Travi$ Scott Previews ‘Owl Pharaoh’ Project, Talks Father’s Unsupportive Behavior & Riff Raff’s Popularity
Travi$ Scott records in the dark. Makes plenty of sense if you think about it. His debut project — which he refuses to call a mixtape — is entitled ‘Owl Pharaoh,’ due May 21 via iTunes. “You’ll never hear me do a mixtape,” he tells TheDrop.fm during a recent meet and greet in Atlanta’s Silent Sounds Studio. “We might give it away for free but do you hear these sonics, my n—-? This s— is crazy.”
TheDrop.fm sat in a studio session with a few other journalists and bloggers as Scott bounced off the walls with excitement, playing cuts from the upcoming ‘Owl Pharaoh.’ The “sonics” on the project go from otherworldly to the familiar, varying from track to track and showcasing Scott’s influences without being overly pushy. “I grew up around it so that ‘trap’ element is there,” he explains. “That’s why I f— with T.I. because he grounds you while keeping you elevated. Kanye’ll have you floating somewhere, flying up in space.”
The Very G.O.O.D. Beats signee has been a part of Kanye West’s production clique since November of last year and most recently, T.I. snatched the Houston native up, signing him as one of Grand Hustle’s newest artists. He’s also an artist on the Epic Records roster.
Listen to Travis Scott’s ‘Animal’ Feat. T.I.
“I had a dream and for some reason, the music came out way better than what was in my dream,” he enthuses. “But I had a dream… I ran away from home to try and make it in this s— and for some reason it was in the 1800s or some s—.”
“Like, on some slavery type s— ,” he adds. “So on ‘Drive’ [featuring James Fauntleroy & Anne Marie] it’s kind of a continuation of ‘I have to get the f— out this ho!’ My parents were not f—ing with this s— . Especially since I had been wanting to do this at like 17, 18, fresh out of high school. Even ‘Bad Mood’ [featuring Gunplay & A$AP Ferg] is me waking up from that dream and being like, ‘F— man!’”
Just a couple of years ago, Travi$ Scott left his parents’ home to attend college — at least, that’s what he told them. As they deposited money for textbooks, Travis withdrew the ends to fund his dream-chasing. Instead of checking into a dorm room, the young artist was checking into Stadium Red Studios in New York City under the tutelage of producers Just Blaze and Omen. Once his parents found out, they cut him off financially and the pressure to “make it” was on — officially.
“I always play my dad this video of him saying I wasn’t gon’ be s— ,” he says, not an inkling of jest in his voice. Scott reveals he recorded his father because he was sure a day would come where he’d end up running the tape back. “‘Cause I knew I had the juice, man,” he adds matter-of-factly.
The producer-emcee exuded nervous energy in the studio this day, nerves tempered by youthful arrogance. But then again, Scott is merely 20 years old, signed to two major artists’ imprints — one would think he has a reason to be. “Can we turn that off?” he asks, motioning to a ball game that flickers on the studio’s flat screen. “I hate sports.”
Scott speaks in a stream of consciousness — meaning whatever thought pops into his mind seems to be what he expresses right then, and that’s even if he’s in the middle of passionately talking about something completely unrelated.
In the middle of speaking on the importance of diversifying featured artists for the sake of “the sonics,” Atlanta up-and-comer Casino walks into the room and Scott stops talking about his music to congratulate the rapper on his own work.
He then hurriedly asks for the WiFi password, pulls up one of Casino’s biggest trap anthems and proceeds to jump around the room chanting along. Casino seems pleased but somewhat surprised by the outward showing of appreciation. Scott doesn’t seem to notice. After all, just because he’s creating an ethereal sound more often than not doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate the hi-hats and 808s that he grew up on.
“The real ‘Drive’ has me freestyling on a Lil Flip beat for like the first minute,” he shares. “I’m down. I was raised on that s—. Z-Ro,‘Can’t Leave Drank Alone’; ‘Heroin.’ All that is my s— but it’s just that it’s not going nowhere sonically.”
“It’s just stagnant and n—-s need to take it to the next level,” he continues. “It’s just good seeing me and Kirko [Bangz] on the [XXL] Freshman cover. That’s real. Even Riff Raff! N—-s sleeping on Riff Raff. I was in Paris and Riff Raff had a sold-out crowd and there are DJs in Houston that don’t know Riff Raff, or know him or think of him as a joke. We gotta graduate or this music s— is pointless.
“It’s n—-s on the street making the same s—. It’s all about the feel, f— the check.”
Watch Travi$ Scott’s ‘Quintana’ Video