He growls. He flashes gold grills with fangs. He's Travi$ Scott.
Signed to the production wing of Kanye West's GOOD Music, with credits on Cruel Summer and Yeezus, many consider this 22-year-old Houston rapper and studio pro to be 'Ye's protégé and possible heir.
Now, more than a year after the release of his debut mixtape, Owl Pharaoh, Scott is preparing the release of his first full-length album, Rodeo. And before he hits downtown Miami's Grand Central tomorrow night, we here at Crossfade got the chance to ask him about the forthcoming slab, the nature of trill, and his worst nightmares.
Crossfade: You got a great amount of positive attention after the release of Owl Pharaoh. But over the last several months, it seems things have gotten quieter for you.
Travi$ Scott: I've just been touring for the past year. Did a tour in Japan, done a tour of Europe, and the U.S. twice. And I work on music straight. I don't like wasting time and cutting all that wack shit. I'd rather do some ill shit and put it out.
You recently previewed an upcoming track with Young Thug. How did that come about?
Ah, shit, man. Me and Thug met at a low-key secret location on, like, a whole other term. I've fucked with him since I heard him. So, when I was in Atlanta we ran into each other and we just chilled out for a whole week and shit. I don't ever make music with niggas that I don't really fuck with like that. Sometimes, you make a song with someone and it's not really meant to be. We kicked it for, like, a week and the chemistry was just fresh as fuck. It wasn't, "Hey, let's go to the studio," and just, "Hey, what's up?" We have more than just that track together. That's not the only one.
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Convince me why I should try to understand Young Thug's music.
I have a question: Do you sip lean?
Oh. [Laughs] That's probably why you don't understand his music. Maybe. I don't know. [Laughs] You fuck with "About the Money"?
You fuck with "Stoner"?
Do you fuck with "Danny Glover"?
Yeah, "Danny Glover" is cool.
Alright, then maybe you just don't like that type of music. Who's your favorite rapper?
Of all time? Or at this moment?
I think the best rapper, personally, of all time is Eminem. My favorite rapper right now, I couldn't give you one in particular.
Alright, well, give me a couple.
Curren$y, K.R.I.T., Jeezy, Jay Z. But right now, I've been listening to a lot of Tracy T, YG.
Thug is, like, mainly about straight feelin' that vibe.
The trill wave has blown up with the younger generation of listeners, those in their early and late teens. Being a native of Houston, you listened to DJ Screw and Pimp C and the artists who originated that kind of music. How do you think Screw or Pimp C would react to that popularity?
Screw, I wouldn't know, because by the time I was around, that nigga Screw died. So I don't even know what that nigga would sound like without the voice that said, "Screw." Pimp C, on the other hand, that nigga would say some shit like, "Man, I fuck with the culture we built and how it spread." But he'd probably say some shit like, "Niggas gotta understand this trill ain't just gold grills and sippin' lean." He'd just say some real shit like that.
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Has there been something extravagant, flashy, and expensive that you've ended up buying, but later regretted doing so?
Your fight with personal demons is well documented. What's the worst nightmare you've had?
Running from 100 cops and jumping over fences for some reason, ending up in different people's backyards. I don't know why.
How did you wake up from it?
I don't know. I'll be ducked off somewhere in somebody's backyard and it feels like I'm falling asleep back there. And then I wake up and the shit is still going. Jump into somebody else's crib, then I'm running, cop cars, and all this shit. People trying to kill me. I don't know. I always have that weird-ass dream. I just wake up randomly, like, "What the fuck?"
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Travi$ Scott. With Metroboomin, Nuri, and a special guest. Presented by Yes Julz and Norma Now. Saturday, July 26. Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave. Miami. The show starts at 11 p.m. and tickets cost $20 to $25 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Ages 18 and up. Call 305-377-2277 or visit grandcentralmiami.com.
Follow Lee Castro on Twitter: @LeeMCastro