A Skrillex Remix Turns Travis Scott's "Sicko Mode" Into a Twisted Epic
The Drake-featuring single is currently sitting at number two on the Billboard charts. This flip could send it to the stratosphere.
Travis Scott photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images / Skrillex photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images
Travis Scott exists in another world now. That was the big takeaway from seeing him jump around for 90 minutes on two different stages Tuesday night at a sold-out Madison Square Garden. He's long been a sorta punk-rap pied piper who makes music that inspires, uh, kinda dangerous antics among his reckless young fans. But the Astroworld tour is on another scale. With its split second pyrotechnic timing, massive rollercoaster set pieces, and towering projection work, its indisputably a show for stadiums, meant to be seen and felt by the teens filling the highest rafters. There was a time in which it would've been hard to imagine Scott carrying that sorta show on the modest shoulders of his songs, but that's how much of an achievement Astroworld is. He's a flat-out star now—one who can afford to end a show with indoor fireworks.
The biggest fireballs were saved last night for "Sicko Mode," the mystical Drake-featuring single that's the centerpiece of the record. It may not shock you to learn that it sounds really fucking good over giant arena speakers, when thousands of teens are screaming along with every word and you can feel the heat of the pyrotechnics on your face. It's a hard experience to replicate at home; that's why people pay the big bucks to go see shows like this. But fortunately for those who haven't had the opportunity to catch it, overnight Scott's shared a new remix of the track that kinda gets close to capturing the feeling of hearing it in person.
Scott turns over the reins to Skrillex, a producer who certainly knows his way around crafting tracks that feel like giant fireballs and ornate amusement park rides. His take starts from the assumption that the big beat switch in the original track was its most exciting part—flitting excitedly between all sorts of different styles and sounds over the course of the remixes five minutes. You might find the backbone surprisingly restrained if you haven't followed Skrillex's recent production work—it's basically a weightier version of the original beat.
But it goes some wild directions from there. There's this delirious drop that kinda feels like watching the song get refracted through a prism. There's this rhythmically twisted section that's a reminder that Skrillex is a big fan of both East coast club music and drum and bass. There's a section where all the drums drop out and Scott and Drake are just rapping over big bass drones. With all the intertwining rhythms and shifting beats, it's unpredictable, overwhelming, and full of this unrestrained, almost-corny joy, which is the exact experience of seeing Scott in 2018.