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An Epic Retrospective on Travis Scott’s Collaborations

There are not many people out there as ingrained in the modern pop culture as Travis Scott. Born in Houston, Texas, Travis Scott, whose real name is Jacques Webster, is a rapper, producer and beat-maker who has opened new doors in the ever-evolving rap and R&B scene with his new ambient, bass-heavy and almost psychedelic sound. However, what many people call talent and genius, others call smart marketing and “hype.” In reality his success isn’t the result of just one, but of a unique combination of both. Scott’s innovative records along with numerous collaborations with fashion brands, game companies and even fast-food chains have reached younger audiences like never before and have built an extremely passionate following of so-called “ragers.” 

Prior to the release of “Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho,” his third studio album, Scott had already collaborated with Ksubi, Virgil Abloh and Helmut Lang, brands that aren’t necessarily household names but are extremely well-known in their own circles of hypebeasts and fashion fanatics. These collaborations didn’t set Scott’s name in the common jargon, but did create an underground audience of fans, ready to jump on anything that Scott makes. What put Scott on the map was the start of his collaboration with Nike. Nine months following the release of his joint album with Quavo, Nike dropped the first Scott-themed sneaker in a legendary Air Force 1 silhouette and the insanity began. The fast-growing hypebeast community jumped on Scott’s merch and fashion collaborations, tremendously elevating the youth’s outlook on Scott’s music and officially marking his rapid rise to fame. 

2018 was a big year for Scott, featuring a relationship and child with Kylie Jenner, the release of his new album “Astroworld,” and of course more sneakers from Nike. 2018 marked a release of two sneakers and more than three pairs teased, along with his numerous merch lines of t-shirts and hoodies alike. Scott did not let his fans rest, always leaving them in the shadow of what was to come next. 

In late spring and summer of 2019, as the Astroworld tour was at its peak, Scott managed to release his groundbreaking music documentary on Netflix that made huge noise in the industry, unveiled his revolutionary sneaker with Air Jordan and set up his most bizarre brand partnership to date—his own limited edition cereal. Scott’s music became secondary at that point and his influence reached even those who weren’t interested in his craft. 2019 was the year Scott became more than an artist, but rather a true public icon and a household name. 

But, the Houston-born rapper was only warming up. In addition to more of his highly anticipated fashion and shoe collaborations, which had already become a normality, and a release of his new mini-album “Jackboys,” Scott managed to pull off a joint venture with the most popular game in the world at the time—Fortnite. This completely unprecedented collaboration was a playable concert within the game, the goal of which was to give his fans the true Travis Scott experience from the couch as well as promote his new single “THE SCOTTS.” Once again he shocked his followers with this move and continued his typical cycle of anticipation, spreading rumors about his next possible record, a joint album with the acclaimed R&B artist Kid Cudi. The rumors have quieted down, and after a couple sneaker releases and magazine covers, Scott released his other single, “The Plan,” as part of the soundtrack to Christopher Nolan’s new highly anticipated movie, “Tenet.” It seemed Scott had no limitations to his creativity and imagination, which left fans in even more confusion and yet agitated anticipation.  

Scott’s recent collaboration with McDonald’s has been in the talks for a while but seemed so far off that many disregarded these rumors immediately. Once again, Scott surprised his fans with a series of commercials with McDonald’s and a new meal, which he clearly used to promote yet another rumored album, “Utopia.” Millions of people rushed to their local McDonald’s restaurant to demand the new burger special which led to ubiquitous shortages. His McDonald’s venture turned out to be a huge success and a true cultural phenomenon that he exploited to tease more and more of his music. 

On Sept. 25th, Scott released his new single, “Franchise,” featuring rap veteran Young Thug and prominent hip-hop artist M.I.A. Even though the track was leaked two months prior to the release, Scott’s team has done an incredible job to secure this track’s spot as the top single by releasing a music video simultaneously, and a series of lyric clips and commercials to promote the song to all audiences. At this point, Scott is stating bluntly that the new era of rap is coming. “Utopia” is in the works, new merch and products are on the way and the Travis Scott brand is about to conquer the world one more time. 

About The Author

Maksim Sokolov

Sokolov (Business '24) is part of the Vector writing, layouts, and graphic design team. "Hey! My name is Maxim, I'm a freshman here at NJIT, studying business. I'm an aspiring graphic designer and have big ambitions in the industry. In my free time, I enjoy going to the gym (bodybuilding/strongman), reading non-fiction (philosophy/business), and expanding my taste in music."

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