MUSIC // Beware Of The Trap
In this age, a combination of sounds have been released from Pandora’s box which merge the analogue and the digital. For most genres, the audio ascendency is organic but there always remains an artificial element to the manner in which our fast-food culture readily consumes and throws away music like a cheap piece of gum from your local Turkish supermarket.
Trap Music is the latest IT genre which is threatening to be consumed in it’s new hybrid form by hungry hipsters not mindful of the early roots. Born out of The Lone Star State – Texas, more succinctly Houston. It’s proximity in the Gulf State to other major drug importing nations makes it an enticing location to push dope and sell kilos. Such a lucrative trade was a primary source of income for one of the early purveyors of the scene, Robert Earl Davis Jr. better known as DJ Screw.
The late Screw was a central figure in the H-Town hip-hop community with his Screwed Up Click crew and his Chopped & Screwed DJ technique (where he would dramatically slow down the pitch was) reportedly led to a rise in the consumption of Purple Drank, Syrup, Sissurp, Tinky Winky Drinky and Barney The Dinosaur dissolved in a cup etc to enjoy the ‘Screwtapes’ he sold for $10 a pop.
Back in July 2005 once my GCSE’s were done and dusted (feels like a hella long time ago) I travelled to Las Vegas on my larry lonesome for a month and half to stay with some relatives in Sin City. As soon as I had my retina scanned, I got my Christopher Columbus on and walked around the airport taking full advantage of my new found independence abroad even buying a banana muffin from Starbucks (It was f***ing digusting). About two hours later passed and my attempt for an adventure came to an abrupt halt as
1) My shitscared parents across the Atlantic staying up into the early hours waiting confirmation that I had arrived.
2) The aunt who was late picking me was doing doughnuts with her motor at another terminal waiting for an epoch or two.
3) The local 5-0 had been on the lookout for me and I wasn’t even wearing my best tracksuit.
Alas,I wasn’t able to partake in any debauchery (bar sipping on a few 40’s and sneaking into a 24 hour bowling alley) due to my young age but I will never forget riding in my cousin’s whip listening to this sound which spread to Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. The lyricism was raw yet real, but anyone that knows me is aware that I’m a big fan of instrumentals more than anything. The trap template of slurred rising brass chords, pounding 808 bass kicks and pitched down transsexual vocals all had an infectious quality which still hasn’t been cured to this day.
Here are some tasters that formed the soundtrack of my trip:
Paul Wall – Sittin’ Sideways (ft. Big Pokey)
Boyz N Da Hood – Dem Boyz (Clock Diddy trying to look like a roadman)
Youngbloodz – Presidential
T.I – U Don’t Know Me
Mike Jones – Still Tippin
Webbie – Gimme Dat (ft. Bun B)
Three 6 Mafia – Stay Fly
T.I – Rubberband Man (David Banner on the 1’s and 2’s)
UGK – One Day (Chopped and Screwed by the man himself)
In the last few years, this sub-genre of hip-hop has taken on a new form for mainstream hip-hop artists and dance music producers. Diplo is an early champion of the sound through his Mad Decent label and working with artists like Paper Route Gangstaz on this (probably the most bawse sample of Careless Whisper ever) and that evolution can be heard via the clicks and telling timbre on his production of Usher’s sonic slow jam Climax.
Paper Route Gangstaz – Bama Gettin’ Money (Diplo Remix)
His enthusiasm for lending his ear to the niche communities has enabled him to develop an understanding of each scene with those part of it (recording at the legendary Tuff Gong studios founded by Bob Marley as part of Major Lazer) and exposing them to a wider congregation rather than homogenizing a sound which lacks authenticity rubberstamped by past masters.
The trap virus has even spread to grime with producers such as Darq E Freaker, TRC, Faze Miyake and S-X evolving the sound away from his East London base to create instrumentals which are synonymous with Stateside rappers as well as have crews spit 16’s over from concrete jungles across the UK.
Darq E Freaker – Next Hype Instrumental
TRC – 155
Faze Miyake – Take Off
S-X- Motorway Music
Influential electronic labels such as Warp, 4AD also release output with southern sensibilities at the core through TNGHT (Hudson Mohawke and Lunice), Rustie, Girl Unit , Bok Bok and Purity Ring. Lex Luger is also a new relatively new beatsmith on the block responsible for this spotlight via his work on Waka Flocka Flame’s’ Hard In Da Paint’, Rick Ross’s (the seizure boss) ‘Blowing Money Fast’ and Kanye West and Jay Z’s “H.A.M”. Moreover, this Southern hospitality has spread north to Drake and The Weeknd in Canada and on the Eastside via A$AP Rocky.
Festival season is in full swing here in Europe and no doubt your eardrums will sample some tracks which will make you wile out or sway like a pendulum.
Listen to some further hybrid riddims below:
RL Grime – Trap On Acid
Clams Casino – Leaf
Baauer – Harlem Shake
XXYYXX – About You Ft. 2 Chainz (DJ Fergie Ferg Trap Edit)
Hudson Mohawke – Lambo Furnace avec Mercy
YC – Racks (Instrumental)
Major Lazer – Original Don (Flosstradamus Remix)
Kirko Bangz – Drank In My Cup (Instrumental)
Lunice – The Good Kids
Juicy J – Who Da Neighbors Remix (Ft. Snoop Dogg)
Sinjin Hawke & Morri$ – One Kiss
Chief Keef – I Don’t Like Remix (prod by Young Chop)
Clicks & Whistles – Cranberry Goose
Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River (Brodinski Edit)
Foreign Beggars ft Donae’o – Flying to Mars (12th Planet’s Martian Trapstep Remix)
Drake – Uptown (Ft. Bun B & Lil Wayne)
Enjoy and beware of the trap.