Trap lyrics are about manufacturing, selling, and using drugs, as well as some other aspects of life on the street. The name “trap” refers to a place where drugs are sold illegally.
It originated in the Southern United States. Atlanta, Georgia is typically credited for being the birthplace of trap music.
The trap sound first emerged in the early 2000s as an enclosed scene in a rough-edged neighborhood in America’s southern region.
Some pioneers of trap are Young Jeezy, TI, and Gucci Mane. TI coined the term with his 2003 album “Trap Muzik.”
This kind of music is typified by its aggressive lyrical content and sound, where the instrumentals are propelled by 808 kick drums or heavy extended sub-bass lines, double-time, triple-time, and other faster time division hi-hats, layered synthesizers, and “cinematic” strings.
Trap first emerged coming primarily from the south, a genre filled with a hard attitude that you can feel in the sound of the brass, triangle, triplet hi-hats, loud kicks, snappy snares, and low end 808 bass samples that are used when composing tracks.
The percussion samples of choice when making trap usually originate from the Roland TR-808 Drum Machine.
When speaking of the “originators” in the trap music game, southern rappers like Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy, Three 6 Mafia, and Manny Fresh come to mind.
As well as some of the iconic trap music producers like Lex Luger, Zaytoven, and up and comer Young Chop.
However, the new “trap music movement” or “EDM Trap” genre that is evolving has seen the use of techno, dub, and dutch house-like sounds incorporated with the inclusion of the original Roland TR-808 drum samples and vocal samples used by the originators.
A number of stylistic offshoots of trap developed, which in the latter half of 2012 gained a rise in viral popularity and made a noticeable impact on dance music.
To simply break it down, Trap music would be best described as a combination of:
- 1/3 hip hop (tempo and song structure are similar, most tracks are usually between 70 -110 bpm) – with vocals sometimes pitched down
- 1/3 Dance Music – High pitched Dutch synth work, Hardstyle sampling, as well as a plethora of trap remixed of popular EDM songs
- 1/3 dub (Low-frequency focus and strong emphasis on repetitiveness throughout a song)