Ready When You Are: The Travis Porter Reign Continues

Drew Millard tells you why you should be listening to more Travis Porter.
By    January 25, 2016

travis porter

Drew Millard fired David Blatt with J.R. Smith’s hoverboard.

I think we can all agree that the best—perhaps even the most fun—album of the month is Anderson .Paak’s Malibu. I’m not here to denigrate that record, or Anderson .Paak for that matter, because one time I met Anderson Paak and he was very enthused about the box of fleshlights I had under my desk and that is extremely chill. But I am definitely here to say that Travis Porter put out a mixtape on Sunday, and you’re a goddamn fool if you haven’t listened to it yet.

Full disclosure: I am a HUGE Travis Porter fan. But then again, how the fuck are you not a huge Travis Porter fan? Never mind that “Make It Rain” and “Bring It Back” are Atlanta booty bounce classics. Never mind the fact that if you were alive in the South from the period of 2010 to 2012 and Travis Porter weren’t your goddamn motherfucking shit you lacked a total sense of fun…Not to mention a pulse. Never mind all of that. Travis Porter has put out amazing mixtape after amazing mixtape at a pace that would make Lil B spontaneously erupt in a cooking dance.

Want to feel the pure joy of existence rattle through your very soul? Here, listen to “Sunshine on Me.” Like DJ Mustard but wish there was a slightly more Atlanta version of his sound? Travis Porter have literally a million different versions of that song. My favorite is “Bankroll,” because it features Skooly from Rich Kidz, who is straight-up the unsung goddamn hero of modern-day Atlanta rap.

They’ve done tracks with Jeremih and YG, way before either of them were things. If you recall Future’s canonical, career-making Dirty Sprite mixtape, “Racks” is directly preceded by “Pop Them Bands,” which while not as iconic as “Racks,” is arguably (especially if I, avowed Travis Porter fan, am arguing) a better song. It would be conservative to say that they have made one song about each major strip club in Atlanta. For the cargo pants set who refuse to believe that a trio of ass-obsessed goofballs from Atlanta (one of whom sounds literally 12 years-old) there’s “Hot Wheels,” in which Ali, Quez, and Strap hold their own against Young Dro and the King of the South, T.I. And say what you will about Wale and Diplo, but I hold the greatness of the “One-Eyed Kitten Song” to be self-evident. If you are the ghost producer Diplo tapped for that particular slab of slap, hit my DMs; I’ll Venmo you $20.

Still, this is not to say that the best days of Travis Porter are behind them, only to argue that every day is Travis Porter’s best day. 285, named after the interstate the surrounds Atlanta, feels imbued with the energy of all things that are good. Like Donnie and Marie, the record’s a little bit country, a little bit ratchet. “Damn,” “What’s Going On,” and “187” provide further evidence that Travis Porter is the second coming of 2 Live Crew, while “Pray for the Boy,” “Blow It,” and “Cup So Muddy” are the type of Future-indebted, Actavis-soaked stunt-lamentations that everyone who isn’t a shithead likes.

Then there’s “Sky’s the Limit,” which does that particularly Dipset-y trick of inverting some schlocky pop song (in this case, Kiesza’s “Hideaway”) and using its ubiquity to lend it a certain air of gravitas. Not to mention “Overdose,” one of the finest tracks Travis Porter have ever concocted. Anchored around a sample of Erykah Badu and Stephen Marley’s “In Love with You,” it’s a masterpiece and I really don’t have enough good things to say about. By the time “Been Had,” featuring YFN Lucci (who, as anyone who’s listened to his mixtape Wish Me Well can attest, is the shit), closes, it’s just like, damn.

If Travis Porter have committed any sin, it’s being behind the times. Which is weird to say about Travis Porter, but alas, this is the world we live in. Their music rarely spawns memes, and unlike other, more famous Travises in hip-hop, they do not make the sonic equivalent of a hoverboard. Instead, they do what they do, they do it well, and they don’t particularly care about pandering to you. We should reward more music like this, but we do not, because the world is fucked up.

Also, the new season of Serial sucks.

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