There’s much more than meets the eyes or ears when it comes to Atlanta rap group Travis Porter. As VIBE chops it up with the trio, Lakeem “Ali” Mattox, Donquez “Quez” Woods, and Harold “Strap” Duncan, it becomes blatantly clear that club-banging, party boys who have made success from club anthems “Go Shorty Go,” “All The Way Turnt Up,” and “Make It Rain” are a brand and a blossoming empire. Recently inking a deal with Jive Records, the crew speaks on enhancing its music while remaining true to the style that’s taken them this far. —Niki McGloster
VIBE: A lot of people wanted to sign you guys, including Diddy and Gucci. Why did you decide to make that move to Jive?
Ali: Because we wanted a label deal ’cause we’re a brand, not just artists. If we would have went to sign as artists or signed an artist deal, that wouldn’t have been smart. That wasn’t what we was looking for. We was looking for the label for Porter House and Travis Porter ’cause we’re a brand.
Quez: Man, we ’bout to turn the whole world into Decatur Georgia.
What can fans can expect from the mixtape you’re dropping in January 2011?
Strap: We don’t really have a name for it yet, but we been working so much, like, we been in the studio day and night everytime we in the city, so the material for the mixtape is club bangers. Um, stuff for [the] ladies, relax-your-mind music, more Travis Porter music.
Ali: Good music. Good music.
So, it’ll be along the lines of previous mixtapes, right?
Strap: All of our material different, but it’s still Travy, still club bangers.
Ali: It’s just brand new material, updated.
What are your favorite tracks on the ‘tape? Any exclusives that fans should definitely be looking forward to?
Ali: Yeah, we got the “Make It Rain” remix. It’s gon’ be on there. And we got this track on there with Yo Gotti and CoCo Kiss.
Quez: And the “Bring It Back” remix. Yeah, yeah. Shoutout to Too $hort.
Ali: And we got this little song called “Ride It.”
Strap: We treat all our mixtapes like albums. The mixtapes be well-rounded, the album’s gonna be well-rounded as well.
Do you think that being signed now to Jive will enhance your music in any way?
Strap: Yeah, I think it will ’cause we get more connection with bigger artists and…
Ali: Bigger producers.
Quez: And more life experiences. Like, we’ll be doing more, so we’ll be experiencing more. We can talk about more ’cause we done it.
What’s been changing for you most?