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What’s in a Name Like Travis Porter?

Chad Finely

Just say the name Travis Porter and images of a two-fisted country music rambler comes to mind. Or maybe you are envisioning a ’90s pop rock band? There’s one thing for sure: Travis Porter does not sound or look anything remotely like your everyday hip-hop group. But the Atlanta-based rhyme trio of Quez, Strap, and Ali say that’s the whole point.

“It’s a conversation piece,” muses Ali to the BoomBox. “I like it that it takes five minutes for people to ask a question about what the name Travis Porter means [laughs].” Fellow Travis Porter member Quez jumps in to give even more ironic insight. Ali came up with the name Travis Porter,” he explains. “And we were like, ‘Nah…we can’t name ourselves that.’ We had another name like Heat The Flame for like two days, and we had a name called the Hard Heads, but we changed it because we wanted a more marketable name. And then Ali says, ‘It’s Travis Porter…I’m telling y’all that’s the name.”

Quez continues: “Travis Porter came off really catchy when we thought about it. You have to bring something different to hip-hop anyway. We can’t come with the same swag.”

For Travis Porter, the animated trio is anything but cut-and-dry. In their colorful, comedic, and playful video for their bouncy hit ‘Make It Rain,’ the group are shown in suit and ties, dancing with bright yellow umbrellas in their hands on a country farm. There are also cowboys and Indians, a Dukes of Hazard parody and booty shaking vixens. It’s an unlikely mix. But again…that’s the point.

“We just wanted to do something different,” says Strap. “We didn’t just want to do a black and white video or do a video in front of a green screen. We just wanted to have some fun…show these people that we are really creative. We take ourselves seriously, but we are not trying to be someone that we are not. We like to make good music that makes people feel good.”

As for influences the group sights everyone from the 69 Boyz, Outkast and Ludacris to Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy. “We listened to it all, ” says Quez. “People call us [alternative rap]. But I wouldn’t consider us in that lane. I just feel like we are original and we have our own lane.”

Of course, with such out-the-box success and their Jive album debut on the way later this year, there’s a lot of hype to live up to. Yet Travis Porter, who first found fame on YouTube by releasing a series of buzz-heavy songs and homemade videos, insists that with their upcoming Feb. 2nd mixtape ‘Music, Money, Magnums’ on tap, they will never forget their independent roots.

“We couldn’t leave the mixtape game alone before we do our album,” Quez says. “We owe it to our fans.”

Watch Travis Porter’s ‘Make It Rain’ Video

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