It’s March 2013 and I still get people asking me “What is trap?” can you believe that? I simply have to throw my head back before explaining that it’s a sort-of combination between hip-hop and dubstep. But it’s not; it’s a totally new genre of music taking the world by storm.
I believe trap music originated in the USA, and has drifted to other western countries in recent months, gaining more popularity and coverage as certain artists go on tour. For example, Harrison Bauer Rodrigues AKA Baauer; the 23 year old west Philadelphian who went viral on the internet for The Harlem Shake which, in my opinion, has been ruthlessly overplayed and I wouldn’t care if I never heard it again or stumbled across a badly done video of bored people wearing motorcycle helmets and dancing in an anomalous fashion. The problem is, people have become fixated on said Harlem Shake and see it as Trap’s sole masterpiece.
Ever heard of Diplo, who created the Jamaican dancehall project called Major Lazer? I attended a ML gig last November and I think it’s fair to say it was one of the best live performances I’ve ever been to. Sure, the venue was a bit of a dive, the drinks overpriced, but the atmosphere was like none other; I felt like I was part of a new movement in music and there was a certain exclusivity about it. Flosstradamus also did a set and the crowd went crazy when he dropped his remix of Original Don – the first trap song I ever heard that had me, quite literally, trapped. There were ghetto dancing booties doing their thing at the front, Diplo was scantily dressed in his string vest (YES) and there was even a cascade of confetti to finish.
The scene was somewhat different at a recent Baauer gig I attended; the venue was far too over crowded, and even when I went outside for a breather half-way through there were still people waiting in line to get in. It was, as my friend later retorted on the way to the taxi “Like a f**king slave ship in there!” There was scarcely enough room to ‘trap out’ as I like to call it which involves vigorous knee bending, arm flailing and plenty of two-stepping as well as pulling a face like you’ve seen something nasty when the drop comes. It did cross my mind at the time that many of these people (yes, I’m looking at you, wearing the fleece onesie with a bra around your neck, aviators and Reebok Hightops when it’s 40 degrees in here) listened to The Harlem Shake and decided to jump on the Trap bandwagon, without even stepping out of their mainstream comfort zone of listening to chart music and whatever is trending on Youtube.
Heck! I’m not trying to put new-comers down! I’m simply making an observation that can be applied to any new genre of music emerging on the scene. It’s the sad truth about things that were new and exciting being overexposed and pulled apart by the masses. Oh well, for now I’ll just have to console myself by searching on Soundcloud for obscure artists whilst trying to Get Free.
Written: March 2013