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Five Real Trap (Rap) Songs

Three Six Mafia, straight runnin' the trap.
Three Six Mafia, straight runnin' the trap.

The word "trap" has two meanings in the music world.

Birthed in the early 2000s, it was bass-y, kick drum-ridden, synth hi-hat Southern hip-hop, all about the venue (a trap) for drug deals and the lifestyle of a bagman. Now, though, trap rap is often befuddled with the mechanical, schizy EDM spawn often heard blaring from every house on Fraternity Row.

Look, we're not trying to knock on dubstep's baby cousin. Crossfade just wants to recognize some of the trap songs that started it all, before "los terroristas" hijacked the genre.

See also:

It's a Trap! An 11-Part History of Trap Music, From DJ Screw to Gucci Mane to Flosstradamus

5.Three Six Mafia's "Sippin' on Some Syrup"

No, Three Six wasn't "sippin' on some scissors." Admit it, you didn't know what a promethazine/codeine-induced coma was before this banger. Triple 6 and UGK pioneered heavy trap with an ode to the purple drank. Its choppy percussion defined the genre, and the vibrating synth intro and spacey keyboard sample (borrowed from Prince of Soul Marvin Gaye's "Is That Enough") keeps the duo leanin' hard. As DJ Paul professes: "Niggas sippin' and dippin' and trippin'/Man, I'm bout all out."

 

4. T.I.'s "24's"

Atlanta Trap Muzik at its finest. Though "24's" lyrical content is formulaic -- an inexhaustible supply of material possessions and blowing out drugs on a set of fat rims -- Tip became the commander of bouncy, snare-heavy ATL trap with this DJ Toomp produced chart-topper. T.I. is a mainstream trap forefather; he layers twangy rhymes about darker days as a dealer over hip-swinging radio staples. No wonder he's the "King of Da South."

3. Three Six Mafia's "Poppin' My Collar"

Remember when every idiot in an Abercrombie polo sported an upturned collar? Thank this 2006 jingle. But it is a classic trap gem -- preaching that you gotta hustle to get what you want. And after Three Six's unforeseen Academy Award victory for the Hustle and Flow anthem, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," that same year, DJ Paul's and Juicy J's street life ideology really was hitting the masses.

 

2. Young Jeezy's "Who Dat"

Jeezy is trap's other (more raspy) radio daddy. He's penned a slew of noteworthy singles ("I Luv It," "My President," "Lose My Mind," "R.I.P.," and the list goes on), but "Who Dat" was a trap game-changer. The 2008 single incited the genre's modern racket -- skull-splitting digitized chops and screws and an uproarious bassline -- welcoming similar glitchy chaos in other hip-hop spheres (cue Rick Ross's 2010 smash "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)," and anything Waka Flocka). It would only be a matter of time before drops and high-pitched Dutch house riffs came to play.

1. Gucci Mane's "Pillz"

He's got an ice cream cone tattooed on his right cheek. So yeah, we know Gucci Mane is effing bonkers. He's not exactly bona fide (though his Trap God mixtape argues otherwise), but for contemporary trap's sake, he's left an unfading mark. (Really, Gucci, an ice cream face tat?!) By 2010, Diplo's Free Gucci remix compilation boosted Gooch's hipster cred. But back in 2006, the rapper was already brewing EDM audio. Whether cognizant or not, he paired a loopy, digital sample with an overconfident ecstasy binge on "Pillz."

"Is you rollin'? Bitch, I might be." Ravers would never be the same again.

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.


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