Trap Music – Where It Came From

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As dubstep and house started to become mainstream, the rap genre began  to evolve with the use of aggressive beats and soaring synths, forming the beginnings of what would come to be known as trap music.  Southern rappers such as Waka Flocka Flame started to gain notoriety for their dark, aggressive sound (see his hit song "Hard in da Paint" below for an idea of what I'm talking about).  This song is a great example of this new kind of “trap” sound, propelling a “terrible” rapper into Hip Hop's upper echelon.  While I wouldn’t personally recommend that particular song for listening, it is a great example of what some trap music sounds like.

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Not long after Waka bursted onto the music scene, Heroes Villains, a very popular trap music producer, remixed another one of Waka’s songs “O lets do it”, using house beats that matched seamlessly with the rhythm of Waka’s rap.  It also included a wobble bassline, a necessary element of much dubstep.  When Kayne West’s song “Mercy” came out, featuring an unmistakable dubstep sound, it quickly became one of the most popular songs on the Top 100 charts -- a clear signal of the demand for this kind of music.

"Mercy"

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"O Lets Do It"

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The rise of artists such as Waka and 2Chainz helped bring attention to already-established producers such as Flosstradamus, and also helped lay a foundation for up-and-comers like Baauer and Revolvr to  grow upon. It is these latter producers who have are now defining what "trap music" really is.  If you're interested in learning more about some of these producers, check out previous article on trap music that journalist Michael Davis wrote -- this article focuses more on the electronic music side of trap music, and less so on the hip-hop and rap-oriented side.