DRIP DROPS of HIP-HOP from CHATTANOOGA
by Mickey Real
During the past week, some claims were made on Instagram and the question was asked "Who invented trap music?" I've seen alot of hip hop heads mistake "gangsta music" and "street hustling" content with trap music. What's the difference? It's simple...CULTURE! The term "trap" was created in the late 1990's in Atlanta, GA, but didn't become urban slang until the early 2000's. The first time the term was used in hip-hop was by Outkast in 1998 on their song "Spottieottiedopaliscious". Big Boi refers to "the trap" but if you listen to the song (or any other Outkast music) it isn't trap music at all! However, it shows how Atlanta is the origin of the term "trap".
"Can't gamble feeding baby on that dope money, might not always be sufficient.
But the United Parcel Service & the people at the Post Office didn't call you back because you had cloudy piss.
So now you back in the trap just that, trapped
Go on and marinate on that for a minute"
- Big Boi | Spottieottiedopaliscious, 1998
In 1999, Atlanta rappers Ghetto Mafia and Dungeon Family's Cool Breeze also used the term in their music which started to shed a different light on Atlanta culture in hip-hop. Other cities might called it hustling, drug dealing, or slanging but in Zone 1 through 6 in Atlanta, GA, they called it trapping!
"I remember trapping late at the sto
Had no idea, what I was in fo"
"I pack the steel, got no time for the switchblade.
I was out my mind when I trapped off Cascade
See every dime we stuck, they was stole
Make most of my money (off where) off Candler Road"
- Ghetto Mafia | In Decatur, 1999
"I met this out of town player who wanted to set up a trap
He said he'd pay me and my boys if we would watch his back
I told my other partner exactly where we kept tha sacks
Then early in the morning, told him we got jacked"
- Cool Breeze | Black Gangsters, 1999
More gangsters and hustlers in Atlanta started to become influenced by hip-hop. "The trap" was a very familiar place to people in the underground scene who lived in the hood. During 2001, Atlanta superstar rapper, T.I. released his debut album "I'm Serious" which included a song he released a video to called "Dope Boyz". In the song he talks about trapping (the Dope Boyz' job) and in the video he shows what his trap is like in his hood of Atlanta. In 2003, T.I. came out with his second album "Trap Musik" where he goes further into talking about the fastlife, struggles, and legalities in the trap. This album would be the birth of the subgenre "Trap Music". This created a new wave of sound in Atlanta and now the term "trap" would become urban slang. Trap music isn't about just rapping about the trap itself or gangsta rap lyrics but the beat production plays a key element as well. Trap beats typically use 808 kick drums, double/triple time hihats and crazy, dark synthesizer and piano melodies. This music production began to influence the hip-hop culture rapidly.
In 2005, "trap music" would evolve into something even bigger in hip-hop, it became glorified. Atlanta native, Young Jeezy released one of the most trap-influential mixtapes ever "Trap or Die". In Atlanta, Jeezy and his affiliates were known for living a lavish lifestyle and doing things in real life that were seen in music videos. As a result, designer clothes became more of a trend in hip-hop, strip clubs and exotic dance clubs started making more money than ever and customized old school muscle cars became nothing but a memory in hip-hop.
In 2007, Trap Music evolved again with another Atlanta rap legend, Gucci Mane. Gucci Mane (in my opinion) is the pioneer for partying in the trap. On his 4th studio album, "Back to the Trap House", he released the single "I Might Be" which focused on partying while popping pills and sipping lean. Let's be clear, he wasn't the first to rap about this content by far but he is the first "trap" rapper to do it. In 2009, Gucci would expand on his trap party music with the hit single "Wasted". The "rockstar lifestyle" would officially become apart of the trap music genre.
In today's hip-hop, trap music is a mix of the "rockstar lifestyle" and "trapstar persona". Trap music started out as a real place and way of life in Atlanta culture, now it's a movement everywhere.
I wrote this article to pay homage to all the efforts that were contributed to the evolution of the Trap Music genre. Leave your comments and thoughts below.
Tha Milk Drop is a site focused on highlighting the hip-hop culture in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but also taps into hip-hop worldwide. Each week we drop exclusive and new content from artists. Also catch the profiles and interviews of hip-hop artists and creatives.
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