Having a baby with a billionaire Kardashian like Kylie Jenner is enough to make any one of us instantly famous. But even if that was the only reason why the name Travis Scott rings a bell in your brain, that is far from the only reason he has been rising above and beyond in the celebrity stratosphere year after year.
In fact, if Travis Scott weren’t already a big deal in his own right, he most definitely would have gotten on Kylie Jenner’s radar as a relationship possibility in the first place with as many other choices as she has access to in her career. With that said, what is it about Travis Scott, born Jacques Berman Webster II, that keeps increasing his fan base and keeps so many influential people circulating in his orbit?
From Jacques to Travis
With a name on his birth certificate like Jacques Webster, who did the stage name Travis Scott come to be? Travis chose his rapper name by combining the names of two people he had a whole lot of respect for – his uncle Travis’ first name and the name of Kid Cudi (aka Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi), one of his favorite artists in the world.
As fate would have it, both Travis Scott and Kid Cudi would be plucked out of limited exposure and placed on the mainstream stage by the same billionaire creative – Kanye West – and signed to Mr. West’s record label G.O.O.D. Music, with the ‘good’ standing for Getting Out Our Dreams.
Travis is not the type of celebrity who acts like he is too cool to give someone their roses while they are still alive to smell them. He has talked publicly about how both Kid Cudi and Kanye West have influenced and motivated his career to the fullest extent.
As an extra-large songwriter, and producer, Travis has wasted no time in the music industry, clocking in studio hours with the likes of Kanye West himself, and J. Cole, Drake, T.I., and Swae Lee. Travis is also inching closer to a Grammy Award, having already grabbed up six nominations for:
- Best Rap Song – “New Slaves” (songwriter) in 2014.
- Best Rap/Sung Performance – “Love Galore” (with SZA) in 2018.
- Best Rap Performance – “Sicko Mode” (with Drake and Swae Lee) in 2019.
- Best Rap Song – “Sicko Mode” (with Drake and Swae Lee) in 2019.
- Best Rap Album – Astroworld in 2019.
- Best Rap/Sung Performance – “The London” (with Young Thug and J. Cole) in 2020.
Travis has mentioned the musical lineage that he comes from, not in the sense of family members that garnered attention for their talents, but how his loved ones have honed their craft:
“The most ironic thing is my grandfather has his master’s in music composition; he was a jazz composer. My dad was a musician, too. He played more, like, soul music.”
Song rappers and singers are focused on their next primary song. Travis Scott, on the other hand, is looking to push his music out to fans in innovative ways, whether it is utilizing digital apps, social media platforms, or through extraordinary online experiences.
Travis Scott is the father of one mega-famous baby girl – Stormi Webster – with Kylie Jenner from the Kardashian clan. If his life wasn’t already completely lit, his fire of fame was raging even hotter when he was in the media tornado that happens whenever someone gets into a relationship with anyone related to Kanye West’s wife Kim Kardashian.
But Travis didn’t just wake up one morning and find himself in all of this success. What did the journey of Travis Scott look like along the way down the road to riches?
The Graduates and The Classmates
2008: The Graduates Ep Released
In 2008, Travis Scott was using his real name Jacques Webster for music in his group called The Graduates with his long-time friend, Chris Holloway. Together they released their first and only EP on MySpace, which went out untitled. The group split up less than a year later to work on other projects, which was Jacques Webster’s next group with a similar educational name – The Classmates between 2009 – 2012.
The Classmates included one of his classmates who went by OG Chess, and they released “Buddy Rich” and “Cruis’n USA.”
Travis Scott is not a guy that grew up in Houston and ran away because he was ashamed of where he came from. Even as his music endeavors keep him traveling all over the planet, her still is filled with hometown pride for H-Town:
“I feel like Houston is one of the leading things in music culture. Everyone loves the Houston culture. It needs to have its own monument, its own moment for artists like me, artists like Beyonce who set it off.”
T.I. to Kanye
After The Classmates disbanded, Travis Scott traveled between New York, Houston, and Los Angeles, pushing to get his music career off the ground, being that he had already dropped out of college against his parents’ wishes. Travis’ mother and his father kicked him out of their home and cut him off financially for making this decision to walk away from his education, and in their eyes, gave up on the chance of having a future he could rely on. In Los Angeles, Travis was couch-surfing with a friend when the Atlanta rap legend T.I. noticed one of Travis Scott’s songs called, “Lights (Love Sick).”
When T.I. noticed “Lights (Love Sick),” he asked Travis for a meeting, during which T.I. and Travis started working together a bit in the studio, testing out their chemistry together. T.I. was freestyling over one of the songs Travis produced, and by the time this meeting was all said and done, Travis being signed to T.I. ‘s record label, Grand Hustle, and being under Kanye’s label, G.O.O.D. Music. With two of the significant forces in rap music at that time working on reinforcing the music career of Travis Scott, he had an enviable position to take advantage of to prosper.
What is Travis Scott’s creative strategy when he approaches the creation of songs? He has discussed this before saying:
“I don’t really write. I’m an on-the-spot type of person. This beat, let’s listen to it; let’s vibe. And then I’ll do a melody, and then we’ll go back and do it.”
Travis Scott released his first solo project, “Owl Pharaoh,” in 2013 on iTunes, as a free mixtape download that was supposed to be released a year earlier, but it kept getting pushed back and put on hold because of the musical sample clearance issues that had to be remedied in addition to other issues. Travis collaborated with many A-List hip hop artists on this particular project, with “Owl Pharaoh” containing guest features from artists that would be a big deal on an album, let alone this mixtape, which featured: Kanye West, 2 Chainz, and T.I.
Travis Scott was nominated for his first Grammy for Best Rap Song for “New Slaves”- a Kanye West song in 2014, with Travis Scott being a writer on the project. This was a considerable elevation for his music industry presence, promoting him as not just a rapper that can get the job down on his own songs but can actually help craft hits for others as well.
Rodeo and Birds in the Trap
After “Owl Pharaoh,” Travis’s followed that mixtape up with another, “Days Before Rodeo,” which was released in 2015, and he announced on the social media site Twitter that he would be headlining his very first tour, called “The Rodeo Tour,” and to make it even more exciting, Travis Scott would be joined by Young Thug and Metro Boomin, with appearances by Kanye West and Chris Brown. This tour moved around for a month.
A year after “Days Before Rodeo,” Travis hit his fans with another release, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight in 2016, and it marked his career in a special way by being his first number one album to ever hit the US Billboard 200. This set him up perfectly to start his own record label called Cactus Jack Records in 2017. He talked about Cactus Jack during the course of an interview that was conducted by Numero:
“I’m not doing it to have financial control over my music. I want first and foremost to help other artists, launch new names, to provide opportunities. I want to do for them what happened to me, but better.”
Here Comes Stormi
In 2018, Travis’s life changed in a really nurturing way when he became a father to his first child, Stormi Webster, whose mother is none other than Kylie Jenner, the younger sister of Kim Kardashian who also happens to have turned her millions into billions. Stormi gets many extra perks due to who her parents are. In fact, when Travis Scott is performing, she gets her own room in each stadium that he shows up at to rock.
He told GQ Germany:
“I’ve gotten so much energy from her. She has shown me so many things that I never understood. I only got it once she was here. Fatherhood is the most impactful thing in my life. To see your daughter getting a little older every day is the most magical experience in the world. I’ve also developed so much passion. I feel things I never felt before.”
Astroworld to Fortnite
If 2017 wasn’t great enough, 2018 was a huge year for Travis: his daughter Stormi was born, he grabbed multiple Grammy nominations, and he would have the most explosive album of his career, “Astroworld,” which hit planet Earth like a meteor in 2018, debuting at number one on the Billboard charts. Let’s not forget that this album had the song, “Sicko Mode,” Travis Scott’s highest-charting single up until that point.
Travis Scott joined Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé as another super gigantic music artist to have a major deal in place with Netflix when they purchased his documentary, called Look Mom I Can Fly. The hot doc showed clips from Travis’s childhood and even Stormi being born.
On April 23, 2020, Travis had himself a virtual concert for his fans who were most likely self-quarantine inside their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. What was the platform for this digital show – none other than the video game, Fortnite.
In Fortnite, Travis’s avatar performed a little over 10-minute concert to over twelve million players. But the exposure didn’t stop there. The Fortnite concert was replayed four times over three days, with 27.7 million Fortnite gamers watching more than 45.8 million times, making it the most successful event of its kind.
This is proof that Travis Scott is able to mix together his interests, influences, and the environments that he has spent time in to create a wholly unique musical concoction for his fans. It could be his Texas upbringing that includes the cowboy themes of an album title like Rodeo (2015) and his mixtape Days Before Rodeo (2014). There is more than one reference to a winged animal, whether it is his second album Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (2016) or his mixtape Owl Pharaoh (2013).
Even as a Houston representer, Travis Scott is a cultural sponge that wants to soak up the excitement of getting to meet new people, traveling to different places, and coming across interesting things to upgrade his lifetime experiences and to raise the bar on what his art is capable of expressing.
Travis Scott is also not afraid to go straight to science fiction with it in the case of Astroworld (2018). Letting his imagination run wild has definitely been working out well for him. If that wasn’t enough, he could transform these sonics styles into a physical must-see tour that followers will pay full price for within minutes of his concert tickets being announced. It will be interesting to see where Travis’ next adventure will take place.