Why UTOPIA Sounds Like A Kanye Album


Travis Scott's UTOPIA is a great album. Travis really put in the effort to drop a well-produced album with great features, and overall, I really enjoyed it. I've noticed a lot of fun things in some of the tracks that I wanted to point out and discuss.

The Kanye Influence

A lot of people are claiming this album to be Travis' My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy or Yeezus. While there are lyrical concepts similar to MBDTF and musical concepts that are literally from Yeezus, I would say UTOPIA is more like Kanye's Donda with more Yeezus influence. If anything, Donda and UTOPIA are like siblings. The dark atmosphere that just feels like the colour black. If ASTROWORLD was the evening, UTOPIA is like an ASTROWORLD after closing hours when it's dark.

I don't really mind that this album sounds derivative of Kanye's work, since Ye has production credits throughout the album, but also not to mention that Travis worked on Yeezus too, so it's not like he's ripping him off.

I wanted to go over examples of Kanye influence because its super cool when I hear something that sounds familiar and knowing where it came from.


This is a track that Travis has been working on since 2013 at least, since parts of this track come from an early version of Kanye's I Am A God.

Kanye West - I Am A God V1

Another thing that these two tracks have in common is production credits from Guy Manuel from Daft Punk and Mike Dean. So for anyone wondering why this track has Daft Punk vibes, its literally because Daft Punk had a say in the track.

Around the 3:02 mark, you can hear this weird sample that kind of sounds like a mix of someone saying "help" or "be". I recognized this sample from Kanye West's leaked song, Can U Be. You can see that Travis was also on this track.

Travis Scott - MODERN JAM

Kanye West - Can u be feat. Travis Scott

This sound actually comes from a Marvin Gaye song, where he says "Don't be afraid".

Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye - Stop, Look, Listen


This was an unreleased Kanye song, made around 2020.

Travis Scott - GOD'S COUNTRY

Kanye West & Travis Scott - God’s Country


One thing Travis did with one of his samples is play it over and over to transition. It's like something Kanye did in New Slaves on Yeezus.

Travis Scott - SIRENS

Kanye West - New Slaves

That voice inflection he did sounds similar to what Kanye did on Praise God, which features Travis. This isn't exclusively used by Kanye or anything, in fact you could argue this is more closer to Playboi Carti.

Travis Scott - SIRENS

Kanye West - Praise God


Speaking of Carti, this is one of my favourite tracks on the album. One tiny detail that I wanted to point out was the rimshots throughout the track. At first they reminded me of Hurricane off of Donda, but I realized they sound a lot more like the rims of Good Morning off of Kanye's Graduation.

Travis Scott - FE!N

Kanye West - Good Morning


This seems like a direct sample of the drums on Kanye's Black Skinhead off of Yeezus. Travis' flows are quite similar to Kanye on this track too. I really like The Weeknd's part on this track. Mike Dean outros are also insane as per usual.


Kanye West - Black Skinhead


This song sounds like it would fit well on Kid Cudi's Passion, Pain and Demon Slayin'. This song does not have Kanye influence, but I wanted to point out another one of Travis Scott's major influences. If you're wondering where he got his name, The "Scott" in Travis Scott actually comes from Kid Cudi's first name (Scott Mescudi). This track was supposedly made some time around 2014 for Rodeo but never released. Once again, just like how Kanye produced a lot of the tracks Travis is influenced by, Cudi has a feature on this track.

Travis Scott - LOOOVE

Kid Cudi - The Guide


This is another unreleased Kanye song from the Donda era that has now been used for UTOPIA.

Travis Scott - TELEKINESIS

Kanye West - Sounds

Overall Thoughts on the Album

Travis Scott could've continued to ride the waves of ASTROWORLD and stick with psychedelic trap, but instead, he continued to push his sound forward in a way that makes UTOPIA special. Although it is derivative (and not just of Kanye), the influences Travis picks from are my favorites, so I can't really hate on him for that. The concepts in the album are interesting, and each track feels wildly different from each other. For that reason, it makes it hard to pinpoint the exact sound of UTOPIA, whereas you can for Yeezus or Donda. I hope Travis continues to work on his lyricism, adds more grime to his beats, and makes stuff he's actually passionate about. It's a strong contender for one of my favorite albums of the year, although I have to admit that JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown's SCARING THE HOES is still my favorite album this year so far.