A few weekends ago, Travi$ Scott made headlines after he took the Summer Jam Festival stage at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey. With a string of hits like “Skyfall,” “Don’t Play,” and “Upper Echelon,” Travi$ had arguably the best set of the entire day, but all of that took a backseat to one classless moment. While winding down his verse on fan favorite “Mamacita” Travi$ became agitated with a Summer Jam photographer who was doing his job in capturing moments of an otherwise lit performance and begrudgingly had him removed from the stage, calling him a nerd and challenging his manhood in the process.
The whole scene was very diva-like and while some of the crowd took a liking to it, anyone in their right mind had to admit that it was a dick move on Travi$’ part. The guy was doing his job and went unnoticed until Travis pointed him out. A few seconds later, Travi$ brought out 2Milly to perform the surging “Milly Rock,” but the sour taste still lingered.
Travi$ Scott the musician is a rare breed. His sound has found him able to combine grunge rock and heavy metal with trap rap and horror scores to create something unique that caught the ears of the likes of Jay Z, T.I, and Kanye West far before he even had a full length project out. He possesses the ability to ring in the hood and the hipsters, and so forth.
But Travi$ Scott the guy, or Jaques Webster, has come off as dickhead time and time again. Beyond the Summer Jam instance there are stories of how he treated his assistants pre-fame and the infamous Twittergate featured him berating almost everyone that put him in the position he’s in right now.
With that said, does an artists’ actions effect the music? Kanye West has had his share of moments outside of the booth that have made him public enemy number one despite being a critical and commercial darling. Drake‘s musical prowess and impact is one to be admired, but he’s been one of the easiest targets for meme makers and Twitter’s finest.
While those two are some of the rare cases where an artist is able to thrive despite scrutiny, think about the artists who have showed great promise, but haven’t been able to get past themselves due to their public perception. Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea have both faced hard times recently. Banks can’t keep from taking shots at people on Twitter and Iggy keeps shooting herself in the foot. Wale‘s perceived arrogance was off putting for many from the get go. Even Kendrick Lamar found himself on the wrong side of a debate after his “respect ourselves” comments during Ferguson.
Troy Ave is another case to speak of in this situation. The guy is a decent artist – he has a distinct voice, stands for something, can make some fun records, and go off for some really dope verses when he wants to. That said, the guy just rubs people the wrong way. He’s called every artist that’s not a street rap dope dealer a “weirdo” and has literally tried to guilt fans from the tri-state area into backing him because he’s “restoring the feeling.” Something tells me that if he let catchy songs like “My Style” and “All About The Money” do the talking he would have sold some more copies of his heavily hyped debut. If he dropped more verses like he did on Trae Tha Truth’s “Breathe Easy” he would have captured that clout that he so covets. We understand that you want to get your point across, but popping shit at everyone else may not be the best route to go about doing so.
On the flip side you have guys like T.I. who haven’t dropped anything notable in the past years, but still remain relevant due to the fact that they’re simply likable. Or a 2 Chainz who has traded traditional standards for charisma and successfully reinvented himself because of it.
With Rodeo on the way, I can’t say that I won’t be tuned in to see what Travi$ has to offer, but moments like that stick in the mind and when character comes into question, it becomes an entirely different conversation.