The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is pleased to partner with Microsoft Zune for Five Minutes with Fame, an exclusive video series on the Zune Marketplace featuring singers, songwriters and bands at the forefront of today's music. After a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum, we sit down with artists to talk about their music, their road to success, inspirations, being on tour and of course, some of their favorite artists and artifacts highlighted in the Museum. This week's featured artist is Travie McCoy.
Born Travis Lazarus McCoy in Geneva, NY, Travie McCoy first made a name for himself as the lead vocalist of the alternative rap group Gym Class Heroes. Outside of the band, McCoy is a rapper in his own right, having won the MTV Direct Effect MC Battle as well as having guest spots on tracks by Kelly Rowland and Tyga. After releasing four albums with Gym Class Heroes, McCoy began work on a solo record. In 2010, he released his first album without his band, Lazarus, on Fueled by Ramen. Blending elements of hip-hop, indie rock and soul that reflect his own eclectic musical tastes, McCoy enlisted the services of an equally diverse range of producers he'd admired, including Los Angeles-based trio the Stereotypes (Ne-Yo, Mary J. Blige); Detail (Lady GaGa, Akon); the Smeezingtons (B.O.B., Cobra Starship, Flo Rida); Evan "Kidd" Bogart (Adam Lambert, Beyonce); Lucas Secon (Sean Kingston, Pussycat Dolls); and rock veteran Josh Abraham (Velvet Revolver, 30 Seconds to Mars).
While the album almost turned toward a dark and cynical sound, the more time McCoy spent enjoying his new home Florida (where he was recording the album), the more he realized that his dark-hued draft of Lazarus would require a complete change of tune. The turning point came after recording the aforementioned "Billionaire" and "Dr. Feel Good," a funky showcase for Gnarls Barkley singer Cee-Lo Green, and a tune that might just be the most uplifting track McCoy has yet written.
And still McCoy shows no sign of slowing down. He is currently on tour with Gym Class Heroes supporting the anticipated release of their next album, The Papercut Chronicles II.
Below, Travie talks about his history with Gym Class Heroes, making a solo album and some of his favorite things he saw on display at the Rock Hall, including Johnny Cash’s shoes.
Along with Microsoft's Zune Marketplace on PC and XBox Live, the only place you’ll be able to see these videos is right here each week on rockhall.com. Stay tuned for next week's Five Minutes with Fame with Bullet for My Valentine!