‘Look Mom I Can Fly’ an introspective look at Travis Scott’s life and career

Travis Scott performimg at Madison Square Garden on November 27, 2018 in New York City. Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images.

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Travis Scott performimg at Madison Square Garden on November 27, 2018 in New York City. Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images.

Angel Ortega

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From performing in front of just 15 people to selling out full-sized arenas, “Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly” documents Travis Scott’s musical career in his new Netflix original documentary.

The documentary begins with an interviewer asking Scott, while they both ride a rollercoaster, about his feelings towards “Astroworld,” Scott’s long-anticipated third studio album, released in August of last year. Scott expresses his content and happiness of “Astroworld” and how it represents some of the best moments of his life.

“I feel like, at some points in life, you have to just be extreme and sometimes you have to take all matters to the extreme,” Scott said as he rode a vertical loop.

While this form of interviewing a person may seem unorthodox to some, even unprofessional, I can’t help but feel this opening scene perfectly captures the essence of Scott’s character, music and his general aesthetic.

Born as Jacques Webster II, Scott is a rapper and producer known for popularizing and pioneering the trap-rap wave in hip-hop with, specifically with his 2015 debut album “Rodeo,” an album that is regarded as one of the best in recent hip-hop.

Scott entered more into the mainstream with his 2016 release, “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight.” It wasn’t until the release of his third album “Astroworld” that elevated Scott from popular rapper to international superstar. Thus, inspiring the production of this documentary.

Named after the now defunct Six Flags AstroWorld, located in Scott’s hometown of Houston, “Astroworld” saw Scott’s first number one record and first Grammy nomination as a solo artist. “Look Mom I Can Fly” essentially captures all the moments leading up to and following the release of “Astroworld.”

Some of the biggest moments in Scott’s life captured in this documentary include the release of “Astroworld,” the birth of his and his Kylie Jenner’s, his significant other, daughter, Stormi Webster and his 2017 arrest for “inciting a riot” after a crowd at one of his concerts got too rowdy. It also included his 2019 Super Bowl halftime show performance (as well as the controversary behind said performance) and the inauguration of Astroworld Festival, a music festival held near the former grounds of Six Flags AstroWorld in an effort to bring the spirit of the former theme park back to Houston.

This documentary doesn’t follow any of the traditional conventions of documentaries. There is no consistent narration. There are no formal sit-down Q&A’s. In fact, the only Q&A’s in the documentary are short, informal questions answered by Travis Scott fans, or “ragers” (since Travis Scott fans are known for being extremely rowdy during concerts) immediately after they left a Travis Scott show.

Most of the documentary is a compilation of videos that were edited together to tell the story of Travis Scott’s upbringing, career and personal life.

What I admired the most out of this minimalistic approach was how most of the images shot were not clean, pristine images, but rather were presented as grainy, amateur footage. This cinematographic approach brought a melancholic tone that nicely juxtaposed with the chaotic concert crowds and the larger-than-life performances.

While the documentary certainly highlights the high points in Scott’s recent life, there are heartfelt moments presented as well. One of my favorite moments is when Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner addresses and acknowledges Scott’s frustrations (after Scott had failed to win a Grammy the weekend prior) right before Scott’s homecoming performance at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Mayor Turner tells Scott that before he had won the mayoral office, he had already lost two elections already, but he kept pursuing and persevering. Mayor Turner then advises Scott to do the same because while Mayor Turner does not have an extreme reach to the youth, Scott does have that and he can use that to deliver a message of perseverance because it would resonate with many others who may be in emotional turmoil.

In this scene, Scott’s sadness, yet acceptance of his situation, embodies Scott’s character. Despite all the obstacles he’s faced in his early life, and continues to face, Scott could not have reached the success he has now obtained had it not been for his persistence and confidence in himself and in his music.

This documentary is most definitely made for the hardcore-Travis Scott fan like myself, but that’s not to say this documentary is only meant for Travis Scott fans, as its message is universal and can resonate with anyone who at one point doubted themselves and their ability to pursue their ambitions.

Lastly, if there’s anything worth taking away from this documentary, it’s that Travis Scott is a monumental force in contemporary music that’s not to reckoned with and we have yet to see the last of him.

Angel Ortega can be reached at [email protected] and @AngelOrtegaNews on Twitter.

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