With each listen of ASTROWORLD, you'll likely find a new, previously unnoticed moment to obsess over. This is of course the hallmark of a truly accomplished work of art, and according to the guy who helped Travis Scott assemble a veritable supergroup of collaborators for the album, a certain awards snub was a driving force behind the vision.'
"A real driver on this album too was when we got snubbed for the Grammys in 2016," Sickamore, La Flame's longtime A&R, told Rolling Stone Tuesday. "That was a real dark day for us. We felt like we really worked hard and we really made a great album with [Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight] and we just got snubbed. We were like, man, are they not respecting us? That’s when it was like, 'No, y'all got it fucked up.'"
At the time, Travis said he was "so hurt" at his sophomore studio full-length being overlooked entirely. The Best Rap Album nods went to Drake's Views, Kanye's Life of Pablo, Chance's Coloring Book, De La Soul's and the Anonymous Nobody..., DJ Khaled's Major Key, and ScHoolboy Q's Blank Face LP. Travis' three overall noms are for his contributions to "Love Galore," "New Slaves," and Justin Bieber's Purpose.
After finding a new perspective on the Birds snub, Sickamore and the rest of Scott's team set out to make an "undeniable" album. The snub, Sickamore added, gave them a much-needed chip on their shoulder moving forward. "The Grammy is the biggest thing you can get making music," he said. "That means a lot. That's validation." For Sickamore, an ASTROWORLD Grammy win would further prove they are making art at the "highest level" possible.
Still, looking back, Sickamore concedes that certain elements of Birds and other pre-ASTROWORLD releases might have lacked cohesiveness. "Mix [Rodeo and Birds], you probably get ASTROWORLD—a big, dreamy album, but the features are tighter, it's more about the song than the feature," he said. Sickamore also likened Scott's process of bringing together an overarching album concept to David Lynch, pointing to ASTROWORLD's dream-like qualities.
David, if you're reading this, please hit up Trav's people immediately.
Peep the full Sickamore chat, including additional insight on John Mayer's ASTROWORLD contributions and the need for streaming services to overhaul their credit-listing process, right here.