You probably heard the term “Trap music”, if you ever listened to any of Future’s recent hits or maybe Young Thug mixtape, you definitely are familiar to what this genre implies. Contrary to what people think, the first Trap beats emerged long ago on the musical scene. More precisely, this genre sprung out of the southern rap scene in the 1990’s. And one thing is for sure, what people are calling “trap music” today (which is mainly EDM with trap beats in the background) is pretty far away from what people were calling “trap music” a few years ago.
As I mentioned, Trap beats emerged primarily from the south, back then it was a genre filled with a hard attitude, and you can still feel that in today’s trap beats. I’m talking about the sound of the triangle, triplet hi hats, brass, snappy snares and of course, low end 808 bass samples that were commonly used when composing tracks – the percussion samples of choice usually originate from the Roland TR-8o8 Drum Machine. You’ll recognize a trap track by it’s beat, that’s for sure! The “fathers” of the Trap Music genre are southern rappers like: Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy, Manny Fresh and Three 6 Mafia. To take a step backwards, early ‘90s groups like Three 6 Mafia and UGK were making trap music even before the term was coined.
Even though Trap beats emerged from the underground around the 1990’s, it wasn’t until the 2000’s that it began to gain attention and grow in the mainstream culture. It’s popularity grew thanks to DJ’s who started fusing crunk music with synths to produce the quintessential trap sounds. Also, several southern rappers such as Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane and Rick Ross produces crossover hits and helped expand the popularity of the genre.Some of the notable producers of Trap Beats during the mid to late 2000s include Fatboi, Drumma Boy and Zaytoven.
But mainly, Trap’s popularity arrived with the release of Young Jeezy and T.I.’s albums. In fact, T.I. titled his second album Trap Muzik. In an interview in 2012, T.I declared “I created Trap music, I coined the term. After that, there was an entire new genre of music created. An open lane for each od you to do what you do.” With his debut, Jeezy showed that trap had crossover potential and this is how today’s Trap Music is so popular and appreciated.