Travis Scott is a bonafide sensation and the leading light of the current class of hip-hop superstars. For proof of how much of a cultural monolith Scott has become, the rapper even had his own limited edition burger across McDonald’s in North America in 2020, which was the first time the company had allowed a cultural figure this honour since Michael Jordan back in 1992.
It was in 2013 when Scott officially released his debut single, and it only took a matter of years for him to become one of the most prominent artists on the planet, an artist who now headlines festivals across the world. Despite all the accolades that Scott has earned over the last decade – such as getting his first number one in 2017 with ‘Sicko Mode’ – collaborating alongside his favourite rapper is something that he holds even closer to his heart.
The rapper’s real name isn’t Travis Scott; it’s Jacques Webster. His hip-hop alias comes from an amalgamation of his favourite uncle, Travis, and the actual first name of his favourite rapper, Scott Mescudi, better known as Kid Cudi.
When he first started going under the name of Travis Scott, one day, getting his hero to hear his music would have been enough to make everything worthwhile. Little did he expect even in his wildest dreams that he’d form the supergroup, THE SCOTTS, alongside his idol and become more than just contemporaries, but close friends too.
“I idolise Kid Cudi a lot. That’s like, my favourite artist,” Scott previously said during an interview Beats 1. “I think he can go bar to bar—like some people think Jay Z is the best rapper. I feel like he can compete with that and still have his own wave.”
Scott continued: “I fuck with him, because he always had his own lingo. He created a world for kids like me, who wasn’t just like, the ultimate like drug dealer. He created that vibe and that planet, where you can mack on bitches and still be smooth, and still feel like you’re the king scientist. Not everyone is as real as their music is. That artist comes once every decade.”
The fact that Kid Cudi doesn’t subscribe to the stereotypical cliched hip-hop persona, staying unequivocally true to himself, made him a hero to aspiring musicians like Scott who have never been part of a gang in their lives. He helped make it cool to be you, an ethos that Scott has continued in his work, and makes the two of them fitting collaborators because of their shared world view.
Although they are only seven years apart in age, the two rappers come from different generations. The tables have now turned to such an extent that Cudi uses Scott to test out new ideas because he trusts his opinion to such a degree.
“Before I started working on this shit I was like, my next shit’s gotta be bars,” Cudi said to Apple Music about THE SCOTTS. “I knew that. I just remember Travis saying something to me about raps. He was just like, ‘Your raps, man. I love when you rap.’ I kept that in mind. I was like, OK, Travis is saying my raps are good. That must be something that the kids like. I’ll keep that in mind.
“I just wanted to give [Travis Scott] exactly what he loved about Kid Cudi,” Scott said. “And for him, it’s bars. But I felt like, in hip-hop, I’m slept on as a rapper, as a lyricist. I really wanted to elevate my whole shit on that front on this project. And I did that with the rapping and the singing. Everything is kind of evolved.”
To date, we’ve only heard the one eponymous track from THE SCOTTS, which went straight to the top of the Billboard Chart and saw their two styles combine deliciously. Both parties have since confirmed a full-length project in the works, and fingers crossed, the wait won’t be too long away.