We have been fortunate enough to get some really big interviews for Geek Unhinged. And we don't plan on stopping now. Today we bring you a man who is changing the face of hip hop and Nerdcore as we know it because he blurs the line by not rapping ABOUT comic book and anime characters. But rapping AS them. We're talking Trav B. Ryan, you know the rising nerdcore genius from Brooklyn, NY? You know, the man who's music made Black Panther stars Lupita Nyong'o & Letitia Wright freestyle over his track "If Black Panther Was A Rapper". Yeah, that's a thing...that happened. So let's get to know Trav B. Ryan before he gets any more famous.
G.U: So thanks for taking this time to give our viewers a closer insight of just what makes you tick. That being said, I know I covered quite a bit in the intro paragraph, but for those who don't know, can you tell us a little bit about what you do in your own words?
T.B.R: Sure, sure. My name is Trav B Ryan and I create songs in the likeliness of different comic book and fictional characters. Making their stories and personalities more grounded and real.
G.U: Which is just a phenomenal idea! What inspired you to do this?
T.B.R: My pure love for all things fiction and comic book related since I was a kid. I loved hip hop since I could remember. So I just fused the two together and created my own style of music that sheds light on me being me.
G.U: And subsequently others. Haha. How long have you been doing this?
T.B.R: I been rapping for about 13 years now. However, I started doing this comic book themed sound about 2 years ago.
G.U: So two years ago, how did the whole comic book theme come to be?
T.B.R: Well, I picked up my phone, went in the kitchen (because it had the best lighting), sat right in front of my fridge, and recorded myself rapping about Iron Man. That drew a good amount of attention. Then I did Spidey. Then what really gave me a huge following was Run The Knight, if Batman was a rapper. It blew me up from there.
G.U: Sickness bro! Would you consider yourself nerdcore?
T.B.R: Yes I would consider myself nerdcore. I am a hardcore nerd and a hardcore fanboy. I eat, sleep, and drink it every chance I get.
G.U: That's the only way to go about it. So peddling Nerdcore has always been a challenge for those who've attempted it in the past. However, no one has ever done like you . So how is the reception of your work NOW in comparison to where it might have been when you started down this journey?
T.B.R: The reception of my work is still mind boggling to me. People love my work and they love me. I got this far all by doing what I love and choosing to be different. So it still amazes me! When I first started rapping I was overlooked a lot because I was rapping about the same stuff everyone else was. Cars, girls, money, etc, etc. Like a generic rapper. As soon as I started rapping as these characters, there was an instant connection with my listeners that I never had before. Its like they knew I was being me and they related to that. They appreciated that; to me, that's dope.
G.U: That's pretty awesome. So what do you hope to accomplish with your work professionally?
T.B.R: I would love to be a part of a superhero movie soundtrack. Or even create my own character and make a movie & soundtrack for. It's all good for me. I want to be a household name and be a part of everything from comics, to video games, to motion pictures, and so on. That is where my head is at right now.
G.U: Ambitious! What would be your dream project to accomplish then?
T.B.R: Making my own comic book movie. I have so many ideas and characters in my head for years, so that would be a dream come true to see it come to reality and open for the world to see.
G.U: Would you be able to give us an example of one of your characters real quick?
T.B.R: Sure, one of the examples is called The Heatseeker. An alien villain who used to be a hero, but turned bad after his family was killed by local police due to tension and hatred against alien beings.
G.U: Nice, that sounds like a character which could be extremely grounded.
Moving on from there. Let's get back into the music! I have a few favorites I play when the mood hits. Vegeta, Cell, Goku dissing Superman was great! Murder Machine is my jam! "How can I help you sir?". And then there's The Batman Who Laughs. GOLD. However, which are some of your favorites that you've done?
T.B.R: Those are really dope. I would have to say Red Hood, Red Death, Venom Proof, and Dr Manhattan are definitely on my top list. I was in a good grove and I really enjoyed becoming those particular characters and seeing the world through their eyes.
G.U: Yeah. Overdosed on light is mad catchy! That being said, outside of the raps, who is your favorite Marvel & DC character respectively?
T.B.R: From Marvel it would have to be Deadpool. From DC it would have to be the man himself, Batman. But I must say I’m becoming a slight Dr. Fate fan these days.
G.U: Dr. Fate is a classic. But, who wins in a Batman v Deadpool battle?
G.U: Of course! (LOL) However, why does he win?
T.B.R: Because he’s Batman, thats why. He’ll figure out a way to kill Deadpool with a certain amount of prep time. That would be dope to watch. But I think Deadpool would lose because he doesn’t focus very well at the task at hand. Batman is ultra focused.
G.U: Fair enough I suppose. I've never been a Batman enthusiast haha. Moving on from there though, what is your favorite Anime right now?
T.B.R: One Punch Man is my show! I’m loving that right now. Its a mixture of comedy and action with a great and ridiculous hero. I love it.
G.U: OH! Okay. Here we go! Who wins? Batman or One Punch Man?
T.B.R: One Punch man. There's no prep time that can save you. (LOL)
G.U: There you have it ladies and Gentlemen. One Punch kicks Batman's ass!
So if we can get back to the music again. I know I digress a lot over here, but what are your opinions and thoughts of the current state of hip hop?
T.B.R: To be honest, and you might think I am crazy for saying this; but I think the state of hip hop is perfectly fine. I think hip hop is all about being different, unapologetic, and in your own swag. And that's what it is till this day. Nothing changed but the time. As long as it keeps being new and fresh, and it keeps being unapologetic. I will always love it. From mumble rap to slam poetry. It's all love.
G.U: You're right...I do think your crazy! Hahaha. However I guess you've got to be to be able to rap from a fictional character's perspective. That being said though, who are your top 5 favorite musical artist right now?
T.B.R: I would have to say Kanye, Em, Neyo, Travis Scott, and my man Kid Cudi
G.U: Okay! I see you. If you could work with one artist Dead or Alive or both, who would it be and why?
T.B.R: I would love to work with Cudi. He’s very vulnerable on his music and it makes him dope. I respect that alot. I would love to vibe out with him and be open. Leave it all out on a song. Thats what its all about. Being that transparent to the point you are beyond judgement and now you are making beautiful music.
G.U: You might not be so crazy after all. Cudi is truly one of the greatest.
Let's go ahead and get back into the GEEKY part of this interview. If you could have ANY power in the multiverse, what would it be and why?
T.B.R: I would love the power to teleport. I’m lazy and have no patience so it would be dope to blink my eyes and be where I need to be without any effort. I like Nightcrawler a lot for that. He’s underrated like crazy. I would love that ability.
G.U: Also because we also cover a little tech. We love to ask what phone is in your pocket these days?
T.B.R: I got my iPhone 8+ in my pocket.
G.U: You're definitely a mad man! (LOL) Why iPhone?
T.B.R: I am a apple man. I tried the android life. I hated the overheating, and now I am team apple all the way.
G.U: Can't be mad at it.
So what's the best advice you've ever been given?
T.B.R: My mom always gives me great words to live by and follow. I remember she told me “Persistence is
the name of the game. Play it well and you will win. Give up too soon, and you will never know what could have been”. I feel like once you live by that you can't lose.
G.U: Mama Dukes for the win! And it definitely seems to be working out for you as you keep catching W's. We know you have a project out right now, what can you tell us about that project?
T.B.R: My new project is called Comixtape Vol 2: Wrath of Ryan. Its my follow up album to my first comic book project Comixtape Vol 1. Its a group of songs with me rapping as different fictional characters; with an ongoing story of my own kind lingering in the background & in between the songs. I am really proud of it. That's my baby.
G.U: Is it where you wanted it to be?
T.B.R: Yes it is. To see how it came to be and how it is as a finish product is incredible. The amount of work behind it, in combination with the actual reception of the fans. Seeing that they love it and vibe out to it is an amazing journey that I am proud to be apart of.
G.U: So what's next for Trav B.?
T.B.R: Movies, Merch, Major Moves. I am trying to get my hands into everything and enjoy it all at the same time. The sky's the limit for me and I intend on going to space.
G.U: We see you Thanos! And we're rooting for your success. Someone needs to take Nerdcore to the mainstream and we believe you will help lead that charge.
We definitely want to thank Trav B. again for taking some time to answer some questions. If I'm being honest with you all, as I was editing this I had his music playing in the background to motivate the vibe. So if you've not heard of this guy or checked him out. You really should: Comixtape Vol. 2: Wrath of Ryan