Owl Pharaoh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Upper Echelon (song))
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Owl Pharaoh
Travis Scott Owl Pharaoh.jpg
Mixtape by
ReleasedMay 21, 2013
GenreHip hop
LabelGrand Hustle
Travis Scott chronology
Owl Pharaoh
Days Before Rodeo
Singles from Owl Pharaoh
  1. "Blocka La Flame"
    Released: December 14, 2012
  2. "Quintana"
    Released: March 22, 2013
  3. "Upper Echelon"
    Released: April 18, 2013

Owl Pharaoh is the debut solo mixtape by American rapper Travis Scott. It was released on May 21, 2013, for free by Grand Hustle Records and Epic Records. The mixtape features guest appearances from T.I., Wale, Toro y Moi, A$AP Ferg, Theophilus London, Paul Wall, James Fauntleroy and Meek Mill.


In 2011, Scott announced Owl Pharaoh as an 11-track extended play, with 2 bonus tracks. This version was to include songs such as "Lights (Love Sick)", "Analogue" and "That B!tch Crazy". However, this was before Scott was scouted by highly acclaimed rappers and record executives T.I. and Kanye West. After working with the two, respectively, and reconstructing the project, Scott then announced Owl Pharaoh would be released the same month as GOOD Music's Cruel Summer (2012).[1] However, that release did not occur. Scott then once again reworked on the project, and set a new date for February 22, 2013.[2] Again, the project was not released.

After creating moderate buzz being named as a part of XXL Magazine's Freshman Class of 2013, Scott set another date for May 21, 2013, while also announcing that it will be for sale on iTunes soon after. He also stated that he might also release it for free prior to that date.[3] Travis Scott has credited Kanye West, T.I. and Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon for helping him shape the project.[4] For the mixtape Scott collaborated with artists such as Kanye West, T.I., 2 Chainz, Justin Vernon, Wale, Common, Toro y Moi, and Gunplay.[5] The final track listing also revealed features from Theophilus London, ASAP Ferg, James Fauntleroy and Paul Wall. Common and Gunplay would not be featured.[6] MTV revealed that Travis would be dropping the EP free of charge on May 21 and an iTunes release would be cancelled.[7]

Release and promotion[edit]

The first song released during its promotion for the mixtape was "Blocka La Flame" featuring Jamaican dancehall recording artist Popcaan. It was released on December 14, 2012. The production was handled by Young Chop, Mike Dean and Scott himself.[8]

The second song released from the mixtape was "Quintana" featuring fellow rapper Wale. It was released on March 22, 2013. The production was handled by Sak Pase, Anthony Kilhoffer and Scott himself. The song was also accompanied with a video, which features Scott burning in a raging fire, wearing a straitjacket.[9]

The third song released from the mixtape, which serviced as the lead single "Upper Echelon" featuring 2 Chainz and Grand Hustle label-head T.I. (the mixtape version only included T.I.). The song was released on April 18, 2013 and was officially released on iTunes the next day.[10] On June 16, 2013, the music video was released for "Upper Echelon" featuring T.I. and 2 Chainz.[11] The production was handled by Anthony Kilhoffer, J Gramm and Scott himself.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
XXL4/5 stars (XL)[12]

Owl Pharaoh was met with critical acclaim from music critics. Ralph Bristout of XXL gave the album an XL, saying "While he’s still finding himself lyrically, his work behind the boards and eagerness to try new things keep this from becoming problematic. Perhaps Owl Pharaoh’s sole drawback is that it still doesn’t quite seem to answer the question 'Who exactly is Travi$ Scott?' Luckily for him, this incredibly cohesive debut is so mesmerizing that everyone should want to find out."[12]

Owl Pharaoh was nominated for Best Mixtape at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards.[13] Spin ranked it at number 21, on their list of the "40 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2013." They commented saying, "The sneering attitude dripping through muffled Auto-Tune and dark streaks of "Uptown" and "Bad Mood / Shit On You" are a very distinct brand of dark and twisted, but certainly not a fantasy."[14] XXL named it the fifth best mixtape of 2013. They elaborated saying, "Above all things, the 2013 XXL Freshman’s production skills is on full display, presenting his wide range of sound. Owl Pharaoh is an early sign that the potential for him is monumental."[15]


Year Ceremony Award Result
2013 BET Hip Hop Awards "Best Mixtape"[16] Nominated

Track listing[edit]

1."Meadow Creek"Travis Scott1:48
2."Bad Mood / Shit on You"
3."Upper Echelon" (featuring T.I. and 2 Chainz)
4."Chaz Interlude" (featuring Toro y Moi)Toro y Moi1:40
5."Uptown" (featuring A$AP Ferg)
6."Hell of a Night"3:14
7."Blocka La Flame"
9."Dance on the Moon" (featuring Theophilus London and Paul Wall)
  • Gramm
  • Scott
11."Drive" (featuring James Fauntleroy)
  • Webster
  • Fauntleroy II
12."Quintana" (featuring Wale)
  • Sak Pase
  • Scott[b]
  • Kilhoffer[a]
13."Bandz" (featuring Meek Mill) 
  • Scott
  • Dean
  • The Dope Boys
Total length:52:12


  • ^a signifies an additional producer
  • ^b signifies a co-producer


  1. ^ "Travi$ Scott Tweet". Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  2. ^ "Travi$ Scott Tweet". Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  3. ^ "Travi$ Scott interview with DJ Semtex". Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  4. ^ 05/14/2013 12:52:05 (2013-05-14). "Kanye West And Japan Influence Travis Scott's Owl Pharaoh - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved 2013-05-23.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Adams, Gregory (2013-04-25). "Casey Veggies and Travi$ Scott to Take "PNCXX" Tour Across North America, Play Toronto • News •". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
  6. ^ Brooks, Richard (2013-04-22). "Travi$ Scott Reveals 'Owl Pharaoh' Tracklist & Features". Hypetrak. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
  7. ^ "Travi$ Scott interview with MTV". Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  8. ^ "Travi$ Scott – Blocka La Flame f. Popcaan (prod. Mike Dean & Young Chop)". December 14, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  9. ^ "Quintana Video". Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  10. ^ "Upper Echelon - Single". Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  11. ^ "New Video: Travi$ Scott Ft. T.I. x 2 Chainz "Upper Echelon"". Rap Radar. 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  12. ^ a b "Travi$ Scott - 'Owl Pharaoh' Mixtape Review - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  13. ^ "Here Are The BET Award Nominees". Complex.
  14. ^ "Travis $cott, Owl Pharaoh (Grand Hustle/Epic) SPIN".
  15. ^ "The 25 Best Mixtapes Of 2013 - XXL".
  16. ^ "Hip Hop Awards Archives". BET.com.
  17. ^ "Mixtape: Travi$ Scott "Owl Pharaoh"". Complex. Retrieved 2013-05-23.