Travis Porter

Q&A: Travis Porter Talks Debut Album, Rihanna, & Fan Appreciation

Ali, Quez, and Strap, the step brothers that make up Travis Porter, are fueled by A-list beats, groupie love, and a youthful spirit. Several mixtapes into the game, the early twenty-somethings find themselves past the preliminary stages and into the fun part of their career, which includes boasting about parties and focusing on the raw art of lyrical seduction—all based on reality, of course.

Hip-hop frat-like singles such as “Ayy Ladies” and the Jeremih-infused “Ride Like That,” along with features from 2 Chainz, Mike Posner, and Mac Miller, set the tone for their long-awaited debut From Day 1.

Fresh off the release of the album, spoke with the hip-hop trio about which late legend they would like to work with, why a Rihanna collaboration makes sense, and why they can’t do a song with Beyoncé.

Describe the flavor of this album in one word.
Ali: Party.
Quez: Crazy.
Strap: Thrilling.

Are there any particularly personal songs on it?
Quez: Nothing too personal. We put out five or six mixtapes before our album dropped. Personal records like, “I’ma take you back to where I’m from”—we put those on the mixtapes. We don’t have records on the album that are like that. We got records on this one that are like, “We about to make it.” We tell ’em where we came from, but now we’re tellin’ ’em what we ’bout to do. Selling a million records, we ’bout to have a party, we ’bout to do something we never done before. We’re not dwelling on the past. We’re focusing on the future.

Sex seems to inspire a lot of the content.
Ali: I mean I guess we go off of life experience. We don’t just say it, we actually do those things. We don’t be lying. Everyday experiences.

Have you felt your music change since your first mixtape?
Strap: Our music don’t really change. You go through different things in life. That being said, you get the feeling of what people are going through with it. We’re going through different things now than what we did back in the day. We’ve been around. We know what we’re doing.

What was it like to work with Diplo?
Ali: That song, “Wobble,” that we did with him is crazy. We did three songs with him but only picked one for the album. This one just fit. We needed a song like that on the album.
Quez: We was prepared for the best and we already knew it was going to be crazy. We just went in and did all three songs in one night.

We lost a lot of amazing musicians this year. If you could do a song with one of them, who would it be?
Strap: Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys. You can’t go wrong with a collaboration with the Beastie Boys.

There are a lot of male features and production on this album. Why is it such a boys club?
Strap: ‘Cause the only thing we’re talking about is women.

Which female artist would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Quez: I would like to work with Rihanna. She fits our persona. We can’t do a song with Beyoncé. That’s way off. People would be like what? She’s like almost 30.

Have your fans done anything that really surprised you?
Quez: Everything that people other than us do surprises me. It surprises us that we’re so big. We’re bigger than we think. So anything that anybody does is good for me. I like the lil’ T-shirts, the fan signs, the “let me have your towel.” I like that because for somebody to feel that way about you, you gotta be doing something they love.

If you could write a song about your fans, what would you title it?
Quez: “Triple D.” It would stand for dedicated, determined, and dependable. That’s how I’d describe them.

That’s all “Triple D” means?
Quez: That’s what Travis Porter do. It’s sexual, but it means something.

–Rajul Punjabi