Butterfly Effect

Album: Astroworld (2017)
Charted: 57 50

Songfacts®:

  • The 'butterfly effect' is the notion in chaos theory that a small difference in the initial state of a physical system can have large effects. The term was coined by meteorologist and mathematician Edward Lorenz as the title of a talk he delivered at the 139th meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1972:

    Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?
  • The title does not feature in this song's lyrics. However the track gives us insights into the benefits of Travis Scott's luxurious lifestyle, the causes of which he claims are preordained in the similar fashion to a tornado being influenced by the flapping of a distant butterfly's wings.

    For this life I cannot change
    Hidden Hills, deep off in remains


    Travis references throughout the song how his life has changed since becoming famous. This includes driving in his drop-top through the Hidden Hills, an exclusive Los Angeles community, which is home to numerous actors and celebrities.
  • "Butterfly Effect" features production by Drake collaborator Murda Beatz, who has previously worked with Travis on songs like "Sweet Sweet" and "Outside" from the rapper's 2016 album Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. He also produced much of the Travis Scott and Quavo collaboration record Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho.
  • Travis Scott first performed this song live on May 17, 2017 during the St. Louis stop of his Birds Eye View Tour.
  • Former President Barack Obama called out "Butterfly Effect" as one of his favorite songs of 2017.
  • Quavo jumped on a remix, which was later shelved. However, the Migos rapper's contribution wasn't wasted as it was later used for the intro, hook and outro on 2 Chainz's single "Bigger Than You."
  • The lo-fi music video was directed by the duo BRTHR, who also helmed Travis' clip for "Goosebumps" as well as The Weeknd's David Cronenberg-inspired visual for "Party Monster ." The rapper cruises through Los Angeles in a gold sports car throughout the video, reflecting the lyrics from the song. There is also a pool party, tons of dizzying neon colors, plus naturally butterflies.
  • Murda Beatz revealed that he originally made the instrumental in his mom's basement. He first sent the beat to Nicki Minaj, who did a song to it she never released. Then he gave it to Quavo, who did a verse that surfaced on 2 Chainz's "Bigger Than You." Travis Scott was actually the third port of call.

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