Trap music, a subgenre of EDM, originally began its rise to popularity among Atlanta hip-hop and rap musicians, before spreading worldwide through R&B singers, pop artists, K-Pop performers and others.
Trap producers typically create the signature sound with crisp hi-hat patterns and an explosive 808 bassline, then layer various synths for added depth and variety in their tracks.
Trap music relies heavily on drums as its musical foundation. From iconic 808 drum patterns, to rattling hi-hats and thunderous subbass basslines, trap beats are gritty yet hard-hitting; perfectly depicting urban life.
Style first emerged in the southern US, and many iconic rappers and producers played key roles in its development from its grassroots stages. From Waka Flocka Flame and Three 6 Mafia’s gritty street narratives to Master P and No Limit Records crew’s DIY approach to production and distribution, these early pioneers set a path forward for new artists who would define its genre today.
Trap music’s percussion features intricate hi-hat patterns, triplet hi-hats and cow bells. Additionally, deep booming 808 bass samples and triplet patterns of different snare hits are common features of trap. Basslines are an integral component of trap, and often remain consistent throughout a song.
As opposed to most hip hop styles, which typically rely on melodies and hooks for storytelling purposes, trap music instead utilizes distinctive rap vocals as its foundation. Their delivery adds energy and passion that pairs well with hard-hitting 808s and rattling snares.
As trap’s beats and synthesizers evolved, its accessibility broadened. Its distinct sound can be traced to its use of distortion and modulation to produce an intense and edgy atmosphere; additionally, this genre benefits from dark aggressive synthesizers for added depth and intensity.
Trap music began merging with other genres like emo and synthwave in the late 2010s, leading to an offshoot known as ‘Trapwave.’ This style blends trap beats with harsh, detuned synthwave sounds as well as using multi-layered automation techniques and distorted arpeggio chords characteristic of EDM music – using risers and drops borrowed from EDM with multi-layered automation techniques and characteristic arpeggio chords that define its distinctive sound. Trapwave is often credited for popularizing remixing popular songs with audacious trap beats – an effect which also propelled previously-unknown artists like Baauer to the top of Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year.
Trap music’s sound can be described by its rhythmic 808 bass beats, rattling hi-hats, and triplet patterns of snare rolls; all combined into a dense wall of noise that fits perfectly with its hard-hitting lyrics. Beats may often be altered and glitched-up to add an unpredictability element – combined with samples from old horror movies or urban landscapes for added impactful samples that make trap sound uncompromisingly raw, authentic, and dangerous.
The trap movement has been widely recognized for redefining hip-hop’s production aesthetic and creating its own distinct identity distinct from other forms of dance music. With its signature soundscape and narrative perspectives, trap has quickly become one of the most beloved and profitable genres in American music – even reaching mainstream pop artists like Beyonce and Miley Cyrus! Additionally, its rise has brought to light issues of poverty and violence that had long been overlooked or ignored by mainstream media outlets.
Trap music owes much of its sound to Roland TR-808 drum machines; however, its sound has since expanded to incorporate elements from club and bass music genres. Notably, trap now features the pulsing hi-hats and snares popular in Jersey Club, grime, footwork as well as its signature bass sound while employing synthesizers, synthesizers and other electronic instruments to produce catchy melodies that give this music its trademark sound.
Other elements found within the new trap sound include vocal harmonies, multi-layered automation techniques, risers and bass drops. Producers are now also experimenting with distortion to add depth and character to their beats – leading them to create Trap2, an offshoot genre which retains some ominous and bouncy characteristics of trap while adding in elements inspired by dubstep and grime music.
The new wave of trap musicians has quickly made waves in EDM circles. Notable artists in this genre include RL Grime, TNGHT (Hudson Mohawke and Lunice), Flosstradamus, Baauer and DJ Sliink; these artists have brought this style of music to dance floors worldwide and proved that this genre won’t fade anytime soon.
Melodies of songs are what give them their distinctive identity and rhythm; they help distinguish songs with similar sounds or styles, like Maroon 5’s “Love the Way You Lie” from their more famous hit, “Girls Like You,” by distinguishing their melodies. Trap music often uses vocalists who rap or speak melodies for added impact; this gives each tune its own voice that stands out among its peers.
Trap has an engaging rhythm, typically between 100 and 176 BPM, that sets its unique sound apart from other genres of electronic music.
Trap music stands out from other hip-hop genres with its fast tempo, making it more energetic and uplifting than other forms of hip-hop music. Trap also uses various drum sounds including complex hi-hat patterns in triplets, high amplitude and low pitch snares and cow bells; also common are 808 bass samples and triangles.
Synthesizers are integral parts of trap songs, helping define its distinctive sonic identity and atmosphere. Packed with distortion and modulation effects, synths create deep yet intense tones that set trap apart from other hip-hop genres.
Trap music draws its sound from southern hip-hop, Gangsta Rap and Crunk music styles; its sounds reflect inner city life reflected by artists representing it. Sparse yet menacing production styles featuring kicks and snares as well as low end 808 basslines are what characterize this genre; first pioneered by producers Mike-Will-Made-It and Metro Boomin this music gave street life an authentic voice while providing authentic firsthand perspectives such as dealing drugs, addiction, violence and poverty first-hand through artists that provided first-hand accounts from their experiences within inner city communities.
Trap’s influence is ever expanding today. Its reach extends far beyond just rappers such as Wakka Flocka, Drake and Young Thug; other well-known trap artists include Flosstradamus, Herobust and Baauer. One recent offshoot of trap music known as Kawaii Bounce marries Japanese aesthetic with East coast club sounds through drumbeats and sampled instruments reminiscent of East coast club music; even mainstream artists such as Miley Cyrus and Beyonce reference this genre within their songs!
Synthesizers have had an incredible effect on modern music. By providing you with access to an infinite number of sounds with just a few keystrokes, synths are one of the most versatile instruments around – you can quickly produce different tones just by moving keys on keyboard. Their adaptability also means they’re popular with artists looking for ways to distinguish their sound from that of their peers – synths have long been used across genres including EDM, techno house trap and dubstep music as well as hip hop and rock genres among many more besides electronica.
Early synthesizers used analog circuitry, with one such example being the Hammond organ from 1935. This instrument served as a precursor to today’s keyboard instrument and ultimately led to other electronic instruments being produced. Digital technology entered synthesizer technology during the 1980s, which led to major advancements such as polyphony and preset memory as well as digital filters that change sound timbre by shifting wave lengths faster or slower.
Synths are musical instruments that produce sounds by transmitting an electrical signal through its oscillators, which then generate different frequencies using harmonics. Each oscillator may produce sine, square, triangle and sawtooth waveforms whose frequencies can then be amplified and combined into full, rich sounds using amplifiers and filters. Synths also come equipped with filter sections which modify timbre by blocking certain frequencies while still letting others through.
Trap music is a subgenre of hip hop that first made its debut in the Southern hip hop and rap scene. It incorporates 808 bass drums with complex hi-hat patterns to produce an intense beat at 135-175 BPM tempos.
Fetty Wap, Lil Uzi Vert and Future are three iconic artists who have contributed some of the most iconic trap songs. These tracks combine themes of love and hustle that embody the ethos of trap music while having a cultural impact and becoming an anthem for resilience.