Trap Music Spreads Wings
By Dee Kay
One of the new stars of the music industry is shining ever brighter and gaining momentum. Trap music has spread it wings from its American home and is infiltrating sound systems worldwide.
Trap music can be summarized as a fusion of Hip Hop and Dubstep. Whilst there are additional flavors on top, this forms the backbone of the sound. The emphasis is on the low end frequencies, big booming bass hits, typically from the Roland 808. This staple in the music industry for the past 30 years never fails to get the speaker cones moving. Vocals are sparse, and treated with effects including being pitched up and down and delays. Lead synth sounds and keys can be varied, from the typical dutch house saw with portamento to dark and brooding techno and drum and bass sinister stabs. The speed of the music is generally in the region of 70 to 110 beats per minute, but can have the aural effect of sounding faster or indeed slower than its actual speed due to percussion use.
Trap music has actually been on the scene for a considerably long time. Owing to recent commercial successes such as Baauers Harlem Shake track – forever cemented in internet history due to the plethora of videos and its associated dance – Trap has risen to prominence more than ever. The name was coined as far back as 2003, when the sound was first formed in the urban ghetto’s of the USA.
A ‘Trap’ is a common street slang term, used to describe a place where individuals would indulge in drug dealing. Artists such as Three 6 Mafia along with UGK really coined the term with their hard ghetto rap lyrics about living in such a world, struggling to make ends meet, climbing the ladder and dealing drugs on the street to get by. The artist T.I released an album called Trap Muzik in 2003 which alerted the masses to the sound and this was followed in 2005 by Young Jeezy’s Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 album which enjoyed considerable success in the music charts.
In more recent years, artists such as Lex Luger have risen up and attained success with the Trap genre. He is credited with creating an astonishing 260 tracks in 2010-2011 and working on beats for well established artists including Mc Hammer, Rick Ross, Kanye West and Waka Flocka Flame among many. By his own admission, Lex Luger has grown tired of the sounds and is seeking to broaden his music horizons, however his contribution to the genre is truly admirable.
Due to the popularity of Trap music, associated merchandise can be found in many stores, both online and in the mall and it is simple to purchase garments such as t-shirts and snapback hats bearing Trap devices and logos. Critics may argue that this is cashing in, and it possibly is, however signs would indicate the masses enjoy it and it helps to cement the genre’s existence. Also there is an increase in sample packs, which are collections of sounds and audio loops that can be used to create full length tracks from.
Those who would wish the Trap sound would leave will be disappointed, as it is not going anywhere.