There’s a topic that I’m sure will dominate many of these posts simply because it’s contaminated the air. We breathe it the moment we step foot from our house, sit in our car, go to the gym or flick on the radio at work: trap rap.
It’s an infectious disease. Every time I hear it I break out in hives. This essentially means I’m always popping some kind of antihistamine. I’m subjecting myself to this horror so that I may bring a qualitative report to all of you future readers.
Under the category of “trap rap” or “trash trap rap” or “trash crap trap rap” I also include this new phenomenon of “mumble rap” because many of them use trap beats. This is essentially a bunch of half-grown ass men stuffing marshmallows drenched in Lean into their mouth, standing in front of a microphone belting out muffled words that kind of, sort of rhyme. Imagine your six year old’s first written words read exactly how they are spelled, crunched together over a 3 minute trap track. Then, imagine your six year old has been influenced by some very bad kids and therefore write about sex, ass, ass, ass, guns, cocaine, weed, Lean, and started dying their dreads all the fruity colors of the rainbow.
If that isn’t bad enough, then imagine other kids ascribing to your six year old’s way of life and paying them to spit out garbled baby language.
My opinion may be biased, I recognize this. I was born in 1995, which seems likes eons ago to all the twelve year old’s who don’t remember Pre-Kanye-Breakdown time, but really it was only 23 years ago. My dad played in a Rhythm and blues cover band, so I grew up listening to The Temptations, James Brown, Otis Redding, and the lot of Motown artists. I branched into metal, rock, alternative, classical, a handful of pop songs and it wasn’t until my last year of Junior High did I start listening to rap. This was when Lil Wayne was singing about officers licking his lollipop. Ages ago.
So I understand if you’ve grown up around this trap trash crap rap it is your music. It’s what you know and what you enjoy.
But for the rest of us who aren’t pre-puberty age, we remember a time when the majority (but certainly not all) of music meant something, silicon injected asses weren’t a consistent image across our big box television screen, and lyrics were spewed by true lyricists.
But, the tragedy of this isn’t that true lyrics are being lost to mumbling babies, it’s that people can’t even come up with a proper rap name anymore. Lil Xan? Lil Uzi Vert? Lil Yachty? Lil Pump? Outside of my annual Tech N9ne concert there was another rapper playing on the small stage on the opposite side of the venue and his name was Young Gravy. I wondered where Lil Mashed Potatoes, his hype man, was.
If you gave me a song by all the “rappers” with Young and/or Lil in their name, I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.
When the names start becoming incomprehensible, that’s when we know The Fuckening has begun. Take ZillaKami and SosMula for example. Can someone please explain to me what the fuck those names represent other than a random partnering of letters that kind of form words that sound like some version of slang English?
I watched a YouTube video of either Fat Joe or Ice Cube reacting to some of the trash rappers of this era and their opinions were quite polite. Mine wouldn’t have been. This is how I came across the song Shinners13 by the aforementioned incomprehensible rappers.
Watch it here. Have your antihistamines near.
Dear God that may or may not exist: save us.
The first 25 seconds had me intrigued, it had the hard rock/rap feel I generally enjoy. And then. And then it happened.
The “gun” shot off and this raggedy-lookin’ boy start screaming until his throat need some lotion. There are fishnetted asses and cartoon network patches on jeans and Elmo suffering shaken baby syndrome in the background. The “chorus” teaches you how to count to four, another “gun” is “shot off”, some dude in the perils of addiction shoots heroin, and someone’s face is peeled during surgery or autopsy or something.
It’s not even the lyrics that grind my gears about this (which are simply about how hard they are), it’s the blatant need for attention, like a toddler laying on their backs pounding their fists on the floor. Who lusts after shock value that desperately? The comments are riddled with “Wow, I’ve never seen someone doing heroin so raw before” (in reference to when the video wasn’t censored) as if they are doing something progressive, as if Intervention and recovering addicts haven’t made this kind of stuff public for the right reasons already.
I was raised with the mindset that guns don’t make you powerful, they make you a punk. It’s a cheap shot to end a life without giving that life a chance to fight for itself. That tells me you fear other people so much, with such intensity, that you have to appear more dominate than you are, that you believe appearing dominate in general is so important in life you’ve got to go to any means necessary to accomplish that facade. So you flaunt a weapon as if that makes you some kind of man. Couldn’t win a fight to save your life.
It’s not that I’m an advocate for violence. It’s not as if there aren’t thousands of other rappers that brag about their gun toting lifestyle (whether fabricated or not), I just think bragging about your ability to walk around with a strap only ousts your obvious, fragile insecurities that you will never accept or acknowledge. And, since the world is a violent place, if it came down to it, I’d much rather see two people walk away from a fist fight than one person bleeding out on the concrete from a bullet wound to the head and the other adding points to his/her insatiable ego.
We’ll discuss human nature in relation to this uproar of trash crap trap rap in a later post.
For now, go out and Dab on ’em.