Trap is a sub genre of hip hop that originated in the South of the United States in the early 2000s. It got its name from the Atlanta slang word “trap” which is a house used exclusively for selling drugs. Trap music uses synthesized drums and lyrics focus mainly on drugs and violence. Pioneers of the trap genre include producers like Zaytoven and DJ Screw, and was made famous by rappers like Jeezy and T.I. Since crossing over into mainstream music in about 2010, Trap has become one of the most popular forms of American music.
Trap music has many variations. It’s sound is based on multilayered thin or thick textured monophonic drones. In music, a drone is a harmonic or monophonic effect or accompaniment where a note or chord is continuously sounded throughout most or all of a piece. The most common descriptor for trap music is a grimy melody, with a side of heavy 808 kick drums, rhythmic snares, hi-hats, double-time or triple-time and a variety of synthesized symphonic bass sounds. Trap usually has a tempo of around 70 or a BPM of 140.
The Origin of Trap Music
Before the age of trap, there was Gangsta Rap, an aggressive genre of Hip-Hop that made its rounds during the early 1980’s. It was known for its hardcore, often vulgar lyrics and hard hitting beats. This, various other rap styles, and EDM would influence upcoming Trap artists in the 90’s.
The term “Trap” originated in Atlanta, Georgia; it referred to “Trap Houses”, which were locations where drugs would be hidden, such as homes or cars. In a literal sense, people became trapped outside the general societal system, instead becoming absorbed in these drugs. The term soon be coined by various rappers, one of the first being UGK, a hip-hop duo that would go off to release the earliest trap record, “Pocket Full of Stones,” in 1992. Outkast, another early group to utilize Trap, would skyrocket in popularity after their single “Player’s Ball” hit the Billboard Charts in 1994. From there, Hip-Hop would achieve popularity, and that too came with Trap music.
By the early 2000s, Trap became more mainstream when artists’ albums would reach overblowing commercial success. TI’s album, “Trap Muzik,” would sell over 2.1 million copies in 2003, and Young Jeezy’s “Thug Motivation 101” would reach a shipment of 1 million in 2005.
Famous Trap Artists
T.I or Tip is an American rapper, record exectutive, and actor. T.I. has released 11 studio albums.
Migos are an American hip hop trio from Lawrenceville, Georgia, founded in 2008. The group is composed of three rappers known by their stage names Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff. Migos has released 4
Jeezy, is an American rapper. Signing to Def Jam Recordings in 2004, his major label debut, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, was released the following year. Jeezy has released 10 studio albums.
2 Chainz, is an American rapper. Born and raised in College Park, Georgia, he initially gained recognition for being one-half of the Southern hip hop duo Playaz Circle, alongside his longtime friend and fellow rapper Earl “Dolla Boy” Conyers. 2 Chainz has released 7 studio albums.