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While Travis Scott isn’t always the most forthcoming when it comes to certain aspects of his personal life, his new Netflix documentary, Look Mom I Can Fly, provides a look into his reality.
The 85-minute doc shines a light on one of rap’s most discrete artists with exclusive footage from his career-shifting year in music. The film centers on the road to releasing his Grammy-nominated album, ASTROWORLD, and the elevated stardom that ensued. In addition to behind-the-scenes clips of the album’s creative process, the White Trash Tyler-directed doc follows Travis from his hometown in Houston all the way to Africa, tracing his rise from humble beginnings to building his own sound and a family of his own.
Most of these pivotal moments have been captured in headlines or told from other vantage points, but the Netflix documentary presents an honest and fun depiction of the Travis Scott story. Here are the biggest takeaways from Look Mom I Can Fly, streaming on Netflix now.
Travis felt ‘lost’ after his Grammy snubs
Unlike some artists, Travis really cares about the Grammys. First learning of the three nominations, he shows disappointment over not being considered for Album of the Year, but appears excited overall. “We thought we were at least in that convo [for Album of the Year],” he says. “It’s still crazy, though. We made it on the board. This is bigger than anything we ever done in life.” Unfortunately, he walks away empty-handed. Cameras capture Trav’s reactions to losing each category, and he gets visibly more upset as the night goes on. He doesn’t sit down for any interviews following the event, but he does speak candidly to Sylvester Turner, the mayor of Houston, backstage at a concert. “I was trying to bring one home,” he says of his recent loss. “After Sunday, I’ve been mentally, like, stressed. I’ve been down. I’ve been questioning. I don’t know, man. I’m lost.” Mayor Turner responds with a pep talk about perseverance and faith, which ultimately helps to change Travis’ perspective. Referencing the possibility that a theme park could return to Houston because of Travis, Turner says, “That’s going to be your Grammy, when I put that Astroworld theme park in the city.” —Jessica McKinneyHe DM’d Tom Brady to sign his jersey after the 2019 Super Bowl performance
Riding home from his halftime performance at the Super Bowl, Travis pulls out his phone and looks up Tom Brady’s Instagram page. Then he sends him a DM that says, “Can u sign my jersey,” with a heart emoji. He adds, “Ur the best,” as he mutters under his breath: “He’ll probably never check this.” A rare look at Travis, the fanboy. —Eric Skelton
He has a fluid (and extremely energetic) recording process
At several points in the documentary, Travis gives us rare peeks at his recording process. Creating on the fly while traveling, he plays the beat for “Butterfly Effect” over the van’s speakers and comes up with lyrics and melodies as his team speeds down the freeway. Later, he excitedly runs around a makeshift studio as his engineer puts the finishing pieces on “No Bystanders,” yelling and jumping on furniture while the rest of his team attempts to keep up with his wild energy. Watching Travis bang his hands on the ceiling of the room as “Fuck the club up!” blares over the studio speakers is a highlight of the whole documentary. —Eric Skelton
He is very involved with his Cactus Jack label artists
Travis Scott’s music label, Cactus Jack, plays an integral role in the storytelling throughout the film. He introduces the imprint in the first half of the doc, where he discusses his goal to inspire a new generation of artists. “That’s why I started my own label, Cactus Jack. I feel like now, I’m in such a good place, so I can help artists,” he tells a reporter. “Before I leave, I just want to leave the whole world inspired, and I just want to leave a trail of inspiration.” Periodically, the film takes a break from montages of mosh pits and concert footage and cuts to Cactus Jack’s roster, including Chase B, Sheck Wes and Don Toliver. The doc doesn’t fully delve into Sheck’s meteoric rise to fame, but it does provide a deeper look at Don Toliver’s early days and the creation of his sound. —Jessica McKinney
— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) 28 August 2019
Travis lost it when he heard Drake’s last-minute “Sick Mode” verse for the first time
The doc shows various recording sessions for ASTROWORLD, but the making of “Sicko Mode” is the most memorable. As Sickamore told us at ComplexCon 2018, Drake didn’t turn in his verse for “Sicko Mode” until 2 a.m. on the same day that ASTROWORLD was released. In the documentary, Travis plays Drake’s verse for the first time on his phone after receiving it. He was only sharing the uncut verse for a room of 10 people, but it was already obvious the track was always going to be a massive hit. This became clear to Travis as soon as he heard Drake’s “checks over stripes” line. —Jessica McKinney
He has been musical (and rapping on amusement park rides) since childhood
Look Mom I Can Fly features lots of footage from Travis’ childhood, including several shots that show his musical talent from an early age. One scene shows Travis playing drums as a toddler while his father proudly yells in the background, “He got it, boy. You see that rhythm?!” Later, in a clip that foreshadows the onstage roller coasters that became a fixture at his Astroworld tour, a young Travis Scott is seen freestyling inside an amusement park ride. The footage, dated June 14, 2013, ends with Travis rapping, “Man, hold up, I’ve got them Nikes on my feet.” Elsewhere, he drives home the point that he’s been planning for this album cycle since childhood by saying, “ASTROWORLD was a concept I’ve been working on since I was about six years old.” —Eric Skelton
Travis Scott’s reaction to seeing an ultrasound of his child pic.twitter.com/AiVVZrGMHr
— rach (@sippingoxiclean) 23 August 2019
He is a very hands-on dad
The documentary portrays Travis as an extremely hands-on and present father. From the moment Kylie became pregnant with Stormi, he has been closely involved. At one point, Travis goes to the doctor for Stormi’s first ultrasound and puts his face hilariously close to Kylie’s belly as he questions the doctor for pushing too hard. Later, it’s revealed that he cut Kylie’s umbilical cord. As the story progresses, we see sweet father-daughter moments, where Travis lets his guard down and interacts with his daughter in a fun and childish way. —Jessica McKinney
Travis isn’t afraid to be confrontational in order for his live shows to be perfect
One behind-the-scenes clip shows Travis Scott in a heated exchange with his stage crew backstage at a concert. Unhappy with the way the show’s visuals were looking, he yells to the crew, “The roller coaster needs to be lit! You’re still not lighting the base. If I can’t see those from where I’m at, nobody can see them. These lights along the rail of the roller coaster, I don’t get no action.” Later, he tells a cameraman, “All that side shit is lame. You exposing how the shot is done is lame!” Then he finishes the discussion by saying, “You’ve got to know how to adapt […] I can’t be instructing on stage or I look crazy. Other than that it was cool.” —Eric Skelton
He does everything with ‘the kids’ in mind
A common theme throughout the documentary is how connected Travis is with his fans. His photographer RAYSCORRUPTEDMIND points out, “He knows what the kids like and he knows how to make the kids feel a part of what he’s doing.” Speaking to a group of kids in Houston, Travis says, “You all hold the future. It might not seem like it because you can’t drive and don’t have driver’s licenses yet, but just use all the time that you can’t go to parties and clubs to really start working on your future.” A fan at one of his concerts explains, “He will notice you. You just put that energy in and it just changes your life. It just makes you feel like you can go crazy and no one judges you.” Another fan adds, “He’s one of the only artists that when he comes in, he can vibe with every single person in the crowd.” —Eric SkeltonKylie Jenner’s role in the documentary is minimal
After seeing the trailer, it seemed like the doc might give an inside look at Travis and Kylie Jenner’s love story, but the billionaire makeup mogul surprisingly takes a back seat to the raging. She makes many cameos throughout the film, but only briefly, and most of them are centered around their family life with daughter Stormi. This could be disappointing for Kylie fans, but the film still manages to slide in a few intimate moments between the couple, including clips from her labor, and several backstage cuts at Trav’s Astroworld Tour, Grammys performance, NFL Super Bowl halftime. —Jessica McKinneyWe get a behind-the-scenes look at his 2018 ‘riot’
In 2018, Scott was arrested during a concert for allegedly inciting a riot, where several security guards and concertgoers got hurt. Footage from that night seems to show he did not intend to cause harm or incite mayhem. After the ordeal, he says, “I feel bad, though. I heard about kids getting hurt and shit.” But then he adds, “I just hate getting arrested man. Shit is wack.” Later, he’s heard on the phone with someone on his team who says, “We think if this went to court, we don’t even think there was a crime committed. During the show, you have the First Amendment to protect you, first of all. Second of all, you didn’t say anything. And there wasn’t even a riot, but if there was one, you didn’t incite.” —Jessica McKinney