Travis Scott – Mamacita Analysis

1. Song: Mamacita (feat. Rich Homie Quan & Young Thug)

Album: Days Before Rodeo

Year: 2014

Director: Grant Singer

2. The song is a ballad based around overindulgence, specifically with substances and women. The title refers to Travis’ fondness for attractive Latina women, who were common in his home state of Texas.

3. This was released before Travis’ debut album, Rodeo, and is one of the three hit songs from the project. It’s one of his more known early songs and features two of Atlanta’s most prominent rappers, Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan. Mamacita didn’t see too much radio play, however, its YouTube video has over 30 million plays. The video is very true to its Atlanta roots and features a lot of common themes present in Atlanta Hip-Hop.

Shot 1: Several of the video’s opening shots focus on Travis wearing a Hannibal Lecter mask, while strapped to a concrete slab in a vacant lot. Travis’ confinement and mask could symbolize his inner craziness that he’s about to unleash on the music industry and consumers alike, with this being his breakout project. His behavior is also meant to be somewhat psychotic, as his eyes roll back into his head and he doesn’t make eye contact with the camera.

Shot 2: Further into the video, Scott is smoking a blunt in a dimly lit room. The lyrics during this scene are, “Sun shades and a pill gonna help, Once I’m gone can’t tame myself”. The lyrics reflect on his morning rituals after inducing in a drug-fueled night, while the visuals paint a picture of what one of those nights might look like. The blue lighting bouncing off Travis’ Playboy jacket and jump cuts help highlight his party attitude and recklessness.

Shot 3: During this part of the video, Young Thug is performing his guest verse while sitting nonchalant on the side of a moving, classic Chevrolet. During this scene, Thug raps “Damn, 25 thousand on an old school Cam, SS me”. Classic American cars are a staple of southern rap, pioneered by performers such as Gucci Mane and Lil Wayne. The lack of seatbelt and apathy towards safety highlight the live fast and overindulgence themes of the video.

Shot 4: Towards the later end of the video, Scott is seen surrounded by scantily clad women, draped in neon colors and flooded with UV lights. This could be in reference to Atlanta’s Hip Hop scenes’ close relationship to local strip clubs, which feature a similar ambiance or the imagery could just be following the themes of fear and the dark atmosphere presented earlier in the video.

Shot 5: The final shot features some interesting elements, with the centerpiece being the rapper TI playing dice with some of Travis’ entourage.TI is responsible for much of Travis’ early success, so this cameo is relevant to Travis’ early career. The dice scene is meant to show the “credibility” of the rappers, as its presented that the dice game is actually proceeding unscripted alongside the filming of the video. The vacant lot also is a reflection on the current economic state of Atlanta and how difficult times have ended successful businesses.

By Alex Velicki

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