If 50 Cent posts you, you must be doing something right, right?
The G-Unit rapper shared a photo of New York artist Trav to his 25.4 million followers on Instagram, dragging him with the caption: “This guy is not a tuff guy, he is a good kid trying to make music. I’m sorry it didn’t work for him and his big brother, I hope they can figure something out.
Trav has been making music for years, and actually used to hang with 50 Cent. Trav’s older brother had a tight bond with the “In Da Club” rapper, which led to their close association with 50’s famed G-Unit collective.
Fast forward some years, Trav wanted to focus on his artistry.
But a long-standing beef with Rick Ross, and Trav’s tight relationship with Meek Mill, who is part of Rozay’s Maybach Music empire, are among the issues that have put a strain on Trav’s relationship with the G-Unit general.
Trav is currently under management with Sal, who manages The Weeknd.
AllHipHop caught up with the EMPIRE Records signee to discuss what exactly went down with 50, as well as his own plans for a successful solo career.
AllHipHop: You’re in New York amidst the COVID-19. You staying safe?
Trav: Yeah, I’m good. I mean, I’ve survived worse. I hope I survive. [chuckles]
AllHipHop: Being from Queen, NY, what was your upbringing like?
Trav: It wasn’t the greatest, but I was raised in the heart of Jamaica, Queens with 2 immigrant parents from Jamaica. It turned out alright I guess, I’m here now.
AllHipHop: At what point did music become real for you?
Trav: I loved music because my uncle used to make music, but it wasn’t hip-hop how I make hip-hop. They make reggae music. I got introduced to really the lifestyle of hip-hop, really seeing what hip-hop could do for an artist when my brother started to co-manage 50 [Cent].
AllHipHop: That’s how your relationship with 50 developed?
Trav: Yeah, I was the youngest one around out of everybody. When 50 came out, I was 13 years old going on tour.
AllHipHop: What were you doing on tour?
Trav: It was crazy. 50 and them had got on, he ended up getting crib right there where Yayo, Banks, and them had a condo. Right there on 333 Rector Place, across from the Twin Towers. Every weekend after school, I’d take car service. Because they didn’t want me in the hood, they knew I’d get into a lot of trouble when they weren’t around. They weren’t really understanding the pressure of being the young one around. I go to school, then I could be at 106 & Park. You feel me?
They didn’t understand the pressure for me being so young around them. It was real stuff going on. I was still in school, I was in high school. To keep me out of trouble from going to little hood parties, they’d have me come to the house. Every weekend, get out of the hood. One day, it was a Sunday. Every Sunday, I’m supposed to go home because school’s on Monday. I just stayed. I got on a tour bus. My moms called, I was in Ohio. [chuckles] She’s like “where are you?” I said “ma, I’m on the tour bus. This bus is not turning around.” I fell in love with the life. This is what I was already doing, this is what I was made to do.
AllHipHop: So what happened recently?
Trav: To be honest, that ‘s something I never spoke about. Recently, I don’t know what really hit him. I guess me and the producer Young Chop coming into Live, and we’re having an argument. The kid that’s going crazy online. He came into my Live out of nowhere, he’s like “I respect you, but your man Meek is a cop.” Some crazy s##t like that. He tried to disrespect my man, dumb s##t. I don’t know what he was trying to get at ,but he knew he’d never say no s##t to me like that in my face. Some troll s##t.
AllHipHop: Were you guys tight?
Trav: I don’t know that guy for nothing. 50 ended up seeing the recording of that Live. In that Live, the only thing he could’ve said was “damn you coming at Meek, but you ain’t coming at 50.” If you really know me, you wouldn’t even be speaking no s##t like that. Because I’ll come at you and him. I don’t have no picks, I don’t pick and choose. Somebody disrespect me, I’m coming. I wasn’t raised — I’m not getting bullied by nobody.
This was lingering. This is from f##king 7 years ago when me and him got into that s##t on stage. A lot of people never knew, like “why the f##k did that just happen?” They didn’t know what happened. Something on the internet, nobody knew. Nobody ever spoke on it. I left it like that because at the time, I looked at it as family. For him to antagonize it right on his page like I’m this good kid, is cap. That’s cap. You know me. I’m the good kid who did everything he never did. He rapped about my life, you rapped about the s##t we did. To be clear, I never said anything because I’m living my life. I have new music out, a song with Tory Lanez called “You Choose.” I’m not focused on what people are doing, nobody’s worried about that.
AllHipHop: What made 50 post that photo of you?
Trav: I really don’t know. I think he was trying to be funny. I never would’ve went crazy… once he put me up, I went crazy because I had to defend myself. But I would’ve never went Live and stated anything if he took it down at 8 o’clock. He tried to be funny and took it down at 8:05pm.
AllHipHop: What’s the significance in 8pm?
Trav: Because 8pm was when I was going Live. Alright, here’s the thing. If I was your homegirl, we’re bros. We’re homies right, you should never try to disrespect your friends in public, then apologize behind closed doors. That doesn’t work. I don’t think that works on any levels. It was to the point I was tired of it. Even when I went Live at 8 o’clock and everybody’s saying “yo he took it down,” it’s 8:05pm bro. Stop playing. If nobody likes to stand up, I’ma stand up. I’m not one of them. I’m going to stand up for myself.
AllHipHop: Have you guys talked at all?
Trav: No. What’s there to talk about? I moved on. What I was saying, I’ve moved on from him. The questions they ask me, they should ask him. “How’s the people around you doing bro?” That’s the question you should ask.
AllHipHop: Do you foresee this getting worse?
Trav: I’m with whatever, but I’m really focused on what I got going on. That s##t’s like beating on a f##king dead horse. He knows me for real. All the peace he’s given is because he doesn’t have anybody around him. He has to get peace. He has to give nothing but peace to everybody. Everybody you ever disrespected, you have to give peace to because you’re lonely. You’re going to have to pay police, real security. You don’t have the guys you have from the neighborhood with no money involved, and they’ll risk their life. Freedom, you don’t have that any more. The love is gone, he destroyed it. Bad leader.
AllHipHop: I mean, he did just get a Hollywood star though.
Trav: Nah, let me explain something to you. Outside of somebody being a successful artist, I learned a lot from him. But that doesn’t change somebody’s ways. R. Kelly is one of the greatest R&B artists in the world, that doesn’t change his way. If he actually did the s##t… you get what I’m saying? Let me ask you a question, who’s your favorite artist?
AllHipHop: I really been on G Herbo’s album that just dropped.
Trav: Cool, I really f##k with G Herbo. You know what type of person is because he’s so social right? Suppose he wasn’t a social guy and somebody said he’s a deadbeat. You’d be like “no, he loves his son.” Does that take away from his music? If you actually think about the person you’re talking about, that’s all I’m saying. I’m speaking on what’s real.
I understand he has a star. He has 10 million records, Diamond. I’m not taking anything away from that. I’m not here to discuss him truthfully. I don’t care about him. He posted me up, I had to expose the real. He can’t be mad. The greatest thing I’m happy he did say was that I make tough music. I make good music, because then I’d have to expose something else.
AllHipHop: 50 being 50, did he influence your artistry at all? Did you learn from him?
Trav: The greatest thing is we learned things from each other. Because I did learn. If you learn from somebody, then somebody starts learning from you. Which is crazy, isn’t it?
AllHipHop: How’d you link with Tory Lanez on “You Choose”?
Trav: Tory’s the bro man. That’s my f##king brother, from another. Me and Tory ended up doing 2 or 3 records. That one stuck out the most for real. We had another one that had a Lil Boosie vibe, that he redid. The Boosie and Webbie vibe he’s really f##king with. This one was speaking out a bit more to me, felt more of a vibe. We flew back to Miami to shoot the video.
AllHipHop: Who inspired the record? You got a lady in your life?
Trav: Ladies inspired the record. I’m definitely quarantined with my lady right now.
AllHipHop: How do you know Meek Mill?
Trav: I knew Meek for years. I met Meek from when he was a hot battle rapper. The braids Meek. If you remember, one time 50 went to Philly. This is the other thing, I know all these artists. I’ve even brought J Cole to the house, before anybody ever heard. Any time I’d go to Philly, I’d hit Meek “yo, I’m coming to Philly.” “Pull up on me.” We locked in like that. He used to come to Queens, just become family. Come to his house, he came to my house. We met when he had the braids though.
AllHipHop: How did you find your way to Sal (The Weeknd management)?
Trav: Cash and Sal, they’ve been my family for years. A lot of people don’t know that Belly was shaking before The Weekend. When Belly first came to NY, he’s tuned in with us. He’s on some street s##t but f##king with us. Our relationship always been strong. Through the years, Belly would always give me advice. Cash and Sal would always give me advice. They never really knew my situation.
Again a lot of people would see me and think “oh you still with 50,” because I’d never speak on it. They thought I’m out here by myself. I’m doing my thing out here on my own. They started seeing me work, seeing my progression. We sat down: me, Cash, and Sal ended up putting it together. The rest was history. I did the song with Nav and went on tour.
AllHipHop: What was the best memory on tour?
Trav: I went to Chicago, this was last tour. I didn’t know my fanbase there was actually tuned in. Chicago and St. Louis when we went, they were crazy. They went crazy.
AllHipHop: What are some goals for yourself as an artist at this point in your career?
Trav: An empire that doesn’t fold. I’m learning from others’ mistakes. I want a real legacy to be left, to be honest.
AllHipHop: Who’s in your Top 5?
Trav: J. Cole, Tupac, Biggie, Nas. God bless the dead, Prodigy. Prodigy and DMX would be battling. Because X was really my dog, he got me through some rough times. People don’t understand music, I didn’t understand music until I started to make music. I was able to express myself like “oh, this is what the f##k it is.”
AllHipHop: What can we expect next?
Trav: Expect nothing but bangers. Video out now: “You Choose” with the man Tory Lanez. I’m going to drop this song called “Streets Still Love Me” and touch the streets. Give a message to all the trenches. Anybody from the slums, from the bottom who can relate to real s##t. There’s a clear message.
AllHipHop: Are you going to expand more than R&B bangers?
Trav: Oh no, I got banger bangers. If I’m going to do a record with an artist, I want something that fits both of us. My side of how I am when it comes to the ladies and they can give their side. I got some bangers, nothing but bangers. On my project right now, I got Slime on there. I put together a whole project, definitely on the way. It’s time for it right now.