Travis Porter Talk ‘3 Live Krew’ Mixtape, the Glory of Freaknik, Missed Uncle Luke Collabo & Mall Twerk Sessions [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
On Tuesday evening (April 14), Travis Porter invited media and music industry fixtures to the Street Execs Studio in Atlanta for the official 3 Live Krew mixtape listening party. Attendees with credentials checked in and some lucky fans who'd received the location details one way or another crept in just behind.
Since their start in 2009, Travis Porter, comprised of Ali, Quez and Strap, has had a knack for bringing their fans along for the ride. It seemed, with the release of "Make It Rain" in 2010 and "Bring It Back" in 2011, the three young men from Decatur, Ga. had at once, solidified their place in hip-hop and constructed an infallible fan base. So even as storm clouds gathered overhead, people packed into the Street Execs backyard to hear what the group is now offering on their brand new project just 10 months after their last, Music Money Magnums 2.
The Street Execs team had erected a sizable boxing ring in the center of the full-length basketball court and a set of pretty young women -- in very short shorts -- were within the ropes. Once Quez, Ali and Strap made their way to the ring, the playlist began and the ladies sprung into action. They bounced, gyrated and dropped into splits on the floor of the ring. Their assignment was to let the music dictate the movements -- and Travis Porter is all about getting the ladies moving.
Taking cues from the Miami bass era as well as Atlanta's Freaknik, the three are experimenting with mixing the old and the new on 3 Live Krew even as they're looking ahead.
The Boombox had a chance to sit down with the trio shortly after the listening and talk about everything from their working relationship to a missed Uncle Luke collaboration and getting fans to twerk in high-end malls below the Bible Belt. Get involved in the conversation below.
The Boombox: In promoting the new project, 3 Live Krew, you guys make a lot of references to things and events much older than you. For instance, Freaknik in Atlanta has clearly made an impression on all three of you, but how old were you then?
Strap: In ‘96, I was six.
Ali: Six. But listen. In ‘96, I was with my parents...
Quez: I was with my big cousin...
Strap: I remember riding in the backseat and seeing girls just out, turning up. We seen it... I remember like it was yesterday.
Quez: It was everywhere.
Ali: People would stop on the highway and twerk. Every part of Atlanta would be turnt.
Freaknik planted the seed and years later, you guys ended up being the go-to for the club turn-up sound. When did you realize that was the direction to go in, musically?
Strap: I think it was when we made “Make It Rain” and “Bring It Back” in the same night. We were drunk as f--- in the studio and had some girls...
Ali: I think it was way before that. Watching movies with Kid N’ Play and they were always having fun. I wanted to be like them type of n----s.
Just within this interview, you guys finish each other’s sentences but at any given moment, any two of you are bickering while the third is silent.
Quez: It’s brotherly love so sometimes we get into it [laughs].
Ali: Sometimes we don’t agree.
Strap: But it don’t matter. We know what the objective is at the end of the day. We make great music together so...
Did you guys bump heads at all in the making of 3 Live Krew?
Quez: Nah. This was just straight working. We were straight focused. There wasn’t time for that.
Watch Travis Porter's "Ayy Ladies" Video feat. Tyga
After being out of the spotlight for a while, did you all have individual goals for this project? What were they?
Strap: My goal was to get the point across of what we’re trying to do. Just making it be seen. The whole 3 Live [movement]... We wanted to [publicize that] Travy’s back.
Quez: My goal was to have Uncle Luke on the mixtape. It didn’t happen.
Ali: We were just too focused to...
Quez: Nah. I definitely reached out man. Don’t try and sugarcoat it.
Ali: They called us though! They reached out to us first actually.
[Editor's note: A representative for Uncle Luke reached out to The Boombox to inform us that the rapper was never contacted by Travis Porter. "Uncle Luke nor his team has ever been approached by Travis Porter. We would love to know who they spoke with as there was clearly a case of misrepresentation happening. We do not make the practice of not getting back to those who are interested in working with us," the statement reads.]
Quez: I don’t know what happened with that, but I ain’t gon’ sugarcoat it. At the end of the day, he didn’t get on the project. He didn’t do it. There’s no pressure on it but I’m just telling you, that was my goal.
Strap: We definitely reached out.
In promoting the project, you guys pushed the envelope a little bit -- especially here in Atlanta. A few weeks ago, you incited a twerking flash mob at Lenox Square Mall in the uber-ritzy Buckhead neighborhood. What were you thinking?
Quez: It was not successful because we got banned for three years.
Ali: I still go there though.
Strap: It’s just paperwork.
Ali: Yeah, the description says, "Tattoos all over," but...
There are a million guys in Atlanta with tattoos "all over." Were you guys apprehensive at all about how it would go down?
Ali: We had the people that we knew, the girls in our circle, come in and it was really more than that. People were sitting at the tables [in the food court] with the girls, turning up.
Strap: One girl got locked up.
What happened? She didn’t get out fast enough when security came down?
Strap: It was what she had on.
Ali: She had on these little, little shorts and they were like, "Get her."
Strap: Yeah. She turnt up.
Travis Porter turns up publicly. What about during studio sessions? You have a couple of guests on 3 Live Krew, from your Street Execs label mate Cap-1 to Grand Hustle’s Spodee.
Quez: Man, me and Spodee always back-and-forthing. He think he got game. That’s my boy though.
So, no crazy studio stories this go-round? Nothing outlandish? I find that hard to believe when you just had a listening session from the center of a boxing ring outside. With a team of twerkers in tow.
Quez: Everything you think is outlandish, we think is normal so you have to just be specific, like, what exactly do you want to know?
Ali: Look at my Snapchat.
Strap: A lot of weed, females... People always think that because we have girls around, they’re getting smashed. It’s just for the vibe. Females bring good vibes. Like, if you see them moving their hands to the music, you know "That’s it." You doing something right but if they’re looking at their phone, you know it ain’t right.
3 Live Krew signifies something special for you three.
Quez: Yup. No DJ. Just straight Travis Porter and some skits to tie it all together. We’re doing this because this is what we like, so our fans are gonna like it. I know that for a fact but as far as impressing someone that’s never heard of Travis Porter? We trying to deal with our fans and build off that. That’s all.
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