This has been a question for quite some time due to it’s nature and characteristics. Unlike other genres in hip hop, there are clear distinctions between Trap and traditional Hip Hop in general.
What is Trap Music?
Trap music is a genre that is gaining quite a bit of momentum among the ever growing sub-genres of dance music culture. Although with trap musics or EDM Trap as some may call it, there is history behind the origin of the sub genre that is all but new.
Trap music fist emerged coming primarily from the south. It is genre with a hard attitude that you can feel in its brass, triangle, triplet hi hats, loud kicks, snappy snares and low end 808 bass samples. 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 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.
Trap Music Explained
• 1/3 hip hop (tempo and song structure are similar, most tracks are usually between 70 -110 bpm) – with vocals sometimes pitched down.
• Dance Music 1/3 – 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).
Notable producers of the new trap include RL Grime, TNGHT (Hudson Mohawke x Lunice), Flosstradamus, Baauer, DJ Sliink, Heroes x Villians, UZ, LOUDPVCK, gLAdiator, and Luminox.
So seeing all the factors associated with trap music brings in some clear cut points.
1. Trap is not 100% hip hop
In most hip hop genres, the complete elements of hip hop are identified. In trap it rarely uses all the elements like DJing, beat-boxing and poetry. Only rapping, break dancing and some graffiti can be noticed.
2. Trap is dance oriented
The primary aim or focus of hip hop is lyricism and conceptual framework of innovation. Entertainment was initially a secondary point but trap music’s primary focus is dance.
3. Trap music unlike hip hop is not about knowledge
Since the mainstream breakout of trap, lyricism and knowledge started to dip in practice. The talk about sex, drugs, money and power became the major content of most lyrics.
4. Conflicts in Hip Hop
Nowadays, many trap artistes do not agree with the basics of hip hop. It is public knowledge that Lil Pump hates JCole’s music because he’s too lyrical and Lil Yatchy thinks Notorious BIG was overrated.
5. Some Trap artists don’t even consider themselves hip hop
Especially in the Mumble section, some openly admit it that they are not rappers. Many don’t even know the Hip Hop legends and they really cant freestyle because they don’t know hip hop.
Now the main question still echoes Is Trap music hip hop?.
About the author
Dablacceinstein is a rap artiste, a hip hop observer and a human rap music encyclopedia who is driven by the practice of the true culture. He was inducted into HipHopHead as a contributor in October 2017.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of HipHopHead