Travi$ Scott has had one hell of a year. The rapper and producer, born in Houston, Texas, has worked on two Billboard 200 No. 1 albums this year: Jay Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” and Kanye West’s “Yeezus.”
Apart from those two memorable hip-hop full-lengths, he’s worked on a plethora of projects: past (“Cruel Summer,” Wale’s “The Gifted,” Hustle Gang’s “G.D.O.D.”), present (Big Sean’s “Hall of Fame”), future (John Legend’s “Love In the Future,” Pusha T’s “My Name Is My Name”) and, based off Jay and Ye’s recent projects, at any moment (“Watch the Throne II”).
But, during his Billboard session earlier this month, it wasn’t only our conversation of his discography and collaborations that intrigued me. As soon as Travi$ Scott arrived, donning #Been #Trill attire and alongside producer, Mike Dean, he made his way towards the lights. He wasn’t focused on the perfect shot but the perfection and fluidity of the live performance segment as a whole, taking on the role of director and adjusting the placement of the lights, the timing of the fog machine—everything.
“It’s been a vision from the beginning, it just became a fruition,” he said. “I want the aesthetic to be at an all time high; never fail. I never produce a song, whether writing it or making a beat, and give it a wack visual or wack performance. I’m like a trifecta.”
“I design music; I don’t produce it.”
I witnessed, what I imagine, is an aspiring Kanye West. Nowadays, in-hip-hop, you can’t solely rap. The consistency of an artist’s aesthetic is crucial, but even more so is the governing of it spanning across all aspects of his or her lifestyle. Like with ‘Ye, an insatiable appetite for creativity could yield a career with longevity, as the stakes keep getting higher—and are consistently met.
Travi$ Scott may have some way to go, but he’s on the right path. On top of working on his 2014 major label debut, under Epic Records, Travi$ is dipping his toes deeper into film, from directing the video to Wale’s “Rotation,” which he produced, commercials to scoring films.