According to Scott, his connection with Kendrick Lamar stemmed from a meeting at the MTV Movie Awards. "He came up to me and was just like, 'Yo, man, I fuck with your music. It's super dope and inspirational,'" he told Billboard. "That's one of the things that made me want to keep working on my music and try to keep it going 'cause ' I'm not the most rappity rap ass ni**a. That’s not me but I really love Kendrick's music. I really love André [3000's] music. I really love 'Ye's shit. I really love Jay's shit. I like rappers. It's just dope that these dudes came to La Flame's world to get down on some ill beats."
It turns out Scott was originally going to have André 3000 narrate the album, but he ended up doing a verse on the opening track, "The Ends," instead, which Scott recorded along with the Kendrick-featured "Goosebumps" at his house in Beverly Hills. The end of the album was completed while on tour with Kanye West. "I finished [the songs] off on the tour bus on the Saint Pablo tour," he said. "I was doing that shit in the field. I don't like studios. That’s why all my shit be leaking."
In a separate interview with Rolling Stone, Scott discussed how one particular feature meant a great deal to him. "In my whole career, all I wanted was acceptance from Kid Cudi," he said. "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."
"The first time I ever met Cudi was the first time I met Kanye," he continued. "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.'"
As for the album's name, Scott admitted it was born out of frustration over things constantly holding up his creative releases. "It all stemmed from me having that frustration of just like wanting to do creative shit and just not being able to do it," he said. "It took five months for my action figure to come out. It took eight months for the Hype Williams video to come out. I just felt like I was confined in a box. I couldn't do shit I wanted to do to help forward pop culture and music. It’s like motherfuckers still tryna hold me back so that was the whole gist of it. 'In the trap' has nothing to do with coke or anything. It's literally a trap."
In actuality, the exact title of the album were inspired by Quavo. Scott, Quavo, and Young Thug were in the studio working on "Pick Up The Phone" when Quavo was doing his verse and spit, "Birds in the trap sing Brian McKnight." "I ran in the booth and I was like, 'Bro, this is it!" said Scott.
Social media heated up as Scott played his new album track-by-track on Friday and you can listen to the new album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, here. Be sure to check out everyone who had a hand in the new project here. You can also catch Travi$ Scott at Complex's inaugural ComplexCon event this fall.
THANK U QUAVIOUS
FOR UR INSPIRATION FOR THIS TITLE
— TRAVIS SCOTT (@trvisXX) September 2, 2016
Want to experience Complex IRL? Check out ComplexCon, a festival and exhibition on Nov. 5-6, 2016 in Long Beach, Calif., featuring performances, panels, and more. For ticket info, click here.