EDM-Trap Killed the 808 [Editorial]
Disclaimer: This post is not about the Trap music (muzik?) with a history grounded in Southern hip hop- this is about EDM-Trap, and if I see anyone sounding off about Lex Luger in the comments, so help me…
I could literally go on for tens of minutes about how much I now detest Reggaeton‘s distinctive dembow thanks to it’s abhorrent over-use in the moombahton movement, but today I’m going to focus Trap. More specifically, the Flosstradamus, etc. EDM-Trap that most of you associate with the word. When this whole EDM-Trap thing started there was a lot of talk going around about the inherent racism behind a bunch of middle class white kids sitting in their bedrooms in some two-story house in the ‘burbs and re-purposing the elements of Trap music that had developed over time (for a very, very concise overview of its history, try this article) to make music for people to pop pills and wear neon shirts to. Since I’m from the UK and have little-to-no exposure to rap or hip hop, I thought nothing of it.
Fast-forward a few months and EDM-Trap has grown to a size that nobody really anticipated. The volume of bedroom producer EDM-Trap filling my inbox increases every day, but it wasn’t until I started listening to other styles of music again that I realized something shocking: I can’t listen to the venerable Roland TR-808 in any way, shape, or form.
Let me give you an example.
A friend of mine recently sent me the Bandcamp page of a young producer from Belfast, Bear//Face. Now this kid is undeniably talented, but something just bugged me about his tracks and I couldn’t immediately put my finger on it. A flash went off in my head and it came to me. Any time I heard an 808 kick, clap, hi-hat, or what have you, I cringed. I just can’t listen to them any more, and what’s far more problematic is that when I listen to actual hip hop – new or old – that uses an 808 the same “This is Shitty EDM-Trap” center of my brain fires up. Now I may be overreacting a little, but I see this as a much bigger issue than the re-purposing of hip hop culture to make bangers. Not only are these elements of Trap being recycled, their worth is being completely eroded.
Am I going to throw my hands up in the air in frustration and vow never to listen to another EDM-Trap song again? Probably not. Am I going to condone Trap remixes of Who Let The Dogs Out? Absolutely not.
Agree? Disagree? Think I’m an idiot? Sound off in the comments or don’t. To quote Dillon Francis: “IDGAFOS”
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