Right up there in the upper echelons of rap’s big league, 23-year-old Houston trap king Travi$ Scott – AKA La Flame – is energised by his demons. Delivering his characteristically graphic lyrics with an intense flow, accompanied by gunshots and 8080 kick drums, Scott spits with an aggressive honesty about his darkest and gnarliest moments over 140bpm tempos.
“I’m not this angry, psycho motherfucker who just be spazzing on security for no reason. I’m super nice – I just get excited!” Scott told Billboard. “When you come to my show, it’s like a no-holds-barred, underground Royal Rumble. I don’t want to hurt anybody.”
Championed by hip hop’s reigning king Kanye West, and signed to his progressive GOOD Music imprint, Scott looks up to the divisive figure as a mentor. He seems determined to mirror Kanye’s insane work ethic, too, releasing two mixtapes in as many years (including his first, Owl Pharaoh, so named because he never sleeps) before his debut album Rodeo drove the internet went wild when it leaked in August last year.
Featuring collaborations from Quavo, Juicy J, The Weeknd, Swae Lee, Chief Keef, Justin Bieber, Young Thug and Toro y Moi, Scott pushes his music out with qualitative consistency, with an ever-building fanbase cultivating a mad rep for getting wild and out of control. A raw and irreverent artist coming up fast, Scott’s idea of breaking through is total world domination, and nothing less will suffice.
Text Milly McMahon