Staring out at the ocean, fronting vintage Raf Simons with Saint Laurent and a ratchet jacket, Kanye's West rising protege Travi$ Scott steps casually off his jet ski to chat to i-D.
A stranger to the sea whilst growing up, 21-year-old Texan born Travi$ is the Houston based hustler breaking strong waves in rap right now. Writing and producing his own distinct, explicit hip hop sound, potted with whirlpools of darkness and undercurrents of warped trap, the self-proclaimed modern day pharaoh fights with his personal demons on record. A gifted MC, producer, visual artist and director, Travi$ named his debut mixtape on Grand Hustle - featuring Theophilus London, A$AP Ferg, Wale, Meek Mill and TI - Owl Pharaoh, simply because, much like the $ he never sleeps. "Being unable to get my ideas out A$AP keeps me from sleeping. Living my dreams help me come up with the illest shit. When I wake up, I'm motivated to do what I imagine." Dedicated to leading his generation towards achieving its own dreams, partying hard and fully focused on female attention ("I hate being called cute, l'm gorgeous"), Travi$ is a strong, defensive and aggressive baller who has boundless self belief. Guided closely by Kanye, a life of luxury awaits.
Recording with Miley, Trindad Jame$, 2 Chainz and Hudson Mohawke, Travi$ is now locked in studio, recording his first official album. Miike Snow, Chris Martin, Elton John - if you're reading this, he's coming for you next. The underground beat-maker's reputation precedes him. Eloquent, polite and composed, his slick style, good looks and talent are a marketing dream. His nightmarish lyrical imagery, less so. Ambitious and focused, Travi$ was born bad. His gnarly rhymes swimming poetically over winding instrumental melodies, sinister snares and heavy basslines are typified by analogue production techniques. Discovering and openly exploring himself, coming of age as he writes, music is Travi$ Scott's therapy. Contemplating the universe, his masterplan, and spitting about his own greatness, Travi$’s dark rap is the product of challenging times, written for troubled minds. Chilling with i-D photographer Dexter Navy down Fairfax neighbourhood, Dexter shot a portrait of Travi$ by chance and the two became homies. Breaking entrance to a private downtown pool with some hot girls, the two ran riot around CA one hot summer night. Travi$ chatted to i-D about that time past and his time, present.
How has life changed for you since you were hanging out with Dexter by the swimming pool?
A whole fucking lot man. I've worked on a lot of albums. Finally put out my free album and touring. It's been awesome as fuck!
How did you first meet Dexter?
My friend Guillermo, who has this shop on Fairfax, and Dexter was this random London kid around the area. He was tight and he didn't take pictures on 5d all the time, so I liked him.
What is the most luxurious location you have ever partied at and what went down?
Uhh craziest crib, this girl's crib in London, her Dad is a movie producer. Fuck wild shit happened. I did the gnarly shit on her parent's bed.
What happens at one of your parties?
Everything you can possibly think of.
How many tries did it take you to get your license and what do you drive now? What has been the most memorable road trip you have ever taken?
It only took LA flame one time to get that bad boy. G wagon is what I crash all the time. The most memorable road trip was PNCXX tour the driver Atl was fucking crazy. Yes that's his name, Atl.
What lyrics have inspired you and stayed with you in your life?
Kid Cudi's lyrics man he talks to the kids, it's crazy.
How has becoming an established artist helped you understand who you are?
I'm still fighting my personal demons. I wanna make myself a super better person.
What do you make of artists such as Childish Gambino, who put themselves emotionally out there, via instagram etc?
Are you dating at the moment? What kind of a boyfriend do you reckon you are?
Uh not dating technically. But I'm an extra fresh boyfriend. I just wanna see my girl look fresh and stunt on niggas.
Where in the world are the hottest girls?
Maybe Brazil. Or Switzerland.
What is your earliest memory of discovering Kanye and what happened in your first meeting with him?
His first album. Shit was crazy as fuck. Meeting him first time was a trip. I ate a taco I didn't like for the sake of music!
How do the two of you vibe in the studio?
It's a whole lot of energy and jumping.
How has he helped you establish your own flow and sound?
Man, being around him I begin to mould my shit, in a good way.
What was the most played album in your house growing up?
Man on the moon one 808s and heartbreaks. Thehoniex - Mr Hudson.
What will be the integral album you give to your first born?
Man on the moon 1-3.
Do you consider yourself to be Kanye's protege?
He tells me all the time he wants me to be. To carry the sound we started. I feel I will be good at leading our generation.
Are you a fan of any current British producers?
I'ma say Chase and Status, Calvin Harris. Though he doesn't do EDM, HUD MOHAWKE.
What parties should we come to, if we ever visit your part of LA?
Uh Greystone or like, house parties.
How do you waste time, when your schedule is clear?
I watch movies. Link up with friends. Work on putting songs together.