A subgenre of Hip Hop – Trap – started in the 1990s in the South of the United States. The term “trap house” refers to a residence utilized only for selling narcotics in Atlanta. This is eventually whence the genre gets its name. This genre usually has intricate hi-hat rhythms and tuned kick drums with a lengthy decay. These 808s are initially from the Roland TR-808 drum machine. This genre also has lyrics that frequently discuss substance abuse and urban violence. Trap music incorporates synthetic drums and uses a relatively limited number of instruments. It also primarily has double- or triple-timed hi-hats and snare drums.

How Rap Evolved to Trap

Rap evolved into many other genres as it gained popularity, including gangsta rap. Gangsta rap then focused less on political themes and more on the risky lifestyle of individuals living in impoverished American communities. Rap evolved into “gangsta” rap, and “gangsta” rap subsequently transformed into Trap. This style is a new kind of music with a distinct tone and way of thinking. In the 1990s, Atlanta, Georgia—more significantly, the United States’ Southern region—became Trap’s birthplace. The early 1990s performers, including UGK, Ghetto Mafia, 8Ball & MJG, Three 6 Mafia, and Master P, were among the most popular.

One of the first songs released in 1992 was “Cocaine In The Back of the Ride” by UGK, which was part of their first EP, “The Southern Way.” The impact of electronic dance music (EDM) influenced the development of this type of music in the 2000s. New beats that resembled trance house music emerged as the electronic beat component of EDM became increasingly prominent in the Trap. Trap beats gained prominence in 2012 because EDM artists like RL Grime, TNGHT, and Baauer included them in their shows.

Notable Hits

The All Trap Music compilation CD, which these EDM producers published in 2013, soon overtook other EDM trap albums in sales. The hit song “Trap Queen” by New Jersey rapper Fetty Wap reached #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 list in May 2015. It brought Trap music back to the top of the mainstream music charts. The follow-up songs from Fetty Wap, “My Way,” and “679” also made it into the top 10 Billboard Hot 100 list.


Trap usually has a trilling, electronic triplet drum rhythm that lets performers switch between fast and slow rap styles. It is influenced by club music and dubstep. These beats include electronic kick, snare, clap, hi-hat rhythms, and synth drum samples from 808 drum kits. Reverb and distortion effects are also used in trap rhythms to give the tune a gritty edge. Also, The tempo ranges typically from 130 to 170 BPM.

The Triplet flow is where musicians hit three beats in durations ordinarily occupied by two. It is a hallmark of this type of music. This results in a bouncing, erratic rhythm. An example is when the word “Versace” is repeated in a triplet flow in the chorus of Migos’ song “Versace.” Musicians call the triplet flow in trap music the Migos flow. Rolls and risers, which abruptly change loudness or pitch to transition between musical sections, are two ways to identify these rhythms.

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