Travis Scott sums up his past year with just one word: “fire.” For the rapper known as La Flame, it’s an apt description. Scott’s third studio album, Astroworld (Epic/Grand Hustle/Cactus Jack), topped the Billboard 200 last August for the first two weeks of its release, then returned to the top spot for a third week in December. He scored his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Sicko Mode” featuring Drake (after more than 20 weeks on the chart, it has dropped to only No. 3). And Scott kicked off the year by becoming a father, with girlfriend Kylie Jenner, to perhaps the most famous baby of 2018, daughter Stormi.
Already, Scott has two major moments to look forward to in 2019: On Feb. 3, he’ll perform alongside Maroon 5 and Big Boi at the Super Bowl LIII halftime show (with the stipulation that the NFL partner with him in donating $500,000 to the social justice organization Dream Corps). And just a week later, he’ll attend the Grammys as a first-time nominee, for best rap album (for Astroworld), best rap performance and best rap song (for “Sicko Mode”). Recording Academy recognition is long-awaited for Scott: After his 2016 album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, failed to score any nods, he admitted that “one day, hopefully, people might finally catch on.” He took a break from a recent studio session to reflect on “finally feel[ing] recognized on that scale” and the evolution of the Grammys’ rap representation.