Travie McCoy recently sat down with HNHH earlier this summer to discuss the 15-year anniversary of As Cruel As School Children. In many ways, the album’s growing popularity between 2006-2007 was largely due to their hustle on Warped Tour. Not only did Gym Class Heroes stick out among the lineup of predominantly pop-punk and emo bands, but they were practically previewing the album in the lead up to its release among a non-hip hop audience. All of that to say, Travie McCoy experienced that era first-hand before it became a nostalgic trend.
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The rapper explained his bittersweet emotions towards the re-popularization of pop-punk and emo, especially within hip-hop. He explained who he sees parallels between hip-hop and rock, just as Dave Chappelle did between hip-hop and comedy. “It’s funny because I remember Dave Chapelle saying, ‘All comedians wanna be rappers and all rappers wanna be comedians.’ I thought about that quote in the sense like where all dudes in fucking punk bands wanna be rappers. Now, all rappers wanna be in punk bands (laughs),” he said.
Travie cited Machine Gun Kelly as an example. Though he reiterated that he has the utmost respect for MGK’s lyrical prowess, especially after going on tour together with Fall Out Boy a few years ago, he said that the pop-punk era of the Cleveland-raised MC just doesn’t hit the spot for him.
“After that tour, I’m peeping MGK’s shit — and this is no disrespect to him whatsoever because I love that dude. We had a lot of good times on that tour shopping and shit. It’s like, the shit he’s doing now, I’m like, bro, you were and are one of the dopest rappers out. Like, MGK can spit,” he said.
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“What he’s doing now just threw me for a loop. I’m like this is cool. It’s dope that you can play guitar, but that whiny fucking [groans] my girl left me. I’m like, that shit, it don’t rock with me,” he continued. “The thing is I’ve been so involved in that scene and heard so many bands do that. So, for me to hear a rapper, who I have so much respect for, kinda like fall back. I was just kinda like just, do what you want to do. Obviously, that’s how he’s feeling now. It’s not just MGK. It’s a lot of these rappers that actually have skill that are kinda dumbing shit down a bit to play into what’s poppin’ right now.”
Ultimately, Travie said that’s what he believes differentiated Gym Class Heroes in the first place, especially when they were really in the thick of the pop-punk era.
“That’s one thing I’ve always prided myself is the fact that, whether it’s me — solo — or Gym Class, we’ve never ever tried to fit into what’s the wave,” Travie concluded.
Check out the full interview with Travie McCoy here