Clique x Travis Scott
Mouloud met Travi$ in Paris, in a hotel room perched above the city skyline. He began the interview by offering him a classic of French literature, “I Will Spit On Your Graves” by Vernon Sullivan, a.k.a. Boris Vian.
Mouloud: You did that song, “I piss on your grave” and you have a common point with that writer.
Travi$: I wanna know a little bit more about this dude… That’s kinda crazy.
Mouloud: I think that the message of the whole of your album, Rodeo, is about being understood and breaking down barriers.
Travi$: It’s kinda like a blueprint for kids who wanna do the same [as I have].
Mouloud: But when you do a rodeo, you want to control the animal. What do you want to control?
Travi$: It’s like the inner child-beast, man. It’s kinda like that person that might be misunderstood, might be mistook as an asshole […] but is really just, you know, super-energised. I’m just here for a good time and I want people to have the best time ever. I feel like God put me here to help out with people’s soul, man. Music is one of the things you listen to to get over a problem.
Mouloud: And that’s the best antidote to what you call the fake militants who were rising up during Ferguson.
Travi$: I don’t really get too involved with the whole political shit. That shit’s all too weird. […] But it’s, like, the second Saturday and are those motherfuckers still in Ferguson? I don’t think so. But I’m pretty sure niggas’ lot is still burnt the fuck down and niggas’ cribs are like, fucked up now.
Mouloud: I think you bring something more than what hip hop does, because you work with that and you’re making pop music and rock.
Travi$: It’s good for people like me and [Young] Thug and other people out there like [Kid] Cudi, Kurt Cobain, people that are just like: ‘Keep it real’. I don’t consider myself hip hop. I don’t want you to put me up next to [hip hop artists].
Mouloud: What’s going on in your head when you’re on stage?
Travi$: Chaos, man. I mean just seeing, like, the extreme. Just seeing a congregation, a group of individuals, whether young, old, middle-aged… just seeing them for – what, 15 minutes, 30 minutes? – lose their fuckin’ mind to some music… That’s like the best feeling ever. It’s better than any drug, any piece of pussy. It’s like you’re saving somebody’s life. That’s what I do it for. It’s not for the money [or] the fame… It’s not for Wikipedia.
Mouloud: You said two words that are interesting to me: fame and Wikipedia. Why?
Travi$: Because the Internet can be taken the wrong way. I like Twitter, I like Instagram and I’m the fucking ringleader. But it’s about how lit your circus is. In Houston, there was the UniverSoul Circus. It was a black circus. When I was a kid they used to come to Houston every day and they used to put their circus in this Fiesta parking lot. It was so crazy. That’s when my imaginary life actually started. It’s kinda like the Antidote video. That’s what I was trying to do – I didn’t know what I was doing and now I’ve just realised. Thank you. You just helped me out with my whole tour!
Mouloud: You did a song about a porn video.
Travi$: Porn is amazing. Porn is very good. It’s fresh. The first movie director to direct a porn for a porn site… that would just be the freshest shit. My first porn was on VHS. [Now,] I just search, like, “fat asses”.
Mouloud: Everyone is doing slow beats and what they can ‘trap’, but when you produce your beats, you have that infrabass, that crazy stuff. Where do you find it?
Travi$: It’s here, [inside of me]. I work with a lot of talented producers, but when I make beats, I make beats for me. Production is my favourite thing in music. That’s the whole drive, that’s the whole reason. So I gotta make sure I have that “Eww, shit” niggas just can’t get.
Mouloud: Tell me about Antidote. Where did you find that melody?
Travi$: If I tell you the real story behind why “Antidote” and “Impossible” came about, it would just be [mindblowing]. I was feeling lit and shit. It was like a certain absence for a good 2 weeks, and I just felt by myself. And I just sat in the studio and just, like, really went in, man. But I freestyled that whole shit. It was one take. We had a show in Dallas […] and I went to an after party and I played this shit for the first time, and for some reason it felt so crazy. It wasn’t even supposed to be on my album.
Mouloud: And poppin’ pills is all you know? [a line from “Antidote”, Ed.]
Travi$: No! I didn’t say ‘me’, I said ‘we’! I’ve got very good friends. Very strong, supportive, inspiring friends, and I think everyone should have that shit. None of us are driven [by] something that is addictive. We’re just here for the love and shit. We wanna inspire other black kids. I got a little sister. I got a little brother. I got an older brother that’s autistic, man. That was my mentor. He can’t talk, and he taught me how to walk. I do it for him, man. It comes from that, my whole drive. My mom, she can barely walk. So I got a lotta shit. I don’t like interviews, I don’t like pictures, I don’t like showing my face. I just wanna go out there [and] get lit.
Mouloud: Let’s talk about your song about L.A, 90210.
Travi$: That’s my favourite song on the album! Me and this guy Allen Ritter made that. I was sitting on that song for, like, months. It was just that beat and that melody. But I was, like, living there, man, and I was like, ‘I need to make this song’. This song is kinda like the vibe, it’s not aggressive, but it’s kinda like the drug.
Mouloud: Sometimes when you see artists touring, travelling, they’re all sad and tired. And you look really happy! What makes you so happy?
Travi$: I ain’t sick, I can talk to my parents, my homies here, we’re in Paris. It’s lit.
Mouloud: What’s it like working with Kanye as a producer?
Travi$: Man, it’s one of the best. You learn a lot, you take a lot from it. It’s like a formula. He teach you how to compose… you’re making music.
Mouloud: When you are mixing the sounds, what takes the longest?”
Travi$: The drums! I don’t give a fuck about nothing else, you hear me? Don’t fuck up the drums.
Mouloud: What’s your definition of a “Clique”?
Travi$: A group of people who uplift you and inspire you to do better. And they reflect you just like you reflect yourself. That’s a clique.