Travis Porter ‘From Day 1′ Album: Rappers Discuss ‘Weird’ Mike Posner & Beastie Boys Comparions
Travis Porter began dropping several mixtapes almost four years ago. So many in fact, that the Atlanta rap trio can't even remember how many mixtapes they've dropped. "Like five or six. Or nine?" member Ali pondered while speaking with The BoomBox.
Their debut album, From Day 1, out May 29, is dedicated to all the fans that spun those nine street tapes -- as the group dealt with label issues -- and hyped their movement to get them to the top of the charts. The album's Tyga-assisted lead single "Ayy Ladies" is successfully navigating radio, with looks on Billboard's Rap Songs and Heatseekers charts, the latter which they topped. Commandeering beats from producers like Diplo, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Lil Lody, Travis Porter also added some more star power by recruiting 2 Chainz, Mac Miller, Mike Posner and Jeremih for guest spots.
The three rhymers -- stepbrothers Ali and Quez, plus Strap -- called The BoomBox from their tour bus while en route from the Big Apple to the City of Brotherly Love. They talked about groupies, strip clubs, "weird" Mike Posner, Beastie Boys comparisons and provided a list of party essentials. There were also lessons to be learned about the meanings behind From Day 1 tracks "Make It Rain," "Wobble" and "Thirty Bands." Be prepared to laugh at the discourse.
Listen to Travis Porter's full album, From Day 1, on AOL Music's Listening Party here.
What did you guys switch up between the mixtapes and the debut album?
Ali: The mixtapes were just songs that we had recorded. The album was put together.
Quez: It was a different mindset with the album. We put 100 percent into the album.
You guys said that the album is about "The fun, the real life stories and of course, the ladies." What are the real life stories that make their way onto From Day 1.
A: It's not really emotional songs on the album, like a song that talks about real life, or how we're feeling nowadays. There's a song titled "That Feeling" featuring Mike Posner and that's really hot riff, but the album is uptempo most, and pretty fun. It's about having a good time.
Watch Travis Porter's "Ride Like That" Video Feat. Jeremih
A song like "Make It Rain," that's about throwing cash in the air and making it rain money, like from the sunroof of a limo or in a strip club. Have you guys done that? There isn't any real inspiration from that song?
A: Of course! We wouldn't be rappers if we didn't do that.
Well, there are a lot of lady-lovin' tracks on the album like "Ayy Ladies" and "Pussy Real Good," that's a very poetic title there. Which of you three guys gets the most tail?
A: It all depends on how we are feeling that day. The girls are very easy to get. You just stick your hand out and they fall into your hand.
There are some hot producers on this album, like Diplo and J.U.S.T.I.C.E League.
Q: Yeah, yeah. Diplo, that's our homie. We actually knocked out five records with Diplo, but we only picked the right one for the album. But you should see some more Diplo-Travis Porter records soon. And the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League record, that's crazy!!! They actually came to the studio, brought some beats and played some stuff, and came out with a crazy hit.
You guys put Mike Posner on a track. Talk about that experience.
Q: Mike Posner is the man. That's a homie, but he's kinda weird, like the way he records. He puts his mic in front of the board and then sits and records himself in front of the computer, just records himself.
The song he's on is called "That Feeling." What's this feeling you guys are talking about on the track?
Q: You know, that feeling like a football player that's going to the Super Bowl. A basketball player going to the playoffs. A baseball player just hit a grand slam! You just smoked weed for the first time in your life. That feeling. You know what I'm sayin', it's crazy. You know how you get butterflies, but it's butterflies plus adrenaline. That feeling's crazy.
That feeling you get right before you are about to drop a hit debut album?
Q: Exactly. That feeling.
The Diplo track you did is called "Wobble." I looked up the definitions for wobble, thinking it was some new hip-hop term you guys may have coined. I found some crazy definitions for the word on UrbanDictionary.com. Did you know that wobble had more than one meaning?
Q: No, no. Let's hear it.
OK, "wobble" is the street word for Ketamine, according to UrbanDictionary.com.
Q: Ketamine? What's that?
Special K. A horse tranquilizer people take it to get high.
Q: Ooooh nooooo [laughs]!
Then there's the obvious definition: For one's body to teeter, rock or lean. And then they get more hilarious: A sensation caused by listening to certain styles of drum and bass or dubstep music. And, lastly: A method of masturbation where a girl sits on her foot and rocks forward and back 'til she comes, often proceed in a public classroom.
Q: Oh my goodness! Who would do something like that? I like the shakin' it, causes one's body to move or rock, one. I don't like the one with the feet, and masturbate stuff. I don't like that.
Rocking is this song. It's really wobble, like the group would say it, not the dictionary would say it. It's wobble, shake your ass side to side, you know what I'm saying. So it's really about that, but it's a really crazy beat, man. Diplo went crazy on it.
Well if "Wobble" is crazy, what about the song "Party Time"? What's essential for a Travis Porter party?
Q: You got to have some chicks, music -- preferably Travis Porter or any party anthem. You have to spike the punch, and have a pole in the middle of the room. We need a midget and 100 hot wings. More than 100. Like, 200 hot wings. Weed and pineapples. And Ciroc.
Watch Travis Porter's "Aww Yeah" Video
You guys are a rap trio and another famous rap trio, the Beastie Boys, just lost member MCA. I was looking back at your history and before the label mixup you were going to call your debut initially No Sleep till Atlanta, a play on the Beastie Boys' track "No Sleep till Brooklyn." Were they a band you looked up to on the come up?
Q: No, actually. I think, before we got signed, they was more comparing us to 2 Live Crew. So we looked up 2 Live Crew, and were like, "Oh, damn! They was with Uncle Luke and shit, so I was like, 'That's cool.'" But then when we got signed they were like, "Shit, you guys really remind us of the Beastie Boys." We weren't hip on the Beastie Boys until we got signed and then we looked them up. All I know about the Beastie Boys is that Run-DMC put them on the road and that's how they really broke, and they lived together and were like a family.
So who was the rap group that you emulated growing up?
Q: We used to imitate the Hot Boys. We got a new song, No. 1 on our album, called "Aww Yea" and the video to that is based on a Hot Boys video. It's like a block party, cookout, girls, pitbulls, money, jewelry. Everything that used to be in the old Hot Boys videos, we just really brought it back to life.
We've heard the words "Pop a Rubberband" before. Gucci Mane has a track like that. Pop a rubberband when you are spending that wad of cash. When you guys say "Pop a Rubberband," what do you mean?
Strap: "Pop a Rubberband" is an automatic strip club record. You can't go into strip clubs and be just standing around, because that's not what you do in a strip club. Pop a rubberband is one of those records where Lil Lody produced it and we shot a video in [Strap coughs], in the strip club [Strap coughs again].
Are you taking hits from a bong right now?
S: Yeah, excuse me.
Last year, in February, right before you guys dropped the Music, Money, Magnums mixtape, Strap, you were arrested for gun possession.
S: We're passed that now. I got arrested at the airport with a gun at the airport. It was no biggie.
How are you forgetting that you have guns in your bag? How does someone forget there is a gun in their bag?
S: We have a crazy schedule. It's not like, "Oh, I got my gun and I'm gonna go rob somebody." It wasn't nothing like that. It's for protection, you know what I mean. That's all it was. I'm just a grown man who has a weapon.
What about the song "Thirty Bands?"
A: That's what we call $1,000 -- that's one band. And if you got 30 of them, you've got $30,000, know what I'm saying? So we really just talking shit.
You guys don't have 30 bands on you where ever you go, c'mon.
A: No, but our show price is 30 bands, so really we're just talking about how much we get paid. Really we was just getting paid and we was counting our money on our tourbus because we had just played a show. We were like, "30 Bands!" and then, like, let's just make a song.
Of all the tracks, which one do you think is going to be the biggest banger on this album?
I just had a heated conversation with a friend about the desensitization of the word "pussy" in hip-hop. It's used so much in hip-hop that it just becomes commonplace, but in the real world, yeah, it still offends people.
S: I don't know why. I think of it being more like a flower. The pussy flower, vagina.
How did you get your nicknames.
S: My papa started calling me Strap when I was 14. He called me Lil Strap actually.
Q: My mom gave me that name. My name is Donquez Woods, that's my real name, so its just a part of my name and she just took a part off and started calling me Quez.
A: I use to hate my name when I was in middle school, like in 5th grade. I made up the nickname. I had a rap group back in 5th grade and we needed a name and I had to find a nickname. My real name is Lakeem. I used to hate that name. I like it now.
We're counting bands right now. Wanna hear me count some bands?
[Ali fans money into the phone].
Watch Travis Porter's "Ayy Ladies" Video Feat. Tyga