Travis Scott and Drake seemingly carried a tradition they established on Astroworld on the former’s latest body of work, Utopia. Similar to its predecessor, Travis Scott didn’t officially credit his collaborators on the tracklist, leading fans through his hour-and-thirteen-minute odyssey with surprises to uncover along the journey. Drake, of course, appeared on the album for track 7, “MELTDOWN” – a surprise feature worthy of another viral Akademiks freakout. Drake and Travis Scott fuel the menacing anthem with vengeance. However, the all-star roster of producers – BNYX, Boi-1da, COLEMAN, Tay Keith, and Vinylz – amplify the retributive themes across Drake and Travis Scott’s performances.
“MELTDOWN” serves as a spiritual successor to “SICKO MODE,” an anthem that topped the charts, broke Spotify records, and led to widespread pandemonium amid Drizzy’s longstanding feud with Kanye West, Pusha T, and the rest of the G.O.O.D Music roster by association. “Tension is definitely rising,” Drake mutters over a build-up of a squally string sample before unleashing hell on his detractors at the crescendo. It’s no secret that Drake’s rapping at his best when he feels as though there’s something at stake – typically, an adversary coming for his spot.
“MELTDOWN” clearly isn’t an exception to this. Drake’s flow – a combination of influences from UK and American rap scenes – is a breath of fresh air after several outings that found him recycling the same delivery. The airy and raspy flow accentuates the sinister threats he dishes towards Pusha T and, by association, Pharrell. Although, maybe stating that he melted down the latter’s chain isn’t the flex that he thought it would be.
Travis Scott & Drake Have Another One
Much like his mentor, Kanye West, who also has production credits on Utopia, Travis Scott’s ability to bring out the best in his collaborators shines across the album. For whatever he lacks in technical prowess or lyrical depth as an MC, his ability to find pockets of his collaborators' strengths and accentuate them to the fullest is a prominent reason why Utopia is such a strong follow-up to Astroworld.
However, the beauty behind “MELTDOWN” is that Drake similarly brings out an exceptional performance from Travis Scott, who finds himself similarly getting petty and flamboyant across his verses. He disguises a shoulder check to Timothée Chalamet, Kylie Jenner’s new fling, as an homage to his watch collection while reminding the mother of his children that there’s really only one LaFlame in this world. “Chocolate AP and chocolate the Vs (Vs), got the Willy Wonka factory (Vs)/ Burn a athlete like it's calories, find another flame hot as me, b*tch,” he raps, targetting the star of the upcoming Wonka film.
In a similar fashion to “SICKO MODE,” “MELTDOWN” benefits from a rivetting beat-switch halfway through. Although Drake limits his assistance to the first verse, Scott carries a similar energy across the remainder of the song. He pays homage to the incarcerated Young Thug, who appears on “Skitzo,” shows respect for the late Mercedes Moor, and compares himself to both Tupac and Scarface, all while combatting claims of being a worshipper of Satan – an allegation that seemingly played a role in Egypt Musicians Syndicate announcement to prevent the rapper from performing at the Pyramid of Giza.
Drake and Travis Scott’s incredible track record continues with the release of “MELTDOWN.” Following the airiness of “GOD’s COUNTRY” and the boundary-pushing production on “SIRENS,” “MELTDOWN” is an impressive lyrical putting for both Drake and Travis Scott. Drizzy clearly feels as though he has something to prove, similar to his recent "On The Radar" freestyle with Central Cee. Meanwhile, Travis Scott takes the baton after Drake's verse. He injects it with plenty of quotable bars, including that infectious, "Is you f*ckin' crazy?!" hook, and high-energy performances that will undoubtedly make this a stand-out during his live performances.
Since 2015, Drake and Travis Scott have proven to be an impeccable force whenever they're on wax together. However, their partnership evidently thrives when expectations aren't attached. From "Company" and "Fair Trade" to "SICKO MODE" and now, "MELTDOWN," Drake and Travis Scott have formed an undeniable chemistry on wax that works its best whenever it's unexpected.