Travis Scott Essentials
Travis Scott's dark, psychedelic take on trap—with its harsh percussion and eerie, atmospheric synths—has had a massive influence on 2010s rap. Scott (born Jacques Webster in the Houston suburbs) made his name first as an in-house producer for Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music, working on the 2012 label showcase Cruel Summer and 2013's Yeezus, and dropped his first mixtape, Owl Pharoah, in 2013. And like West, his mentor, Scott soon shifted his primary focus from production to solo work, curating top talent for his star-studded albums and mixtapes for T.I.'s Grand Hustle label. A chameleonic vocalist, Scott roars through anthems like “Upper Echelon” and sings in a processed higher register on tracks like “Don't Play.” His songs take the sound of similarly melodic rappers—Future and Kid Cudi among them—to unexpected, often challenging places, all without stripping them of their immediacy. Cover photo shot on iPhone.