Travie McCoy
Travie McCoy
If you go

Who: Travie McCoy with Black Cards, Donnis and Bad Rabbits

When: 8 p.m. Monday

Where: Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake St., Denver

Cost: $17-$20

www. sodajerkpresents.com

Travie McCoy's first love is his band Gym Class Heroes, but that's not stopping this rapper/singer from flying solo.

It's paying off, as McCoy's solo career is taking off.

McCoy's "Billionaire" duet with Bruno Mars became a hit single and gave him street cred in the mainstream music world. Plus, his 2010 album, Lazarus featured the "Dr. Feel Good" duet with hit-master Cee Lo Green.

Monday, McCoy shows off his new tunes at the Summit Music Hall. Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy) opens the show with his latest band the Black Cards. And yes, the road show's been dubbed the Sgt. Schlepper's Who Needs Hearts Club Band Tour.

"Gym Class Heroes never really stopped being a band and it's still my priority," McCoy said. "There really hasn't been a decent amount of time for us all to get together and write.

"We've all had projects outside the band, but this is what we really treasure. We're going to buckle down, pick the songs and get ready for the next album. We should have it out by the summer."

Gym Class Heroes are known for their groundbreaking alternative, hip-hop and rap tunes, but the band members took time off to develop solo projects.


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McCoy focused on his solo CD, Lazarus, and now he's hitting the road with the catchy tunes.

"I wanted to make a feel-good, summertime record," McCoy said. "It didn't necessarily start off that way. I was trying to capture a moment of where I was at, but it first started in a bad headspace.

"I had a badly publicized break-up, some deaths in the family and all sorts of negative things that affect the creative process."

McCoy's mood became upbeat after he worked with Mars and Green, and that changed the tone of the record.

"Once I wrote songs like 'Billionaire' and 'Dr. Feel Good,' I knew that was the lane I wanted to stay in," McCoy revealed. "Working on 'Billionaire' with Bruno Mars was the most important thing for me. It was just a magical moment.

"Then, 'Glee' using 'Billionaire' was amazing. How cool is that, when this huge thing in pop culture has you on their radar? That's when you know you're doing something right."

McCoy's new CD is out on Decaydance/Ramen Records, and the performer's psyched to be hitting the road with label owner Wertz.

"It's been a long time since I've been out on tour with Pete," McCoy said. "It feels great. I'm on his label and he got us our deal.

"He feels like a brother to me. It's good to be back on the road with him again for some good times and hi-jinks."

The Sgt. Schlepper tour runs through April 3. Then, McCoy and the Gym Class Heroes get serious about their new album.

"This year, the new Gym Class Heroes record is my priority," confirmed McCoy. "I'm going to give that everything I have when I'm not out promoting Lazarus."