Every famous person has that “this is how I know I made it big” moment. For Ali, member of the rap trio Travis Porter, that moment came a few days ago.
“I was standing at an event and about 5 feet away from me was Will Smith,” Ali said. “Things like that show me how far we have come. But it is only the beginning.”
Ali, along with band mates Quez and Strap, are part of one of the up-and-coming groups in the rap industry. Their singles, which include “Make it Rain” and “Bring it Back,” put their name on the radar, but it is their fearlessness and unique sound that is keeping them from being just a blip on the map.
“We create based on what we want to do,” Ali said. “We don’t do what other people want us to do. We don’t say things based on what we think people will like. But I guess people like what we have to say.”
The trio, which has known each other since middle school, is coming to Paducah on Saturday to perform at the Expo Center, a show that is usually reserved for big-city locations like neighboring St. Louis. The prospect of playing in a smaller market makes the band even more excited.
“When you put on shows in a place that doesn’t usually get to see them, the audience is ready before you even get there,” Ali said. “The crowd is even more into it, and that gets us into it.”
Their shows, which have been praised as high-energy and highly entertaining, give fans a chance to see a different side of the band.
“We turn into different people on stage,” Ali said. “We do a complete transformation. We are there to have fun and make everyone get up out of their chairs.”
Travis Porter was nominated for a BET Award for Best Group of the Year and has had a song on the Billboard Top 100. While their music is recognizable, the group knows they have a lot of work left to do.
“Everything we are going to do, we want to do as a group,” Ali said. “All of us want to continue in music, but we want to be in movies and do all kinds of other stuff. This is only the beginning.”