Hip-Hop

First Beat: New Music by Travis Scott, Polo G, REASON & More

travis scott
Nabil Elderkin

Travis Scott photographed July 11 at Milk Studios in Los Angeles. Styling by Alexandra and Mackenzie Grandquist. Nike hoodie, Sacai jacket, Bottega Veneta belt, Kapital jeans.

For this week's edition of First Beat, Travis Scott enlists a star-studded team to build up his "Franchise," Polo G prays for change and REASON teams up with Vince Staples for a new Cali banger.

Travis Scott feat. Young Thug & M.I.A., "Franchise" 

Even without an album in 2020, Travis Scott has enjoyed a stellar year courtesy of his torrid one-off singles like "The Scotts" with Kid Cudi and "The Plan" from Tenet. Today, Scott recruits Young Thug & M.I.A. to form a formidable "Franchise" on his latest track. The hip-hop trifecta share great chemistry, with Scott paying homage to Spike Lee and Hype Williams, Thugger coasting through his feature with vigor, and M.I.A. stacking a fun verse at the tail-end of the record.

Polo G, "Epidemic"

One of rap's standouts in 2020 has been Chicago upstart Polo G. His new song "Epidemic" finds him in his comfort zone, doling out harrowing tales from the trenches. Polo's affinity for soul-grabbing tales continues, rapping mournfully about his losses while yearning for change within his murder-plagued city.

REASON feat. Vince Staples, "SAUCE" 

After firing over 80 bars on his new track "The Soul Pt. 2," including a jab at Logic, REASON leaps back into the fray with his swaggering tune "SAUCE" featuring Vince Staples. The Cali tandem sacks the competition with their bruising wordplay, amidst REASON's haughty hook leading the way: "I just drip, I got sauce."

Rexx Life Raj, D Smoke & Voice For Change, "Optimistic"

Leading independent label, EMPIRE looks to promote voting in this year's election with their new project, EMPIRE Presents: Voices For Change, Vol. 1. Partnering with ACLU and Vote.Org, VFC includes a flurry of artists from EMPIRE's roster, including Rexx Life Raj and D Smoke, who provide a glimmer of hope on "Optimistic."

Guylaire, "Homebody"

In 2018, Guylaire, previously known as H.I.M. (Her in Mind), developed a cult following by issuing song replies to popular H.E.R. records. Earlier this year, the once-masked singer revealed his identity and now aims to start a new journey under a different moniker. "Homebody" flexes his slivery croons and magnetic charm, as he looks to promote staycations and in-house dates with his love.

Jevin Reliford,  "Butterflies"

Atlantic Records signee, Jevin Reliford, looks to transition into the R&B space after finding success over in the TikTok world. Boasting 4 million followers on the popular social media app, Reliford shifts gears and takes a crack at Tamia's "So Into You" for his debut single "Butterflies." The results work in his favor, as he plays it safe while straddling the popular sample.