Franchise (song)

"Franchise" is a song by American rapper Travis Scott, featuring vocals from fellow American rapper Young Thug and British rapper M.I.A. It was released on September 25, 2020, alongside a video shot partly in England and at Michael Jordan's Chicago mansion. Originally titled "White Tee", the song interpolates Dem Franchize Boyz's song of the same name. The bass-heavy track finds the rappers boasting about their commercial successes.

"Franchise"
Travis Scott - Franchise.png
Single by Travis Scott featuring Young Thug and M.I.A.
from the album Utopia
ReleasedSeptember 25, 2020 (2020-09-25)
RecordedHouston, Texas[1]
GenreHip hop
Length3:22
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Travis Scott singles chronology
"The Plan"
(2020)
"Franchise"
(2020)
"Goosebumps (Remix)"
(2021)
Young Thug singles chronology
"Mismatch (The Remix)"
(2020)
"Franchise"
(2020)
"Say You Love Me"
(2020)
M.I.A. singles chronology
"CTRL"
(2020)
"Franchise"
(2020)
Music video
"Franchise" on YouTube

The song debuted atop the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, for the chart dated October 10, 2020, becoming Travis Scott's fourth number-one single and third single to debut at number one, Young Thug's second, and M.I.A.'s first. By doing so, the former became the first artist in Billboard chart history to have three songs debut at number one in less than a year.[2] It debuted at number seven on the Billboard Global 200 chart.

BackgroundEdit

The song was first previewed by Travis Scott and his DJ Chase B on July 20, 2020, during the tenth episode of .WAV Radio. That version featured only Young Thug and was known under the title "White Tee".[3][4] On September 16, it was made available for pre-order on Scott's website.[5]

Speaking to Apple Music, Travis Scott said he recruited M.I.A. for the song after she reached out to him to appear on her next album, explaining, "When I finished the song, I couldn't think of nobody else that I could probably just maybe like, body this ****. You know what I’m saying? Body this **** like as hard as like anyone else, any other rapper, any other artists. And just that presence, man. We ain't felt this presence in a long time. [...] Like all of this, the energy man, music, beats, raps, God! Everything, she's the illest of all time".[6] An in-studio look of the song's creation was released by Scott following the song's release.[7]

Travis Scott and Young Thug have frequently collaborated since 2014, starting off by Thug being featured on songs by Scott. As of this song's release, Scott featured a lot more songs by Thug. Some of their notable[according to whom?] collaborations would be "Maria I'm Drunk" (Scott, 2015) "Pick Up the Phone" (Both, 2016), and "The London" (Thug, 2019).

CompositionEdit

The song interpolates and pays homage to American rap group Dem Franchize Boyz's 2004 single "White Tee" in its chorus.[8][4] Lyrically, the rappers boasts about their successes,[9] over a "booming" bass.[10] Scott makes references to Spike LeeZootopia, and director Jeff Pollack, while Young Thug "recaptures the energy" of his song, "The London",[11] rapping about flying private jets to France and about Pop Smoke, among other things.[8] Soundigest's Sam Gibbs noted that the lyrics "also seem to play off of [Scott's] partnership with McDonald's, which is actually a franchise".[12]

Critical receptionEdit

Billboard's Jason Lipshutz named it an essential release, praising M.I.A. for being "the real surprise here, trading boasts with Scott midway through the song in a way that smacks of a 'Swagga Like Us' for a new generation of hip-hop".[11] Deeming the song "hazy", Complex's Jessica McKinney listed it among the best music of the week, noting Young Thug's and M.I.A.'s "pulsating" and "high energy" verses, respectively.[8] NME's Caleb Triscari called it "a quintessential Scott track, with earth-shattering bass".[13] Hypebeast's Sophie Caraan said the song "utilizes an interesting fusion of contrasting yet complementing flows from Scott, M.I.A. and Thugger".[4] Matt Melis of Consequence of Sound opined: "Scott's as prolific a songwriter as he is a savvy businessman, and he flaunts that business acumen on 'Franchise' in much the same way emcees used to brag about ice and their tricked-out whips".[14] Spin's Brenton Blanchet called it a "gnarly musical concoction" and said "the dynamic team-up, while unexpected, proves Scott is a real franchise player and knows a thing or two about assembling the right musical team".[10] In a negative review, Sam Gibbs of Soundigest said "the song is not anything special", however complementing M.I.A., Gibbs deemed her "a real treat in this otherwise lackluster single", for her "character and spirit bring a special sort of flair".[12]

Music videoEdit

The music video premiered at select IMAX theatres prior to the film Tenet (for which Scott recorded the song "The Plan"). It was released on YouTube at midnight the same day.[15] The video was directed by Scott and White Trash Tyler and was filmed in the UK and at Michael Jordan's mansion in Highland Park, Illinois.[15][7] Jordan granted permission to film the video "without hesitation" after receiving a call from Scott.[16] The visual opens with vintage footage of Jordan leaving the mansion in a bright-red second generation Range Rover,[17] a scene taken from the Netflix basketball documentary series The Last Dance.[4] It then cuts to luxury cars arriving at Jordan's house. Inside the mansion, Scott is seen with women, playing on the basketball court and partying on the lawn. He and Young Thug play a round of golf and poker, while M.I.A. dances in a field surrounded with mirrors and a herd of sheep.[15] M.I.A.'s scenes were shot in Rye, England, and she wears a suit made of nearly 600 fresh flowers, which were built onto her body.[18] The camera pans in on Young Thug's face as he raps his verse, before zooming out, revealing, as noted by CNET's Daniel Golson, a heavily modified, floating X80 Toyota Cressida.[17] The scene features cameos from YSL signees Gunna and Lil Duke. The video showcases big backdrops and Scott delivers product-related lines that is reflected in the video. The artists and producer Chase B are seen in white T-shirts, a reference to the song's refrain.[19] NME's Caleb Triscari deemed it "a fever dream of a visual". It was noted for having elements reminiscent of Kendrick Lamar's "Humble" video and the 2019 film Midsommar, and for incorporating references to the work of Chilean–French filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky.[13][19][20] Complex's Eric Skelton named it "a video of the year contender".[21]

Commercial performanceEdit

"Franchise" debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 with 19.4 million streams and 98,000 sold, of which 58,000 were cassette and CD, and 40,000 digital downloads. The song was available for purchase via two CD single options, with an instrumental version also available for download. The physical and instrumental versions were available exclusively on Scott's website, with the digital versions discounted to 69 cents and certain physical options discounted to $1 during the opening week.[2] The single dropped to number 25 in its second week, marking the second-steepest drop from number one to another position in the chart's history at the time, behind record-holder 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj's "Trollz", which fell 33 positions to number 34.[22][23]

"Franchise" debuted and peaked at number seven on the Billboard Global 200 chart.[24]

PerformancesEdit

Scott and Young Thug delivered the debut performance of the song in a pre-recorded video shown at the end of Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Part 2 on October 2, 2020; they were shown performing on vehicles, including a forklift.[25] Also on October 2, the rappers reunited with M.I.A. on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, although Scott appeared on his own. He was shown alternating from a white-covered room and in the backseat of a self-driven car.[25][26]

Cover artworkEdit

The single artwork was designed by American visual artist George Condo, who also created the cover for Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and its singles.[13][1]

RemixEdit

A remix with an additional feature from American rapper Future and a different outro from Scott was released on October 7, 2020. However, it also received criticism for removing the majority of M.I.A.'s contributions.[27]

ChartsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Tigg, FNR (September 25, 2020). "Watch Travis Scott's New Video for "Franchise" f/ Young Thug and M.I.A." Complex. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Trust, Gary (October 5, 2020). "Travis Scott's 'Franchise' Flies In at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100, Becoming His Record Third Chart-Topping Debut Within a Year". Billboard. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  3. ^ Caraan, Sophie (July 21, 2020). "Travis Scott and Chase B Premiere Unreleased Music in New '.WAV Radio' Episode". Hypebeast. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d Caraan, Sophie (September 25, 2020). "Travis Scott Enlists M.I.A. and Young Thug for New Single "Franchise"". Hypebeast. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  5. ^ Aniftos, Rania (September 16, 2020). "You Can Pre-Order Travis Scott's Upcoming 'Franchise' Single for 69 Cents". Billboard. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
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  7. ^ a b Yang, Rachel (September 25, 2020). "Travis Scott drops new song 'Franchise' and music video, featuring Young Thug and M.I.A." Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c McKinney, Jessica (September 26, 2020). "Best New Music This Week: ASAP Ferg, Polo G, Lil Wayne, and More". Complex. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  9. ^ Powell, Jon (September 26, 2020). "Travis Scott recruits Young Thug and M.I.A. for "Franchise"". Revolt. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Blanchet, Brenton (September 25, 2020). "Travis Scott Recruits Young Thug, M.I.A. for 'Franchise'". Spin. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Lipshitz, Jason (September 25, 2020). "First Stream: New Music From Travis Scott, Zayn, Jennifer Lopez & Maluma and More". Billboard. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Gibbs, Sam (September 29, 2020). "Travis Scott Returns With 'Franchise' Featuring Young Thug & M.I.A". Soundigest. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Triscari, Caleb (September 25, 2020). "Travis Scott links up with Young Thug and M.I.A. for new single 'Franchise'". NME. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
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