Travis Porter is a triple threat for hip hop.
Comprised of three unique 20-year-old MCs—“Strap” (Harold Duncan), “Quez” (Donquez Woods), and “Ali” (Lakeem Mattox)—the Atlanta rap trio is packing club-ready hooks, intricate rhymes, and down south swagger. On their hit single “Bring It Back,” they slide through a slick, sexy beat and chant out an anthemic chorus that’ll set any crowd off, while the follow-up "College Girl" is clever urban pop built on stories of long distance relationships. With their full-length debut for Jive Records on the horizon, these three distinct personalities make Travis Porter a name to remember in modern hip hop.
Their sound is a brew of quirky inventive production with razor sharp rhyming. However, Travis Porter takes everything one step further. “All of us have our own flavor and swag that we bring to the table,” declares Strap. “Quez is chill, but he can go crazy. Ali is hyper and amped up all the time. I’m laidback. We’re not related, but we’re the same people. That’s where the concept of Travis Porter came from. Together, we always try to come up with original styles of flowing, phrases, and beats.”
That’s exactly what Travis Porter have been doing since they first took the Atlanta scene by storm in 2006. Stepbrothers Ali and Quez metStrap in eighth grade, and immediately clicked. They got into trouble together, they made music together, and they began hustling their brand together. In order to get noticed, at 17-years-old, the three of them would sneak into strip clubs to perform their songs. “In Atlanta, that’s the number one spot to break your records,” exclaims Quez. “We’d perform a song and get up out of there quickly, but the crowds were feeling it.”
Crowds everywhere beyond just the clubs started feeling it in a big way too. Travis Porter gained worldwide recognition performing nationally and then touring Japan and Germany, while still unsigned. Their independent track “Go Shorty Go” hit the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart, while their breakout single, “Make It Rain”, charted on the Billboard Top 100. They also developed an overwhelming online presence with over 60 million YouTube views and massive Twitter and Facebook followings. Jive formally joined forces with them at the end of 2010, and the next phase began.
In terms of influences, Ali¸Quez, and Strap definitely share similar playlists. Quez goes on, "We all have the same influences, The Hot Boyz T.I., and Outkast. That definitely had a big impact on the music." The strands of classic Southern hip hop pulsate at the heart of TravisPorter's sound, but the group infuses their own attitude cultivated by years of real living in the ATL.
There’s a three-pronged approach to Travis Porter, and Quez best describes the mix of styles. “We make party music, we make bedroom music, and we also make what we like to call ‘differenter’ music, which is hot crazy pop. We do whatever comes naturally.”
Travis Porter has the power to pull in all kinds of audiences though. On their single, “College Girl,” the group creates an unforgettable and unique pop jam that illuminates another side of their experience and it sees the group reaching a wider audience in a positive way. Strap goes on, "We want to be diverse and make music for everybody. So many guys have girlfriends that go off to college. My girl didn’t leave me, but she went to school out of town. The song is about a long distance relationship with a college girl. It isn’t sad though; I’m bragging about her because I’ve got a smart girl and it’s all good.”
About “College Girl,” Quez adds, “She’s cool. She’ll take shots with the homeys, and she’s always around when she’s in town. However, she still has to go back to school. It’s a record for the females and it shows another side of Travis Porter."Ultimately, a desire to be "differenter" fuels Travis Porter. Strap concludes. "We try to be ourselves. A lot of young cats just ride the waves. You've got to constantly reinvent yourself. You've got to show people you can make more than one type of song. It's about staying hungry. You can't let up. You take these three guys and they make up one dude—Travis Porter. Three heads are better than one."
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