Trap – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Musical Genres Glossary

I. What is Trap Music?

Trap music is a subgenre of hip hop that originated in the Southern United States in the late 1990s. It is characterized by its aggressive beats, dark lyrics, and heavy use of 808 bass. The term “trap” refers to the places where drugs are bought and sold, and the music often reflects themes of drug dealing, violence, and street life.

II. Origins of Trap Music

Trap music originated in the Southern United States, particularly in cities like Atlanta, Georgia and Memphis, Tennessee. It was influenced by the sounds of southern hip hop, as well as electronic music genres like dubstep and EDM. Artists like T.I., Young Jeezy, and Gucci Mane are considered pioneers of the genre, with their gritty lyrics and hard-hitting beats.

III. Characteristics of Trap Music

Some key characteristics of trap music include:
– Heavy use of 808 bass: The 808 drum machine is a staple of trap music, providing deep, booming basslines that drive the rhythm of the song.
– Aggressive beats: Trap music is known for its hard-hitting beats and fast tempo, creating an intense and energetic sound.
– Dark lyrics: Trap music often features lyrics that discuss themes of drug dealing, violence, and street life, reflecting the harsh realities of urban environments.
– Catchy hooks: Trap music often features catchy hooks and repetitive choruses that are easy to sing along to.

IV. Influences on Trap Music

Trap music has been influenced by a variety of genres and artists, including:
– Southern hip hop: Trap music has its roots in southern hip hop, with artists like OutKast and UGK paving the way for the genre.
– Electronic music: Trap music has also been influenced by electronic music genres like dubstep and EDM, incorporating elements like heavy bass drops and intricate sound design.
– Drill music: Drill music, a subgenre of hip hop that originated in Chicago, has also had an influence on trap music, with its aggressive beats and dark lyrics.

V. Popular Trap Artists and Songs

Some popular trap artists include:
– Future: Known for his melodic flow and catchy hooks, Future is one of the most successful trap artists of the past decade.
– Migos: This Atlanta-based trio is known for their unique triplet flow and infectious ad-libs, making them a staple of the trap music scene.
– Travis Scott: With his psychedelic production and energetic live performances, Travis Scott has become one of the biggest names in trap music.

Some popular trap songs include:
– “Mask Off” by Future: This song features a hypnotic flute melody and hard-hitting 808s, becoming a viral hit in 2017.
– “Bad and Boujee” by Migos: This song features a catchy hook and infectious beat, becoming a chart-topping hit in 2016.
– “Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott: This song showcases Travis Scott’s unique production style and features a guest verse from Drake, becoming a massive hit in 2018.

VI. Evolution of Trap Music

Trap music has continued to evolve and change over the years, incorporating new sounds and influences to stay fresh and relevant. Some recent trends in trap music include:
– Trap soul: Trap soul is a subgenre of trap music that incorporates elements of R&B and soul, creating a more melodic and emotional sound.
– Experimental trap: Some artists have pushed the boundaries of trap music, incorporating elements of electronic music, rock, and other genres to create a more eclectic sound.
– International trap: Trap music has become a global phenomenon, with artists from around the world incorporating their own cultural influences into the genre.

Overall, trap music continues to be a dominant force in hip hop and popular music, with its hard-hitting beats and dark lyrics resonating with audiences around the world.