How Travis Scott Went From Kid Cudi Superfan To Collaborator, In 11 Steps

He’s spent his career paying homage, and now Travis Scott is working with his idol.

September 08, 2016

Kid Cudi appears twice on Travis Scott's new album Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight, on "way back" and "through the late night," but his presence on the Houston rapper's sophomore record is a bigger deal than your average feature. While he's more frequently spotted in the presence of Kanye West, throughout his career Scott has constantly deferred to the artist also known as Scott Mescudi as his biggest inspiration.

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1. In November 2012, Scott signed a production deal with Kanye West's label G.O.O.D. Music, which released Cudi's first three albums.

Ye once called Cudi "his favorite artist in the world," although the pressure of being in Mr. West's protege led Cudi to depression and drugs. Scott, however, seems more comfortable with his time at G.O.O.D. [Kanye]’s like my stepdad," he said to Billboard. "We always had that relationship where we cook up ideas."

2. Back in 2013, Scott called Cudi his "favorite rapper of all time."

Speaking with Pete Rosenberg on Hot 97, Scott said he'd gladly be Cudi's unpaid intern. "I would [tour with Cudi] for free... You gotta really listen to his raps, it's so real. He's probably one of the realest rappers alive." After Rosenberg played a sample of "New York Rage Fest" from 2013's Indicud, Scott exclaimed "Why don't you play this on the radio?!"

3. Two months after the release of his first mixtape Owl Pharaoh, Scott posted a picture of himself beneath a portrait of Cudi, captioned as the "holy grail."

Holy grail. Bless up cudders back

A photo posted by flame (@travisscott) on

"cudders back" could be a reference to Indicud, which was released in April 2013, two months before Scott posted this photo.

4. Like every hip-hop stan, Travis Scott proudly copped his favorite artist's merch.

A photo posted by flame (@travisscott) on

5. He even dropped a single with Fool's Gold, the label that released Cudi's earliest work.

In 2008, Brooklyn label Fool's Gold released "Day N' Night," Kid Cudi's breakout hit which remains one of his most loved songs. 2014 saw Travis Scott collaborate with A-Trak and Lex Luger (a.k.a. Low Pros) on the one-off single "100 Bottles." The next year, Scott performed at the label's annual festival Fool's Gold Day Off.

6. In March of 2015, Travis told MTV News "there would be no Travis Scott if it wasn’t for [Cudi]."
As more time progressed, Scott expanded on Cudi's influence, and got far more personal. "I feel like he's a part of my story of how I became who I am... He came and surprised me at the studio one day when I was working with A-Trak. He took me on this drive and played me new music, I was crying in the backseat and shit... It was one of the craziest shits ever... He talked to me about everything. I felt like my life was complete."  
7. Cudi returned Scott's career-spanning support when Scott's debut album Rodeo was about to drop.

According to MTV, Travis wrote that he was moved to tears once more, but that tweet has since been deleted.

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8. Travis geeked over a very special birthday tweet.

fan-ing out

A photo posted by flame (@travisscott) on

9. He compared his writing process to Young Thug, Kurt Cobain...and Kid Cudi.

"[My process] is good for people like me and [Young] Thug and other people like [Kid] Cudi and Kurt Cobain, people that just keep it real."

10. In June of this year, Cudi shared a Snapchat of him and Scott in the studio after announcing that he's the "only feature" on his new album so far.
11. At the end of the day, for Scott, Cudi's is the only opinion that matters.

"In my whole career, all I wanted was acceptance from Kid Cudi," Scott told Rolling Stone. "I don't care about nothing else! This dude saved my life. He kept me from doing a lot of fucked up shit to myself, kept me on the right path. That's why I make music, that's why I go hard for the fans, that's why I tell security to move out the way — 'cause this dude gave me the passion, the information, the insight on how to grow up and be who you want to be."

Scott also revealed how his first meeting with Cudi helped set a standard for his career. "I don't know if he remembers, but the first time I ever met Cudi was the first time I met Kanye. I've never told anyone this, but it was the same day. That was the first time I was around G.O.O.D. Music at all. I was sitting like, 'Man, I'm in the presence of 'Ye and Cudi. This is the art level where I want to be.'"

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How Travis Scott Went From Kid Cudi Superfan To Collaborator, In 11 Steps