It took a minute, but I finally got a chance to take a break from midterms and watch Travis Scott’s Netflix documentary Look Mom I Can Fly. Here’s my review:
When the documentary was released, fans were initially hoping to get an intimate sneak peek into Travis Scott’s life. However, the documentary focuses more on his raging performances and large fandom than what makes Scott who he is. Throughout the film, there are only short glimpses of his friends, his “wifey” Kylie Jenner and their 18-month-old daughter Stormi. People know Scott’s music and see his rollercoaster life in the media, but he remains shielded behind his mysterious, rapper image. It was not until his relationship with Kylie Jenner that fans even saw him on Instagram.
Look Mom I Can Fly chronicles Scott’s journey from the release of his incredibly successful album Astroworld to how he has managed his life after. “I feel like, at some points in life, you have to just be extreme,” Scott says. This is surely reflected in his concerts, as the documentary shows Scott jumping into mosh pits and fans being carried out by security and paramedics. “Where the f**k my ragers at?” Scott screams as he’s surrounded by a mosh pit of fans in an environment Scott calls the rodeo, inspired by his upbringing in Houston, Texas.
In the documentary, Scott discusses how he has been working on Astroworld since he was six years old. In a scene from 2003, Scott is shown freestyling at a playground.
Then, in a scene from 2017, Scott visits his grandmother’s house in Houston. He first enters a small room that he used to share with his older brother, who he reveals is autistic. Scott’s face lights up as he walks over to the only window in the room and points out the ledge that he used to make music on. Then, Scott says his goodbyes to his grandmother and pulls out of the small driveway in a shiny black Lamborghini.
Shifting to his Birds Eye View Tour from 2017, there’s a montage featuring close-up shots of Scott trying on custom grills and showing his tour team. One of his team members explains to security, “The pressure becomes very great up against the barricade. You will see a lot of crowd surfers, but also a lot of kids are just trying to get out to safety because they can’t breathe, it’s so compact. You won’t know how bad it could be with our crowd until we turn on.” So, if you’re ever wondering what a Travis Scott concert is like, just think back to the meme of him shaking a microphone stand over a blazing fire at one of his concerts.
Scott isn’t called La Flame for no reason. His goal is for his fans to come to his concerts and rage, regardless of whether it poses a risk to his own safety. In the documentary, Scott can be seen crowd surfing in the mosh pits. In one scene, his manager warns against it, yet Scott ignores him and dives in, saying, “Where the lawyer at?”
Then, in a concert in Northwest Arkansas, Scott’s head of security Mike Brown told him that the cops were coming to arrest him for inciting a riot in the crowd. Scott was immediately arrested as soon as he walked off the stage and was taken to jail.
On the other hand, the documentary revealed small, intimate moments in his life such as the birth of his daughter Stormi. In one scene, Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner are in a room together, viewing an ultrasound of their baby. Scott jokes with the doctor doing the ultrasound, who he calls “OG,” telling him to be careful with the pressure he’s putting on Kylie’s stomach. Later in the documentary, Jenner is shown in the delivery room. Then, shortly after Stormi’s birth, Scott is seen outside the hospital smoking a blunt. He shows off the recording of his daughter’s heartbeat to his friends waiting for him in the hospital, including his producer Chase B.
The documentary goes on to chronicle Scott’s loss to Cardi B at the Grammys for Best Rap Album in 2019. Scott is seen checking his phone with his manager, David Stromberg, as they monitor the nomination announcements. Then, when you fast forward to the final scenes in the documentary, you can see that Scott is visibly angry after Cardi B’s win.
Later that day, Scott makes the slow ascent into his private plane, heading to his next sold-out show at the Toyota Center in Houston. The mayor of Houston is in attendance, and Scott explains that he’s been feeling down since losing the Grammys. The mayor offers him positive encouragement, saying that he should use this experience as an opportunity to tell his fans to never give up, no matter the hardship.
In addition to intimate moments with his loved ones, the documentary showcases Scott creating some of his best songs in the studio as he’s surrounded by the closest members of his squad. His friend Chase B can be seen advocating for Scott in an interview from 2013, saying that he always knew that Scott had a special talent. One scene highlights the progression of the song “Butterfly Effect” as Scott freestyles different flows until finally determining the lyrics that compose his hit song.
Travis Scott’s legacy is undeniable. A large part of his appeal comes from how well he can connect with his young fans. As Scott’s photographer RAYSCORRUPTEDMIND said, “He knows what the kids like, and he knows how to make the kids feel a part of what he’s doing.”
Scott is also well-respected in his home city and tries to give back to the community as much as possible. Even further, the mayor of Houston officially proclaimed November 18 Astroworld Day/Travis Scott Day.
The documentary concludes on a positive note with the mayor announcing that Houston will be building a new amusement park in honor of the chart-topping album Astroworld.
In Scott’s words, “I just want to leave the whole world inspired. I always think it’s important to leave a message for inspiring kids, you know. I got a big f**king job.”
When asked if he has any advice for his fans, Scott said, “If a motherf**ker tells you not to, f**k them. Just take a chance on whatever the f**k you got going on. Trust me, you can do it. Straight up.”
words_camille devincenti, photo_jose sena goulao (courtesy of Shutterstock)