Gentrified Trap Music
Hello there Braydon, or Connor, or Molly, or Claire, or Wyatt, or Cole, or Kayla, or Bradley, or Toby. In fact, just get out your suburban-Caucasian-child born-to-a-schoolteacher-mom-and-architect-dad-Madlib-name-generator. Thanks for joining us today — take a seat over there. We need to have a talk about the music you’re listening to. You see, you keep saying you like “trap” music, but I’m not sure you know quite what that word really means.
In between your Skrillex stage, and your Young Thug stage, you fell into the uh… trap. Of course, you didn’t really fall into trap music. You want to idolize records made by Juicy J, but Juicy J stopped making trap music with “Choices: The Album” — his last indie label effort with Three 6 Mafia.
Because there was no fucking way Columbia was going to release “Dis Bitch Dat Hoe”.
Juicy J is signed to Kemosabe Records, owned by Dr. (not actually a doctor) Luke Gottwald — a music producer from Providence, Rhode Island. Providence is to trap music what a lightly used Volvo is to sex appeal.
What you’re listening to is the musical equivalent of candy corn — and no one likes that shit. It’s not candy, nor is it corn. It’s wax and foreskin, boiled in a vat of vinegar, and expelled into a bag. You aren’t listening to “trap” music, and… no, goddamnit Braydon, sit down and be quiet I’m trying to explain something here. A “trap” is a place where drugs are bought or sold. Generally speaking, a “trap house” is a place where fiends can walk in, and while under the supervision of someone holding a gun, exchange their hard-earned money for some drugs.
Trap doesn’t have anything to do with pyramids, or inverted crosses, or avant garde inverted text, or… GODDAMNIT Braydon why are you dressed up like a motherfucking ninja? Take that stupid black paisley print bandanna off your face and go put it back in the Jetta your parents bought for you the year before you dropped out of Tufts.
Real trap music is about selling drugs, exploiting women, and murdering people. Generally speaking, it has nothing to do with heavy-LFO’d dubstep bass, or a “drop”; Trap music doesn’t have a drop. The only “drop” associated with trapping is when you re-up, and you catch your drop. That’s what drug dealers call a “drop off” — or when their wholesaler gives them more drugs to sell.
A good example of trap music is Project Pat’s “Red Rum”, a song about murder. In fact, the song’s title is just “murder” spelled in reverse. It has all those 808 kicks and snares you suburban kids go wild for, but lyrically, it’s a little less palatable.
Oh wait, you were talking about the “spooky” stuff, right? That’s the reason you’re dressed up like a 4th Century Samurai warrior, right? You’re probably looking for the horrorcore that Lord Infamous was putting out, right? Well, too bad, because you’re not Scarecrow. You’re not even dressed up like a scarecrow; you look more like a mid 1990s female Ukrainian figure skater in your “trap” costume.
Do you really want to know how ridiculous you look? Okay, well, six years ago, in Germany, Blokkmonsta tried to channel the Memphis/Atlanta trap sound, and it came out a little like this.
“OMG THAT IS SO STUPID! LULZ!”
You look like that, Braydon. In music, there has to be at least a modicum of authenticity, so we can at least attempt to believe it. Freddie Mercury didn’t like “fat bottom girls” — he liked boys. But at least he attempted to sell the lie, and we believed it. I believe you’re a ninja gangster as much as I believe in Santa Claus, so rather than applauding your costume, I just giggle. Rich guys in Germany driving a 3-Series convertible just don’t conjure up “trap” imagery quite like a big body Chevy on fours. (“On fours” means, “a car with 24 inch diameter rims, Braydon. Do you need help with your samurai sword? It’s just that, you seem to be having some trouble getting into your chair… oh. You got it? Good. I’ll continue.)
While rappers like T.I. may have popularized “trap” music, T.I. was simply co-opting something that already existed, because no one really believed it when he was “serious” — his first album “I’m Serious”, flopped on Arista. The reason it flopped is because major labels can’t release serious trap music. It’s too lazer-focused on one thing, and doesn’t sell well outside the hood.
Granted, we owe trap music independents for acts like 2 Chainz, formerly of Playaz Circle. I mean, we know there isn’t a major label that’s going to release a single called “The Dope Man My Motherfucking Role Model” — because that’s some next-level ignorant shit. But that’s the point. Trap music isn’t supposed to be good music. It’s supposed to be trap music. This is the soundtrack of you exploiting the addictions of your neighborhood. If it doesn’t sound like abject poverty and government cheese, you did something wrong.
Trap music is supposed to be ignorant nonsense. When I look for trap music, I’m not looking for intellectualism, or anything high brow. I want to hear about selling cocaine and killing your competitors. That’s the senseless glorification of cyclical poverty I’m looking for.
What I’m definitely not looking for is a skinny white kid from Iowa City trying to emulate Lex Luger, but doing it through a Flux Pavilion lens. Trap music is not “electronic dance music”, and it never will be. The only thing you’re accomplishing by saying you like “trap” music is letting people around you know that you used to be a huge Datsik fan… (pause)
Sidebar: This is actually when it got really weird, because I swear to fucking God I didn’t plan this… Jesus I’m laughing hysterically as I write this. Wait, Troy, c’mon dude. (*Steps away for five minutes to compose myself.*)
Troy, look — I like you dude. Remember that time in Nashville a photographer started fucking around and I had to literally throw him off the stage for you? I’m the gangster with gold teeth who did that; that’s a “trap” thing. This thing you did is the antithesis of trap.
You made an EP called “Down For My Ninjas”?!
There is a track called “Katana” on it? Katana. Like… a fucking samurai weapon? And I wonder why motherfuckers are literally dressing up like 4th Century fucking Samurais to shows?
Look y’all, I had some grand analogy finished here, and I was going to loop it all back around — but I can’t even do that anymore. I think I’m getting trolled by several hundred white boy DJ’s right now. I’m honestly convinced there is a conspiracy going on, where someday it’s going to be like The Truman Show, and I’m going to realize I live inside a giant dome.
Then, Daniel Pollard (née Heroes X Villains) is going to peel away his face, and it’s going to be M. Night Shyamalan, and that will be the twist ending. All the white boys were actors the whole time, and the movie ends with RL Grime returning to his job at The Gap.