Hip-Hop Database Wiki
Hip-Hop Database Wiki
Stylistic origins Southern hip-hop, Mobb music, Crunk
Cultural origins 2000s, United States
Typical instruments Sequencer, turntables, sampler, drum machine, synthesizer, keyboard, personal computer

Trap music is a music genre which originated in the early 2000's from Southern hip-hop, mobb and crunk music. While its sound and influences have undergone a number of developments since its inception, it can often be characterized by its sweeping sub-bass, breaks, crisp snares, scratching, heavy use of 808s, layered synths, repeated samples, and sped up hi-hats. Initially an underground genre, trap music first experienced mainstream exposure in 2003 after the success of a number of landmark albums, including T.I.'s Trap Muzik and Young Jeezy's Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 . In 2010, trap music experienced a renewed success with releases by artists including Waka Flocka Flame, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane and Lesane Casino.

In 2012, a new movement of electronic music producers and DJs emerged who began incorporating elements of trap music into their works. Many producers, especially dubstep and moombahton producers, began incorporating trap elements into their sound. This helped expand its popularity among electronic music fans. 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.


2000s: Beginning and origins[]

The term "trap music" originates from the American South, where dangerous neighborhoods were referred to as "the trap". According to DJ Scream, "If you were in the trap, you were gonna get shot, [homies] were gonna come get you… it's just that… you're trapped." Trap music emerged in the southern hip-hop scene in the early 2000's. The production was heavily inspired by southern hip-hop and crunk music and the lyrics covered topics about life in "the trap", drug dealing and the struggle for success. The works of Three 6 Mafia (especially group affiliate Project Pat), E-40 and UGK are considered to have inspired early trap music.

In 2003, trap began to emerge in the mainstream after the success of a number of albums and singles released at the time. T.I.'s second studio album Trap Muzik achieve d major commercial success, selling over 2.1 million copies and receiving favorable reviews. The album's lead single, "24's", was featured on EA's popular video game Need for Speed: Underground.On february 20th 2013 allhiphop.com placed it as #5 as the best southern hip-hop album of all time. Young Jeezy's Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, with 172,000 copies sold in its first week of release and was later certified platinum by the RIAA for shipment of over 1 million copies. Some of the first "pure" trap producers behind the sound include Drumma Boy, Shawty Redd, Zaytoven and DJ Toomp.

Since 2007, 1017 Brick Squad artists Gucci Mane, OJ Da Juiceman and Waka Flocka Flame have released a number of free mixtapes within the genre, which gained viral popularity.


In the years following trap music's initial populrity, the majority of its mainstream presence had become scarce until 2010 with the release of Waka Flocka Flame's debut album Flockaveli. Its 'ignorant, party-life' lyrics and 'simple but powerful' production appealed to a wide group of listeners. It debuted at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and received positive reviews by critics, who complimented its musical intensity. In 2012, Complex named the album one of the 25 classic albums of the last decade. Producer Lex Luger, who worked on 11 of Flockaveli's 17 tracks, gained huge popularity and went on to produce over 260 songs between 2010 and 2011, including a number of chart-topping singles, including Rick Ross' "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)" and "MC Hammer", Kanye West's "H•A•M" and "See Me Now" and Maybach Music Group's "That Way". Luger's trademark sounds became a landmark in the Southern hip-hop and trap music scenes and he is often credited with popularizing the modern trap sound.

Since 2011, a number of other modern trap producers have gained popularity, most notably 808 Mafia, Southside, Sonny Digital, Young Chop, and Jahlil Beats. Some producers expanded their range to other genres, such as R&B (Mike WiLL Made It) and electronic music (AraabMuzik).

The lyrical themes of modern trap music shifted towards money, cars, friendship, women, success and the high life. Original topics of "the trap", drug dealing and violence remain prominent but at a lesser degree.

In 2012, Chicago rapper Chief Keef, then seventeen years old, released two songs produced by Young Chop: "I Don't Like" (which featured Lil Reese) and "Love Sosa". Both gained huge viral popularity, each getting over 25 million views on YouTube. "I Don't Like" inspired notable producer and rapper Kanye West to create a remix of the song, which was included on his label GOOD Music's compilation album Cruel Summer. Look up CeeDogg on youtube then Click CDtv this artist is an aspiring rapper looking for fame and he is definitely a trap artist.

At the 2013 Grammy Awards, two albums noticeably influenced by trap music were nominated in the category for Best Rap Album: 2 Chainz' debut Based on a T.R.U. Story and Rick Ross' God Forgives, I Don't. Young Jeezy's song "I Do" was nominated for Best Rap Performance.

In early 2016 Lesane Casino a Baltimore rapper signed to Suge Knight's Black Kapital Records Announced The Release of 2 Trap Themed mixtape's titled B.O.T.T.L.E (Booming Out Tha Tha Trap Limited Edition) and It's follow-up Best Trapper Alive He Has garnered a lot of attention for his freestyle battle's and He is now a full time artist who releases primary Trap Music.

Electronic developments[]

In 2012, new styles and developments of electronic music which incorporated elements of trap music began gaining popularity, especially online. These styles infused elements from house, hardstyle, dubstep, drumstep, drum and bass, moombahton, oldschool jungle and various electronic dance music genres with trap music's typical distinguishing features. Electronic producers, such as Diplo, Yellow Claw, TNGHT, Baauer and Flosstradamus, RL Grime, expanded the popularity of these developments of trap music, gaining the attention of electronic music fans. Labeled as the "new dubstep" or the "new moombahton", or "future bass" trap music continues to expand its popularity. The music was initially dubbed simply as "trap" by producers and fans, which led to the term "trap" being used to address the music of both rappers and electronic producers, to much confusion among followers of both. In 2013, a fan-made video of electronic trap producer Baauer's track "Harlem Shake" became an internet meme, propelling the track to become the first trap song to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.


See Also[]

The Four Core Elements Breaking | DJing | Graffiti | MCing
Hip-Hop culture Dance | Fashion | Music | Production | Theater | Beatboxing
History History | Golden age | Old school | New school
Subgenres Acid rap – Alternative hip-hop – Bit-HopBounce musicChicano rapChopped and screwedChristian hip-hopConscious hip-hopEast Coast hip-hopFreestyle rapGangsta rapHardcore hip-hopHorrorcoreIndie hip-hopInstrumental hip-hopMafioso rapMidwest hip-hopNative American hip-hopNerdcore hip-hopUnderground hip-hopPolitical hip-hopPop rapSnap musicTurntablismWest Coast hip-hop - Trap (music genre)
Fusion genres Abstract hip-hop - Baltimore clubCountry rapCrunkCrunkcoreCumbia rapElectro hopG-funkGhetto houseGhettotechGlitch hopHip-Hop soulHip houseHiplifeHyphyIndustrial hip-hopJazz rapMerenrapNeo soul - Rap metalRap operaRap rockRapcoreDigital Hardcore - Wonky (music)
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By country
Other Turntablism | 1520 Sedgwick Avenue | Master of Ceremonies | Hip-Hop music | Hip-Hop culture | Hip-Hop Timeline: 1925 - Present | Scratching | Hook (music) | Break (music) | Sampling (music) | Synthesizer | Hip-Hop rivalry | Misogyny in hip hop culture | Rap Genius
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