Taco of Odd Future is A Music Mogul In The Making
As he gears up to go on two tours later this year with Tyler, The Creator, A$AP Ferg, Allison Wonderland, and more, Odd Future’s Taco is making moves toward his own music empire. In addition to this year’s tours, he wrote, starred, and produced his own TV show, Loiter Squad, started working on his own album, and started what he says he is most excited about: starting a platform for young musicians who otherwise wouldn’t have one.
Peep the interview below where we caught up with Taco to talk how he got into music, what he is listening to, and more.
Why did decide to name yourself Taco?
I never decided to name myself Taco; that’s a fact.
Picking a nickname is maybe the dweebiest thing to do, in a sense, depending on what the nickname is or what your real name is, or the story behind it I guess. I didn’t pick Taco, it just happened, and uh, there’s no true story. I just woke up the next day and that was my name, and I never looked back or questioned it.
Do people actually call you Taco?
Yeah, it’s half and half. Some people call me by my real name, some people call me Taco. But because of my friend, we have another Travis, and it’s kinda not as easy, so everybody calls me Taco, or Trav, or, yeah. That’s it, either one.
So how did you get into music?
My sister was an engineer, and Tyler was one of my close friends, and Earl [Sweatshirt] was one of my close friends, I got home and Tyler was at my house because he was going to work with my sister, and then, the rest is kind of just history. Music has always been a part of my life, but I’ve still never, even to this day, made music like that. I’ve been around musicians, and tried to push those people and help them grow as artists, but…yeah. In the grand scheme of things, I want my own record label one day.
That’s awesome. Do you want new musicians or friends on your label?
I’d love to work with my friends, but I feel like business and friendships are hard. Usually, everyone I know always complains about their label, and the label complains about the artist. I’d rather have people where it starts off as business and then we could become friends for the rest of our lives but as of now, business and music comes first. But also, I don’t think I’m a mean person. For me, business in general, I’m kind of a pushover in a sense, like I’m really not going to argue with you very long, like, it’s ok. If you’re the artist, then the vision is your vision, and I’d rather find musicians and be like, “Here’s the opportunity, here’s the money, here’re all the resources you could possibly ever need, do whatever you want, and I’ll get out the way.”
So you’re going on tour with Tyler, yeah?
I’m excited, it’s a bigger tour for us, we haven’t toured on a new album in two years, so doing new music everywhere is exciting. We’ve only done like two or three shows so far since the album dropped, but I’m more excited to see how the rest of the world perceives it, Europe, and Asia, and middle America. I love middle American shows. Like, they don’t get to do the normal shit that I grew up doing, like, seeing a Ferrari to me is so normal, a Lamborghini is whatever, a Bentley…but I’ve been places where I’ve seen a Ferrari and been like “whatever,” and then seen a kid lose it like, “oh my God, it’s a fucking Ferrari!” Whereas, when I was like six years old, I got to sit in a Ferrari. Sick. What now? So, it’s exciting to see people get excited about stuff that isn’t that exciting to me anymore.
“If you’re the artist, then the vision is your vision”
What are you listening to right now?
At this very moment, I was listening to this song by Will the Rapper and he has this song called “Pull Up Hop Out”. I was at a party and this song came on, and I’m usually the person who knows every song before it comes out, like I sit all day on my computer and listen to music. So this song comes on and everyone is yelling and excited for it and I’m looking around like, “what the fuck is going on?” Like maybe this song came out today or yesterday and I’m a little late, but it turns out it’s an older song and I, unfortunately, I missed it, but I found out about it and fell in love with the song. Other than that I’ve been listening to Lil Uzi Vert’s album a lot, the Cozy Boy Tapes, this old DJ Quick song, this kid who’s not out yet named Cabbage, Tyler’s album…and that’s like my favorite album right now. Oh, and Murda Beatz’s new album—I have a lot of music. Although I did have a day the other day where I just drove around on the freeway listening to country music all morning. Yeah, I love country music, like the fact that it’s just white people’s reggae. I didn’t realize that it was until I was listening to it in the car like it sounds like someone imitating reggae music. It’s white people’s culture music. Like rock & roll is a lot of people’s music. But if I had to put a soundtrack to waking up and being white, it would be country music. It’s so peaceful!
Who do you like, country artist-wise?
Oh yeah, he’s good.
It’s so peaceful! If you listen to music based on structure, that’s more of pop song. With an R&B cadence. Like I love shit like that. Like, it’s like “I listen to all music”, I bet you do you fucking asshole. But I’m the guy who actually does.
Tell me a bit about your Australian tour this winter.
From what I know, it’s like a dark place. In a good way. This girl named Allison Wonderland, she pretty much throws these warehouse parties or farmhouse parties, where you buy a ticket, and then they give you an address and you show up. It’s like a shit show rave, and I’m excited to do that. I’m used to touring with my boys, so it’s new to be doing it by myself. I’m like really nervous, but it’s kind of time to jump out of the plane. If it works, it works, but if it doesn’t, it’ll be 6 months of recovery and then I’ll be fine. I’m excited to branch off, I’ve always been scared to be my own in a sense, you always have a teammate to rely on, or lift you up, but now it’s just me. I’m excited, nervous, but it’ll be fine.
How many parties is the tour?
Six. Something like that. This is the weird thing about it, even as nervous as I am, I’m like, I finna fuck this shit up, like, I know how to control a crowd at this point. Still a little nervous though. Very nervous.
So tell me about upcoming projects you have, everything, not just music.
Everything? I started writing a TV show, I got one page in, didn’t do anything else with it. But my friend and I are writing a TV show. I’d like to say it’s good, but I’ll wait for someone else to tell me. I started working on an album. But what I’m excited about most, being able to find a platform for a bunch of kids who don’t have one. Like, DJ Khaled can get a bunch of rappers and make a song, but like, dude what are you doing? It’s like a money grabbing situation for everyone, that single. I’d rather find some kids who don’t have that exposure but have really good shit, and give them that platform and my resources and see what they can do with it. Because what can I do with them other than giving them to other people if I don’t make music? So I’m trying to do that.
Do you want to talk about fashion? I know you’re getting more into fashion and then you had your Vogue shoot, is that something you’re interested in? Or do you want to stay more in entertainment and music.
I will say that I started dressing differently recently, I just said, fuck it, and started trying things that I normally wouldn’t try. I would never wear these [refers to camo cargos] on a normal day, but these got sent to me in a box. I started buying things I wouldn’t normally buy, before I’d wear like vans, jeans and a t-shirt, but now I’ll buy an expensive pair of pants, or shoes that don’t have laces, you know what I mean? Or a jacket. I know that sounds dumb but I would never have worn a jacket to dinner, I would have worn a hoodie or a crewneck. Wearing a jacket, putting on boots, and throwing on pair of nice pants is a different look for me. Definitely. Trying to not be caught in one box, like push my limits. I’m young, I can try anything. I was going to dye my hair recently, but then I realized that it’s kind of trend, so imma chill, but fuck it if I really like it.
What color were you going to dye it?
Lavender. I couldn’t find a color at first, but I saw a kid, fuck! What is his name? I want to give him credit! But he had lavender hair, only the bottom was purple, and that was cool as fuck. It was a look. So I wanted to do that, but then I got over it. I’ll buy a hoodie or something.
You could always just spray paint it.
Yeah, I could! Maybe I could just spray paint it for a night or something. But then, if you do spray paint, I feel like it doesn’t look as good.
No, it doesn’t.
No, it looks like shit. It looks like you just walked through a flourishing tree.
When you do a tour with your friends, is there spontaneity or like do you guys fall into a routine, or is it easy to be creative with them?
On tour, let’s say we want to tour for a month. First week, it’s insane, it’s awesome, second week, ok, we’re chillin’, we’re in new cities we might find some new shit, third week, there might be a complaint or two from one of us, most likely me, I might be like, fuck! This is some bullshit. We’ll be somewhere boring, like there’s nothing to eat after midnight, and then during the last week, we’re having extreme fun. We go into every show with the expectation of making it better than the last. Obviously, major cities, we’re like, oh, this is going to be sick, but in the small cities, that’s where it strides the most in my head. I can’t wait to go to bumfuck Iowa because that shit’s turnt.
Images courtesy of Jon Krippahne.
Stay tuned to Milk for more odd features.