The release of Travis Scott‘s posse album JACKBOYS was marketed as an event. Harmony Korine shot the album cover. Scott hyped the release on his Instagram and Twitter with limited edition merch — guaranteeing attention from a large corner of the internet. There were cryptic videos of the Cactus Jack Records collective that looked like a low budget A24 promo. A compilation album populated by Scott’s artist (Don Toliver, Sheck Wes, Chase B) and frequent collaborators (Quavo, Young Thug) followed. At just seven tracks, though, the promised meal was, in reality, more of an appetizer.
The biggest and most welcome on the JACKBOYS “pack” — Scott’s words, not mine — is an update of “Highest in the Room,” his smash hit loosie, featuring Rosalía and Lil Baby. Both artists aren’t in Scott’s ever-expanding orbit, which means their presence contrasts and bolsters what makes the Houston artist one of the most stylistically captivating stylists of the last decade. Over the haunting OZ & Nik D production, Rosalía rips Scott’s original melody, but instead of the robotic sheen of AutoTune and reverb mushing her words together (like it tends to do Scott), her high chirp only intensifies. Halfway through Rosalía’s verse, the entire beat drops out and her voice contorts into a shriek that sounds far more urgent than anything else that transpires on the next six songs.
More from Rolling Stone
- What the Messy Legal Battle Over Lil Peep's Death Reveals
- Watch Travis Scott, Pop Smoke Cruise Through Dark, Smoky 'Gatti' Video
- Travis Scott Drops 'JackBoys' Short Film, 'Gang Gang' Video
Lil Baby’s contribution is far less vital, but still feels like a victory lap for the Quality Control rapper after his sudden rise to stardom. The intro to the Atlanta rapper’s verse initially seems thrown off, but even then he manages to rhyme “Vegas, table, Bentayga, paper, later, tomato, Decatur, tater, and Lakers” together without skipping a beat.
Is the “Highest In The Room” remix partially a streaming play featuring one of the most popular rappers in Atlanta and the music industry’s current (if not controversial) Spanish artists? Probably. Does it still bang? Absolutely.
Best of Rolling Stone
- Hank Williams' Five Most Haunting Performances
- 'A Charlie Brown Christmas': The Making of a Classic Soundtrack
- 89 New Christmas Albums of 2019, Reviewed
See where your favorite artists and songs rank on the Rolling Stone Charts.