If you’re a trap / hip-hop aficionado, this blog should prove to be an interesting read. We’ll dive into the roots of trap music and talk about how it began, before we discuss how trap is more than just a genre of music and is now being used as an element in new genres.
If you’re someone who spends their time avidly scrolling through rap playlists on spotify or youtube, or are a regular at music festivals; you’re likely to have shuffled to a beat accompanied by a blazing fast burst of hi-hats, an impactful baseline and a talented rap artist working his/her magic. If so, you’ve just enjoyed some trap music.
The Origin Of Trap
Let’s dial the clock back a bit and explore the origins of “trap”. Two decades ago, the term “trap” was used to describe neighborhoods wherein illegal drugs were sold. It soon made it’s debut into rap music in the early 1990s in the Southern United States; specifically in Atlanta, Georgia.
Digging deeper into the origins of trap, we go way back to the 80s, to the invention of the magical ‘Roland TR-808’. Created to mimic the sounds of a real drum kit, this analogue instrument didn’t sit well with the musically inclined initially. This was because producers were dissatisfied with the synthetic sounds produced by the TR-808. As a result they ended up in large quantities at thrift stores. This caught the attention of a new generation of younger creatives, who were looking for new sounds at a great deal. This was where the Roland TR-808 became a huge hit.
By the late 90s the 808 had become an important element in most rap beats, gaining popularity in the early 2000s.
Trap Was Born
It was around this time that websites like Myspace gained popularity and young bedroom producers like DJ Toomp, Shawty Redd & Lex Luger were able to share their beats with the world.
It didn’t take long for the music industry to take notice and before you knew it, producers like Lex Luger, Shawty Redd & Metro Boomin’ began producing for some of the biggest names in the hip-hop game like Snoop Dogg, Kanye West & Drake.
With rappers getting recognition for their work, these producers found cheeky ways to leave their mark on each track, incorporating catchy producer tags and getting names dropped by the main artist on each track. This of course increased their visibility and following.
Soon enough, big pop stars like Beyonce, Rihanna and others began to incorporate Atlanta trap sounds in music, making it a worldwide sensation. Of course, the rest of the music world quickly followed suit, picking up elements of trap for different genres.
Trap Right Now
Trap music is currently not only a genre, but also an element that is used in a variety of other genres and is still evolving, making it a very powerful element that plays an important role in the current mainstream music industry with a strong and dedicated fan base.