Chronicles: Real Trap Shit!

Over the last ten years, trap music has been leading a life of its own within rap circles: though the developments in production and rap style have seen a lot of changes over time, the genre is still making headway and remains fortifying, all while rejecting the idea of being bound to just one era in rap music’s timeline. Its purpose stays explicitly the same and this pure and unadulterated style of rap combined with raw energy has an everlasting appeal that still keeps the subgenre burgeoning today. Lots of words have been spent analyzing the ramifications of an apparent offspring scene, but sadly not as many have popped up to simply enjoy and reflect on the roots of trap music. It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of the original Southern sounds here at Truants, so we joined forces with our friends to compile a list of some of our favourite jams that have appeared over the last few years. Want some trap shit? You came to the right place.

T.I. – 24’s (“Trap Muzik”, produced by DJ Toomp, 2003). “I first heard this song in the car on the way to my very first day of high school with a very attractive Sophomore who knew what was up. It def set the tone for the ‘Crunk’ vibes that dominated the next 4 years. The album is called ‘Trap Muzik’ so all these new kids r hella late!!! (this was 2 years before Gucci Mane’s ‘Trap House’ came out) In all honesty Mannie Fresh has probably influenced me more than any other rap producer. To this day I still listen to this song while grooming & primping, tryna pump myself up for a Friday night excursion. The sing-along chorus is unstoppable n if u don’t like it you are probably hella boring. <3<3” (Austin “a dog” Keultjes, Supreme Cuts.) 

DJ Screw – June 27 (Screwed Up Texas, 2004). “The Screwed Up Click doesn’t really fit under the 2012 definition of trap, but I consider DJ Screw and friends to be essential regional trap pioneers. This is the legendary 40-minute 1996 Screw freestyle in celebration of Big Moe’s birthday (with verses from Moe, Big Pokey, Bird, D-Mo, Haircut Joe, Key-C, K-Luv and Yungstar). This shit puts me in a trance. I love Drake but it’s pretty lame that “November 18th” has like 6 million more plays on Youtube than this. The Youtube comments on the original version definitely don’t disappoint though. (“Drake gets famous off of our southern style and dont even rep htwn no moe shit pisses me off fuck dat yolo shit… Bitch please imma bang screw niqqa imma Texas boy! 713* fuck november 18”) RIP Robert Davis Jr. 1971-2000.” (Meaghan Garvey, π.)

Yung Joc – It’s Goin’ Down (“New Joc City,” produced by Nitti, 2006). “Comparable to what’s happening at the moment, this was one of those tracks that acted as an introduction to trap rap for people like me who lived in east coast suburban areas and whose only connection to that world was through radio play. Even with its generally shallow lyrics it brought attention to that lifestyle and peaked my interest enough for me find deeper cuts. Plus there’s a reason why this track made it into the top 10 in four Billboard categories – it’s obscenely catchy and if anything will be remembered as one of 2006’s biggest tracks. Then there’s the producer Nitti who’s behind “It’s Goin Down” and a number of Gucci Mane’s early tracks. You knew a beat would be minimal, but no less obnoxious when you heard the words “This is a Nitti beat.” at the beginning of track. He was also one of the first people I heard that used leads generally saved for hard dance on his beats (at the time I didn’t know what hard dance was). No matter what people say I’m unashamed in referencing this as a classic track for me (those last two words are important, don’t chew me out). “Shoutout to Ghettoville (State College), PA all the uni students doing their thang just like their mommas ”, Yung Jon has spoken.” (Jon Alcindor,  π.)

Young Jeezy – The Inspiration LP (Corporate Thugz Entertainment, 2006). “It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood / All’s well that ends well / Outside watering their lawn and shit / Birds are chirping, dogs are barking / It’s beautiful / That may be your hood, but this is my hood…” So goes the disrupted monologue prefacing “J.E.E.Z.Y.” Birds chirping, watering the lawn and shit – a little close to home, for me. It’s right after this point in Young Jeezy’s 2006 album “The Inspiration” that it becomes obvious that you aren’t in Kansas anymore. A personal highlight is the Phantom of the Opera-sampling “I Got Money,” and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Jeezy taught me how to pour out a little liquor, he taught me that all I know is the sky is blue (and the coupe is new), and if your money right then the coke is white (yeeeeah) – “The Inspiration” might not have been regarded as the most inspired album, but give Jeezy a break – obviously he did something right, because it debuted at #1 and has been #1 In My Heart ever since.” (Cayley MacArthur, π.)

Gucci Mane – Chicken Talk (“Chicken Talk,” produced by Shawty Redd, 2006) and Young Jeezy – Thug Motivation (“The Mixtape Monster 2: The Beginning“, produced by Zaytoven, 2009). “These two songs are the intros of the best projects of two of the best trappers of all time. And foremost, for me, trap music is about “introduction”. Introduction into a whole universe, drug dealers universe, the direct descendants of the miners of the Wild West. The latter to pursue a kind of American Dream, but a degenerated one, like in Benjamin Franklin’s worst nightmare. Shawty Redd and Zaytoven, the producers on these beats, are here to build a scenery, and each artifice of their prods are there to remind an element of the drugs cookers world : the snares are set on the sounds of a money counting machine, synths are reminiscent of the water in mud pots, and the rhythms are those of the excitement of a kitchen in action. The trappers have just to find the right words to motivate those who share the same fraudulent activities. Important thing : trap music must come from Atlanta, and never from elsewhere. Elsewhere, we will call it simply “rap”.” (Nicolas P, Pure Baking Soda.)

Pimp C, Bun B & Mike Jones – Pourin’ Up (“Houston We Have a Problem Vol. 3”, produced by Salih Williams, 2006). “”Grippin’ grain, switchin’ lanes, sellin’ cocaine outta’ candy thang.” All time fav, RIP big Pimp.” (Bromance Records.)

Gucci Mane – Nickolodeon (“From Zone 6 To Duval,” produced by Shawty Redd, 2008). “This is my favourite real trap classic. Everyone says Gucci is ‘dumb’ but this song proves otherwise. Gucci Mane with his most effortless flow, themed loosely around his favourite cartoons. Shawty Redd shows how he mastered 808s years before the current ‘trend’ emerged. I remember trying to write tunes with Greena but getting waved listening to this instead. The lyrics do the talking: “I paid $20,000 for this beat just to bang in the club! / My wonder women bracelet match my he-man watch / See I’m a junkyard dog, not a Scooby Doo / I got that White Girl too I’m talking Betty Boop / A hundred gallons of that yellow tuss that Winnie Pooh / So if they pull this ummer over Ima make the news / The way I’m spitting on the mic it’s like I’m Daffy Duck / And I ain’t Richie Rich bitch, but I’m rich as fuck.” BONUS: Zaytoven making a beat!” (Optimum, Hum + Buzz.)

Shawty Lo – Foolish (Remix featuring DJ Khaled, Birdman, Rick Ross & Jim Jones) (single, produced by DJ Montay & Born Immaculate, 2008). “The only reason I believe in higher powers is because a collaboration between DJ Khaled, Birdman, Jim Jones, Rick Ross and Shawty Lo exists in this world. This remix appeared on a number of releases but was also a part of the 2008 Trap-a-holics mixtape “ATLiens” that featured tons of gems by T.I., Jeezy and Shawty Lo. Most importantly I wanted to include this as it was my first encounter with the one and only Prince Khaled. “Foolish” was a cute single and all, but the official remix displays some of DJ Khaled’s finest ad-libs (it really doesn’t get much better and to-the-point than “There’s a whole lot of hood superstars on this remix!!“) and Birdman’s autotuned verse kind of acts as a reminder as to why he’s gotten so excruciatingly rich again. Well, kind of.” (Sin Shyam, π.)

Young Jeezy – Who Dat ft. Shawty Redd (“The Recession”, produced by D. Rich, 2008). “Shawty redddddd on da track. One of the best producers to apply his own take on the ‘sound’. You might remember him from “Sensual Seduction.”” (Brey, PMR Records.)

OJ Da Juiceman feat. Gucci Mane – Half A Brick (“The Come Up, Pt. 2”, produced by Zaytoven, 2008) and Gucci Mane – Tote A Glock/Cutting Off Fingaz (“Murder Was The Case”, produced by Zaytoven, 2009). “”Half A Brick” is super obvious, but this was probably the first major breakthrough Gucci Mane song. People that didn’t even like rap were playing this non-stop. It’s everything you need from Gucci really… a Zaytoven beat AND an OJ Da Juiceman feature? I might cry a couple tears, actually. All I have to say about “Tote A Glock” is: look at that girbaud polo and listen to that Zaytoven beat. Got damn.” (Helix, Night Slugs.)

Gucci Mane – Frowney Face (“The Burrprint: The Movie 3-D“, produced by Troy Taylor and Tony Scales, 2009). “Even though by 2009 Gucci was sort of past his generally acknowledged “golden age,” his “The Burrprint: The Movie 3-D” is one of my favorite tapes of his, and the highlight for me is “Frowney Face,” his flip of Trey Songz’ timeless classic “LOL :-)” (on which Gucci has a verse as well). Why there aren’t more songs about emoticons is just totally stupid in my opinion.” (Meaghan Garvey, π.)

OJ Da Juiceman – Midget (“Alaska In Atlanta“, produced by Lex Luger, 2009.) “OJ Da Juiceman’s “Midget” might not be the most obvious trap classic to pop up in your head, but it has a special place in my heart because somehow after three years I still find myself listening to this one on a regular basis. “Midget” is by far one of my favourite Juiceman tracks supported by a severely underappreciated production with Lex Luger on the buttons. The beat keeps close to Luger’s signature heavy-hitting drums but what really  makes it stand out is its almost psychotic melody that sounds like it’s two steps away from committing third degree murder. OJ also manages to shine with a catchy and clever hook that trick you into thinking he’s rapping about something far more serious than his ice collection. But hey, if  “Midget” doesn’t have enough of the classic vibe going on for you to stay saturated, hit the play button on his debut single collaboration with Gucci Mane “Make The Trap Say Aye”, that has one of the most memorable hooks in all Affiliates mixtape history.” (Sin Shyam, π.)

Cam’ron – Get It In Ohio (“Crime Pays,” produced by Araabmuzik, 2009). “Picking this one (despite it being an NY track) because I honestly can’t speak on that classic trap shit like a pro, as much as I’ve been a fan the past couple years. Around the time “Crime Pays” came out I was diving into that aggressive sound. The whole Cam album was my introduction to Araabmuzik, predating the Lex Luger boom. The sound was established by Three 6 and Gucci but when Araab and Lex were able to pump some adrenaline into it, that’s when everything really came together to really make trap undeniable, I guess.” (Ryan Hemsworth, So Icey Ent.)

Wooh Da Kid – Body Bags (feat. Waka Flocka Flame & Bo Deal) (produced by Southside On The Track, 2010). “A lot of the dialogue around the non-Waka/Gooch Brick Squad members is pretty weed-carrier-joke heavy, but sticking to the pot-bellied ones’ records means missing a lot of essential rap music. Inexplicably slept-on affiliate Wooh Da Kid came good on his 2010 mixtape Blackout, a Southside-heavy collection of fight musik. Unlike his peers Wooh’s prerogative isn’t cooking in the kitchen, acting instead first and foremost as a BSM soldier-in-arms. The best example of this comes via the anthemic Body Bag, featuring the incredible couplet: I be like piano keys, they be like ‘what’s that?’ // First the white sheet, then come the body bag. Combining a soaring soul loop more akin to a UGK joint with Brick Squad belligerence is surprisingly effective, peaking with some of Waka’s all time best anti-rapping. The take home message? Don’t snitch on Waka Flocka; else *ZIIIIIIP*.” (Simon Docherty, π.)

Rick Ross feat. T.I. – 9 Piece (“Ashes to Ashes“, produced by Lex Luger, 2010). “Rick Ross’s hustler tales are about as honest as a spray-tan, but who cares about authenticity when a heavy 2010 Lex Luger beat is involved? “9 Piece,” a single from the Ashes to Ashes mixtape, takes the congested flow of the “Big Meech / Larry Hoover” chorus on “B.M.F.” to its dumbest, most repetitive end. Ross seems especially phlegmatic next to a nimble guest verse from an underutilized T.I. Rhyming “cell phone” with “iPhone” is admirably lazy, as Rozay conjures the image of cutting white on Apple’s iconic touch screen. Of course, there’s no way to make an iPhone measure mass — the touch screen simply doesn’t work that way. But, like most of his best music since the release of Teflon Don, “9 Piece” is rooted more in romanticized imagery than trap realism. It is a fantasy so well-rendered that factual incorrectness is irrelevant.” (Michelle Myers,  π.)

Waka Flocka Flame feat. Slim Dunkin – Tyler Perry (“Lebron Flocka James 3”, produced by 808 Mafia, 2011). “Even though I love it when Waka Flocka Flame gets emotive, most of my favourite songs of his are the light-hearted ones: it’s his unparalleled energy and infectious ad libs that make his tracks stand out for me in particular. Now there are a few poolings that work really well for the Brick Squad rapper: you’ve got the combination of Lex Luger and Waka Flocka who together made one of the biggest hits in their circles to hit the international charts, “Hard In Da Paint”, and of course there is the pairing of Flocka and the Brick Squad homie Gucci Mane which is always a party. My favourite pairing has always been Flocka together with Slim Dunkin however, may he rest in peace. Before his unfortunate passing last year, #Dunk was Flocka’s protege and resembled Waka Flocka in many ways. This was exactly the beauty of the two of them together though; they became one vital force and jumped in where the other was lacking. Where Flocka was there to bring his appealing spirit and carry the majority of the songs they made together, Dunk would bring a little more vigour and gravity to the tracks. “Tyler Perry” is one of my favourites to appear on the many tapes Flocka has released over the last few years: an ode to the director, and in true Flocka fashion it might take twenty listens to finally decipher the lyrics. This is my go-to track whenever I want to get hype.” (Soraya Brouwer,  π.)


5 thoughts on “Chronicles: Real Trap Shit!”

Comments are closed.