Separating Hip-Hop and Trap

I walked into the Adidas store in my hometown of Staten Island, New York a couple of weeks ago. There were 2 kids around 20–21 years old that worked there and they were discussing music. They approached me and one kid asked “Do you think Lil’ Yachty’s dope?” My first reaction was “Hell No!” His friend replied “Really, I think he’s Lit.” I quickly retracted my statement and explained that I simply didn’t believe that artists such as, Lil Yachty, 21 Savage and Lil Uzi Vert were Hip-Hop artists. I have nothing against them and I support anyone doing their thing, but no one can convince me that Trap music is Hip-Hop. I proceeded to ask the one kid who thought Lil Yachty was “Lit” what other Hip-Hop artists he listened to. His answer… everything. I asked if he had ever heard of Oddisee, who in my eyes is the definition of a true Hip-Hop artist. (If you haven’t heard or listened to him yet, do me and yourself a favor and give him a listen if you consider yourself a true hip-hop fan.) The kid said he had heard of him, but I could tell he was most likely bullshitting and was only saying yes to seem knowledgeable. I gave him the benefit of the doubt anyway. I said to him “So you’re telling me Lil Yachty and Oddisee are in the same genre of music?” He said “The game has evolved.” Which I believe is absolutely 100% true. This is my point though…

Lets take the actual theory of evolution in humans. There are people who believe we all evolved form apes, correct? How many people do you know walking around calling themselves apes? I have yet to hear one person on this Earth refer to themselves as a fuckin ape. So bringing that logic into the Hip-Hop conversation, how can you sit there listen to Trap music and think that should be in the same genre of music as Eminem, Nas, Lil Wayne and Oddisee? There are similarities of course, but I think most of the similarities are in the beat. It sure as hell is not in the lyrics.

I see why people get aggravated that these artists are big names in the game. It bothers me as well, but for a different reason. I don’t hate these kids and I certainly don’t hate on they’re music because music is an art and art is subjective. Plus the market chooses what’s good and what’s not. The market obviously has decided that Trap music is hot, I’ve accepted this. I mean you have to hand it to them they’ve made it a lot further than most people. The problem I have with the situation is the fact that this music is considered Hip-Hop and is played over and over and over again on Hip-Hop stations. How??

There are so many artists that fit the genre of hip-hop a whole lot better and for some reason they don’t get nearly as much airtime as the Trap artists, if any. How did we get to the point where artists and songs with story telling, lyrics, clever metaphors and wordplay have been thrown to the side. I’m really tired of people telling me that hip-hop sucks now. I get where they’re coming from, but they’re uneducated and they’re getting their information from the wrong people and the wrong media sources. Because artists that should not even be classified as Hip-Hop are being promoted as the top artists in the genre. The real artists are out there it’s just a lot harder to find these days. We have to find a way to differentiate Trap and Hip-Hop. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who are already straying away from rap because they make the association of Trap being Rap. Hopefully I can reach enough people with this notion and change their minds before they completely give up on “Real Hip-Hop.”

Keep the Vibes Positive,
P. Milller