and ages. Crowds are flooded with mosh pits, riots, nose bleeds, and sometimes even broken bones. Scott’s music allows fans to open up and go crazy no matter where they are in a stadium full of people. After a tough loss at the Grammy’s, Travis is reminded that he’ll keep doing it for the fans and never stop making music. If you’re a fan of Travis Scott, be sure to sit down and watch this documentary to further understand who he is as an artist – not just a rapper.

 


 

 

 

Coldplay’s “A Head Full of Dreams”

(Image via billboard.com)

Somehow, Coldplay has managed to continue their successful musical reign for a long and hard 20 years in the industry. Not many bands can say the same.

A Head Full of Dreams begins with a recorded conversation between director Mat Whitecross and Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin. Whitecross asks if Martin has seen the film yet and he responds with, “I trust you. You make the movie you want to make about us.” That right there is a testament to who Chris Martin is at his core; an artist who understands art more than anything else in the world. He feels too much and might be a workaholic, but in the end, it’s rewarding enough to say it was all worth it. When you’re standing on a stage in a stadium full of millions of people singing your diary back at you, it’s worth it.

Fans are swiftly whirled back to the humble beginnings. Videos and photos of all four band members with greasy hair, braces, and maybe a little bit of the freshman 15 grace the screen as we start to see the formation of Coldplay. All these guys had one thing in common; music was their passion. It was clear from the start that Martin would be the engineer behind the machine, as we saw through intense meetings, long studio sessions, and exuberant on-stage performances. But, there’s no doubt each member found their footing in a band that would soon become an international phenomenon.

Whitecross dug into the backstory of several songs/albums and all the bumps along the way. He says, “For me, it’s a story about love and friendship.” We see Beyoncé singing her part in the joyous “Hymn For The Weekend” in Chris’ son’s bedroom which he made into a makeshift studio for the day. Martin is also shown banging out the first couple chords of the timeless and heartbreaking “Fix You” and “The Scientist”. Not only did we see hit songs come to life, but also the impact they had on the band going forward. I might be biased in saying this, but to me, Coldplay has never made a bad album. Different? Yes. Experimental? Absolutely. But bad? Nope. Not a chance. While discussing the A Head Full of Dreams tour, Martin says he doesn’t care if people call the album “hippie nonsense”, to him it’s an important record that combined all of their favorite things (his kids, ex-wife, and other admirable artists appear on the album). Pride in his work is something Martin took a long time to achieve.

Through the acoustic and simple Parachutes, the experimental Viva La Vida, the emotional Ghost Stories, the uplifting and hopeful A Head Full of Dreams, and so many other albums, fans truly see the evolution of a band growing older and even more talented and in love with their craft.

Martin always says “this album could be our last” but it never really is. They don’t know when the end will come, but maybe it’s better that way.  


Demi: Simply Complicated

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Watching “Simply Complicated” after listening to Demi’s latest album, Tell Me You Love Me just makes sense. The documentary highlights the Disney star turned pop singer as the confident woman she is today. Not only does it chronicle her journey to stardom but features insights from the people who were/are closest to her in her darkest times.

Demi sits down for an interview and admits she’s nervous. When asked why, she says the last time she did an interview this long she was coked out. This statement paves the way for the next hour and 18 minutes; raw honesty about subjects that need to be talked about. Substance abuse, eating disorders, mental issues, violence, Demi remains honest about each topic with no filter in between. She talks about how her eating disorder has come back recently, how working out helped with her anger and mental issues, and how substance abuse almost led to her death.

“The key to being happy is to tell your truth” says Lovato. She talked in depth about her love life when mentioning her six year relationship with actor Wilmer Valderrama. After the breakup she realized she forgot what it was like to be alone. Her latest album touches on this in an emotional yet beautiful way. We see Demi, now in her element, flirting and talking to other people, playing the field and having fun in the dating scene; something she hasn’t been comfortable with for a long time. Tell Me You Love Me does a perfect job at expressing Demi’s pent up lovebird-side.

 

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Image via odiomalley.com

Now back to why we know Demi in the first place; the music. We see her in the studio thrusting out every note as hard as she can. She goes over and over to make sure every run and verse is perfect. When a studio friend tells her she did a good job, she says “I know…I mean…thank you”. The confident Demi is all over this album; confident in her sexuality, confident in her business, confident in herself. While explaining why “Sorry Not Sorry” should be the lead single off this album, Demi says it’s the fun side fans need to see from her. She didn’t want people to remember her music as “heavy” she wanted to bring fun back, like we saw with 2015’s “Cool for the Summer”. So, she poured her heart out, danced more, laughed more, and created one of her best albums to date. 

If there’s one thing I learned while watching “Simply Complicated”, it’s that Demi Lovato is as truthful as it gets. She’ll be honest with herself and her fans, no matter what. It’s only going to get better from here on forward for Demi.