NEW MUSIC MONDAY
July 18, 2022
Taking leave of Gym Class Heroes, the rock-rap group he co-founded in high school (1997) and taking stock in himself, Travie McCoy has released his first solo album in 12 years. Never Slept Better is a look back at 10 years of addiction and sobriety, reflections on his childhood and struggles as an adult, lessons learned and a determination to keep making music his way.
Hailing from upstate New York (Geneva, specifically), Travie grew up as a quiet, mixed-raced kid looking for an outlet. After a skateboarding accident sidelined him for months, he began to find that outlet in art (he worked at a tattoo parlor as a teen) and eventually hardcore punk, hip-hop and indie rock. He met Matt McGinley in high school, and they formed a band that would eventually become Gym Class Heroes, a group that would go on to great success with Warner Bros. subsidiary Fueled by Ramen. His first solo album in 2010 featured guest Bruno Mars on “Billionaire,” propelling him to even greater heights. But relationships with the label soured, and a knee injury led to a life-changing prescription opioid addiction. Grappling with these highs and lows became the fodder for Never Slept Better.
Joining McCoy on the record are guests Elohim (“The Bridge”) and Hamzaa (“I’ll Never Be Loved”).