Rain­drop, Drop­top, it’s Time to put Trap on the Chop Block

The Hamilton Spectator - - OUR PULSE - JARED SAVOIA (GRADE 12)

Weak lyrics, a boom­ing beat, and an il­lit­er­ate rap­per. Mix it all to­gether and what do you get? The hottest thing to be dumped out of the mu­sic in­dus­try right now. Trap mu­sic. Trap mu­sic, for the bliss­fully un­aware, is a type of rap where rap­pers sac­ri­fice mean­ing­ful lyrics for a catchy hook or a bass-boosted beat. It is a type of rap where se­ri­ous is­sues like drugs, gang vi­o­lence, and promis­cu­ity are glo­ri­fied. It is a type of rap that needs its spot­light beam averted to some­where else worth­while.

This came to mind af­ter I had the plea­sure of putting my ears through the agony of hear­ing the song “Bad and Bou­jee” by Mi­gos for the mil­lionth or so time. Af­ter en­dur­ing all that racket, I de­cided to delve into the lyrics of the song, won­der­ing why it had gained an im­mense pop­u­lar­ity over the past few weeks de­spite the repet­i­tive and headache-in­duc­ing na­ture of the com­bi­na­tion of the three half-wit­ted rap­pers. ‘Delve’ is an ex­treme overs­tate­ment. The lyrics are just about as deep as the shal­low end of a pool made for tod­dlers. No div­ing! Se­ri­ously, it’s that bad. The song it­self has no pos­i­tive val­ues, no sto­ry­telling, and no re­deem­ing qual­i­ties. The only thing the At­lanta rap­pers prove in this song is that they know how to rhyme. But even my 5-year-old niece could rhyme ‘cat’ and ‘hat’ if she re­ally wanted to. But to be fair, you have to give them props for rhyming ‘Rat­ta­touie’ and ‘Boo­bie’, what­ever that con­text may be.

In all se­ri­ous­ness, the song is the epit­ome of trap mu­sic: an over­pow­er­ing beat in ad­di­tion to a series of mum­bling and bum­bling rap­pers who like to rap about sell­ing and us­ing drugs whilst paint­ing a misog­y­nis­tic pic­ture of women (who are hardly ever re­ferred to as “women,” but for the de­cency of this ar­ti­cle, will be). The fact that this is con­sid­ered main­stream mu­sic is a tragedy.

Then you have to ask why. Why is this main­stream? What is it about trap that makes it so pop­u­lar? Is it the rush of the priv­i­leged rich kids pre­tend­ing they’re liv­ing a life of strug­gle and dan­ger be­cause they feel a need to rebel? Is it the re­sult of masses hop­ping onto a medi­ocre, at best, band­wagon to fit in?

It seems that peo­ple nowa­days are get­ting dumber. Mu­sic is no longer for in­tel­lec­tu­als, and un­for­tu­nately, the non­in­tel­lec­tu­als make up an enor­mous chunk of the pop­u­la­tion of mu­sic-heads. Rap songs are no longer about the in-depth lyrics or the sto­ries be­hind them. With trap, lyrics are only there to add to the back­ground noise of the song. The lyrics don’t ac­tu­ally mean any­thing. Peo­ple aren’t lis­ten­ing to what they’re say­ing, they just want to dance, which is good for trap artists be­cause no one can ac­tu­ally un­der­stand what they’re say­ing. Take the song “Panda” by rap­per De­si­igner for ex­am­ple: the web­page that fea­tures the lyrics for the song re­ceived the most views for that web­site last year with an im­pres­sive 4.5 mil­lion views, more than any other song in 2016. How­ever, this is not be­cause peo­ple liked the tune that much, it’s be­cause they have no idea what he’s say­ing af­ter he mum­bles ‘Panda Panda Panda Panda Panda’ in the in­fa­mous hook that took him to the top of 2016. It’s also no sur­prise this song is also on the sub­ject of drugs and vi­o­lence.

This lack of con­scious­ness in song lyrics is what is lead­ing to the de­cline of rap and mu­sic as a whole. Th­ese low-stan­dard, low-brow, and some­times lu­di­crous lyrics is not what rap should be about. Rap should be poetic, us­ing in­tri­cate and imag­i­na­tive lyrics to tell sto­ries of mak­ing it big through the rap game, and leav­ing be­hind the bad life­styles artists were once ac­cus­tomed to. In­stead, th­ese trap ‘artists’ triv­i­al­ize the is­sues of drugs in so­ci­ety, and glo­rify the neg­a­tive life­style that comes with it, spit­ting on the cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance rap used to pos­sess.

What can we do to stop this? Easy. Stop pay­ing at­ten­tion to th­ese faux-artists, and more im­por­tantly, stop giv­ing them your money. It’s time that trap is flushed from the toi­let bowl that is the mu­sic in­dus­try.

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