A Practical Guide to Trap Music

Categories: Good Ideas
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I'll be honest, I've been sitting on this article for more than a month now, deliberating how exactly I'm supposed to map out the essentials of trap music. Even saying the word now kinda irritates me because it's been thrown around so much, especially with its popular electronic/rave crossover. But my editor will kill me if I don't write this.

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There are both critics of trap and critics of people who are into trap. Both pose the same statement: "Trap isn't new -- it's been around forever." Well, yeah, we know that, and I think that ravers and such know that as well. It's a familiar Southern rap sound, very well identified here in South Florida, re-appropriated within the electronic/bass context.

Trap music, for all intents and purposes, has left a giant footprint on our local culture especially. And back when I was into emo and hardcore, I absolutely hated the genre, mostly because of its association with douchebags middle schoolers. Now that it's been re-purposed for club consumption (less King of Diamonds and more Fabric), there's an appreciation growing for it, isn't there?

In general, our listening habits have us gravitating more toward it, and we've essentially embraced ignorant party rap in exchange for the indie stuff we used to like more. It has a lot to do with what we're reading -- especially music blogs and publications, (like us, we're the best, though... right?). Somewhere a couple of years ago, someone decided to write critically and professionally about rap music and decided that this is something we can really decipher, analyze, and shamelessly enjoy.

There's a context in which this has flourished, one that allows up to like this kind of music so much these days. What follow is a list that provides a context to trap music as we know it.



Lil Noid - "Load My Clip"
Guttural, sinister, and fuckin' creepy. This is what I think of when I think of trap. Old Memphis, basement-style rap music.



Lord Infamous & DJ Paul - "Drop It Off Yo Ass"
DJ Paul doesn't get the credit he deserves. This is a trippy, drive-slow sleeper. So tight.



Three 6 Mafia - "Mystic Stylez"
Memphis posse cut. Very essential-listening. While you're at it, just listen to this whole record.


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