Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
When Travi$ Scott released his debut album Rodeo last Friday, I was surprised to see it oust The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness from the top of the US iTunes album chart, as I couldn’t name even one of the rapper/producer’s songs. In fact, his biggest hit 3500 only reached no. 82 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album’s success made more sense when I read the tracklisting, including appearances from Kanye West, Justin Bieber and even his chart rival The Weeknd. Travi$, born Jacques Webster, is the protegée of not one but two big name rappers, signed to Kanye’s Very G.O.O.D. Beats as a producer and T.I.’s Grand Hustle label imprint as an artist. Before unleashing his debut album, he released two popular and critically-acclaimed mixtapes, and went on a US tour where he became known for his wild live performance and energetic audiences. In addition to the big names on his album, Travi$ has connections to a wide range of artists, from The 1975 (they featured on his track Don’t Play) to Rihanna (he co-wrote and produced Bitch Better Have My Money), and he even cites Bjork and Bon Iver among his inspirations. His eclectic sound has often been compared to his mentor Kanye and his idol Kid Cudi. So far Rodeo has peaked at 9 on iTunes in the UK, where the audience for hip-hop is smaller, but the huge list of established artists who've associated themselves with Travi$ shows he is one to watch.