IT’S THE EARLY 90IES WHEN WE START HEARING ABOUT TRAP MUSIC. INTO THE TRAP HOUSES, OLD, RUINED HOUSES LEFT IN ABANDON, PUSHERS FIND A SECURE PLACE TO DEAL DRUGS, UNDER COVER FROM POLICE PATROLS AND ISOLATED PART OF THE TOWN.
We are in the destitute America, of micro criminality and black ghettos, where boys from the streets amuse themselves with weapons and rap music, their way to talk about reality and try to escape from it. That same rap that brings on stage stories of the neighborhood, pushed by the first beats coming from Grandmaster Flash and SugarHill Gang. Then, from the 90s, it waves into the facts of those crumbling houses, where people gather looking for weed, meth or heroin, spotlighting a rude, rough, wrapped in violence atmosphere.
Trap houses chronicles, that give birth to a new kind of rap. Together with the lyrics, characteristic sounds and rhythm come up beside. The use of autotune turns into a custom, vocals become metallic and articulate the rhymes of the artists in a robotic way. Drum machine Roland TR-808 and other synthesizers identify a new genre. Shawty Redd is one of the first recognizable producer of the trap music universe, who, along with other artists such as Gucci Mane, T.I., Rick Ross, takes the trap music beyond the borders of the Southern countries.
It is after 2010 that trap becomes a global phenomenon. The greatest Us artists fall in love with it. From Kanye West to Beyoncé, from Nicki Minaj to Lady Gaga. The success of the genre push them to explore it and take inspiration from it, helped by edm producers who refine the arrangements and enrich them with new electronic experimentations. Definitely, dragging it outside of the ghetto.
Text by Francesco Cutello