Social Influence of Trap Music Outside of EDM

Trap isn’t anything new, but it’s not that old either. It was only two years ago, in 2012, that trap was first starting to gain notice in the EDM community. Within that same year, trap proved that it was the new staple in electronic music, and quite possibly the most ambitious sub-genre of EDM yet.

Fast forward to two years later. More specifically 2014. Right now.

Setting: college campuses.

Time: 12:30 a.m.

More specific setting: party

What’s that blaring out of the speakers? Some dirty, nasty, sweaty, ‘what am I grabbing,” bumping, grinding music, otherwise known as trap. Go to any college town and attend a party, bar, anywhere that there are likely to be 18-23 year olds dancing with each other, and from about 50 yards away you should be able to FEEL the unmistakable sound of heavy 808s pulsating through the ground beneath your feet like shock waves emanating from that horrid amount of nasty that Raven would have loved to point out.

It isn’t hard to understand why trap has become so popular with today’s youth. As I described above, it facilitates a very necessary need, a need especially prominent at parties. That need, of course, is the need to socialize and meet new people without seeming like the same idiot who, just a few hours earlier, was failing to do some innate task which I can’t seem to come up with an adequate example for. Just know that you are bad at life in general.  While you are trying to socialize you are still undoubtedly this same idiot. You just need to pretend you aren’t long enough for that attractive member of the human race to accept that you aren’t going to date rape and/or steal their dog. Dogs get stolen all the time. They’re like living shacker-shirts.

How, in the great span of all that is and ever will be, will you possibly manage to keep up this farce of not being the “idiot-that-you-are” long enough to make this attractive human aware of the fact that you are not going to date rape them and/or steal their dog? Dancing.

People like to dance. If you can dance, you are immediately 67% more attractive to 94% of people in your immediate vicinity. Those are totally real statistics. In all seriousness though, just watch Dirty Dancing. Dancing is sexy. If you can dance you are sexy, and all ideas of you being a dog-stealing, date-rapist are thrown out the window.

By far the simplest way to dance, and most efficient way of proving your lack of involvement in the date-raping world of puppy-thieves, is the modern day incarnation of the word. Wait. I meant this. The most effective way to generate this sort of motion from a crowd is to assault their ear drums with sounds that just make 2 people move as one. For reasons I fail to recognize or put forth any sort of effort to uncover (which I’m sure could be determined through extensive sociological and psychological research dealing with the individual’s reaction to hearing sounds in this fashion) those sounds that make 2 people move in the most efficient manner combine to make up what is known as trap music.

trap

Trap is the bastardized and reinvented clone of the southern trap movement in hip-hop and rap. Their similarities are blatantly obvious, and if you’ve heard both styles of music before then you understand just how obvious these similarities actually are. EDM trap, at it’s beginning, was basically a stripped down, more hard-hitting, for the most part free of vocals, version of popular club hip-hop. It sounded like what Lex Luger might have made without Waka Flocka Flame yelling over his beats.

Today, electronic trap music is largely it’s own genre altogether. If dubstep is what got EDM into the realm of modern mainstream youth culture, then trap is what is keeping it there. Sure there are plenty of young people who do actively listen to EDM and every sub-genre that EDM encompasses, but there are also a lot who don’t actively listen.

Just a few years ago there were a whole lot more people who didn’t actively listen, but that gap is closing. Even so, say you were to go up to the average young person on the street and ask them if they listened to electronic dance music. “Hell yeah,” they say.

Walk away from that person and find a more different person, then ask them the same question. “Not really.” Then, play them some trap music. Make sure you get consent before you reinstate those date-rape notions by violating their ear canal with your awesome music. They will most likely listen to the song for a few seconds and say something along the lines of “oh yeah I’ve heard this.” No big deal, it isn’t hard to hear every kind of music out there these days. What is a big deal is that they will also most likely enjoy it.

There are countless people I encounter in day-to-day activities, and when we get talking about our hobbies, I tend to steer the conversation towards electronic music. Nine times out of ten, the person will mention trap on their own, either by mentioning a show they saw recently, music their friend showed them, or just that they heard it when they were out and about.

The idea that an electronic music genre that was only just conceived a couple years ago has permeated our culture to this extent shows that the dubstep bubble wasn’t just the peak of opportunity for EDM to make a name for itself outside of its own subculture. It shows that we don’t have to hope that one day the world as a whole accepts drum & bass, house, electro, or whatever genre may currently be the apple of your ear, into their speakers and homes.

We already have our foot in the door with trap. Actually, we’ve kicked down the door and renovated the entire entryway with trap. Trap is everywhere, and people love it. The stage is set for another genre to come forth and show those masses, who are ignorant to the potential of EDM, what electronic music can do for them. We just have to wait and listen.

Colin Rinehart

Colin Rinehart

Colin Rinehart hails from Dallas, Texas and currently attends Texas State University in San Marcos. He's big into Glitch Hop, Trap and anything that catches his ear. Colin strives to find the best music coming out of the Austin/San Antonio area and bring it to your home sound system via Only The Beat.
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