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"I don't know where the rumors came from. Not dating Rihanna," he told The BoomBox, during a private listening session of his album Thursday (Feb. 24). "We've just been friends for probably a year-and-a-half, ever since I taught her how to play the drums, but never romantically. I would definitely play on an album [with her] or something like that."
For his solo release, Barker called upon an impressive group of rappers, including the Cool Kids, Bun B, Snoop Dogg, Game, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Raekwon, RZA and Yelawolf, all eager to spit their 16-bars over his drums. Barker, who is a vocal fan of hip-hop, revealed that in putting together the album, he wanted to show his eclectic taste fusing his rock roots within each track. "I listen to it all. I'm not stuck to a genre. I just don't like the South. I'm not stuck on the West Coast. I come in contact with different parts of rap, so I've always just left it wide open."
With so many hip-hop notables crowding the guest list, ironically, the only artists the Southern California native wasn't able to link with was singer Willie Nelson, who he said may have been "a little skeptical," of the kind of music on the album. Even without an appearance from Nelson, Barker successfully puts together a musical hybrid in which his drums are as much of a standout, as the lyricists.
'Give the Drummer Some' hits stores March 15.
Watch Travis Barker's 'Jump Down' feat. the Cool Kids