Travis Scott Showcases His Eye for Talent on “JACKBOYS” Compilation


Epic Records/ Cactus Jack Records

Travis Scott’s uneven compilation album highlights the talent on his Cactus Jack record label.

Wilson Prieto, Staff Reporter

“JACKBOYS” isn’t what most people are used to. It’s neither an album nor a mixtape; rather, it’s a compilation of songs by everyone under the Cactus Jack label. Jackboys are the artists under Cactus Jack Records, and in the case of this compilation, the Jackboys are Travis Scott, Sheck Wes & Don Toliver.

Cactus Jack Records is a sub-label to Epic/Sony/Music, which holds less than a handful of artists, including Scott, Sheck Wes, Don Toliver, and Scott’s DJ, Chase B. 

The compilation opens with a remix of Travis’ song “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM” by Rosalia & Lil Baby. The track starts off the same as the original, however, Rosalia provides backing vocals that weren’t in the original. When Rosalia’s verse kicks in, it’s in Spanish & her verse is short. After the song continues normally, Travis says, “I hope I make it out of here”, then Lil Baby steps up to the plate. Lil Baby’s vocal tone & flow sync perfectly with the beat, making this version better than the original. Lil Baby’s humming along to the beat at the end of the song reminds me of Kid Cudi on Travis’ Song “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD”.

The compilation’s introduction is pure instrumental, reminiscent of the “Stranger Things” theme song, but as it continues, listeners will hear the strumming of a guitar.  It then cuts and transitions into the first official song. The intro doesn’t truly set the tone for the compilation, which is a bunch of disconnected songs, but it does effectively introduce “GANG GANG,” which includes all the JackBoys and is about how great they are and their active lifestyle. The song exemplifies how good the group functions together, with Sheck Wes changing his vocal tone throughout, and Don Toliver singing on top of the rap just sits well.

The next song, “HAD ENOUGH” By Don Toliver featuring Quavo, & Offset, is one of my two favorites. The song starts off sounding like Toliver is reminiscing of an ex by saying “I know, I know you’ve had enough of me, but stay a while.” Toliver seems to be singing with a tone of yearning with hesitation as if he is saying he still loves her but doesn’t want to admit it. Offset has a similar message he’s trying to get across, a relationship in trouble, but he is trying to make a relationship work even though the girl doesn’t trust him. Quavo’s verse is different from the rest because he’s not upset or worried about the girl. I’m not saying he doesn’t care, but he sounds like he’s in a good spot relationship-wise, saying “And I can really tell that she loves me.” Quavo does also bring the message of “having enough,” but in a different manner this time. Perhaps earlier in the song when Toliver says “you doing your thing baby live it up” means she’s living it up, makes me wonder if both Quavo & Toliver are talking about the same girl from the same or different perspectives. The song works because it’s not anything that anybody expects, as Toliver sings and Migos is known for rapping without singing. The contradiction provides an unexpected relaxing vibe that makes the song hit.

The next track that stands out the most is the last song, “GATTI”. It’s also my favorite song when I’m in a good mood. The song features Pop Smoke, whose raspy voice draws attention. One of the first things he says is “They ain’t expecting this one” which is ironic as a few days before the compilation was released Travis posted a video of the two in a Bhuggatti, so fans were expecting a song from the two. Saying  Pop Smoke carried the track may sound mean, but it’s true. Travis had an ok verse. You couldn’t really understand him throughout because his autotune, makes him incomprehensible at certain points.
There’s a theory about there being more music. The merch drop that released before the compilation was called “Black Jack” for blackjack you need 21, the leaked tracklist was 21 songs. “JACKBOYS” was sevcn songs, so 21 divided by seven is three, meaning there’s a possibility of two more compilations in the future. 

The compilation’s short, seven songs and 21 minutes, an average of every song being three minutes. It had its ups & its downs but what music doesn’t, there’s something in there for most people, but not all. 

Looking back, it wasn’t worth staying up till 12 as others did just to be disappointed getting 7 songs & 21 minutes of music instead of 21 songs, but looking back at it, it’s better than no new music. I was going to be one of those people, but at 11:30 I blinked the next thing I know it’s 5 AM, ran to my phone, saw 7 songs and went right back to sleep.