A digital archive for historical context and data analysis on trap music and your favorite artists.

Geographical Distribution of Trap Artists

Released Jul 26, 2020

Sentiment Analysis of 21st Century Rap Music

Released Jul 12, 2020

Topic Modeling of 21st Century Rap Music

Released Jul 12, 2020

How Trap Music Came to Rule the World – Complex

Released Feb 14, 2018

“Every so often, a sound becomes inescapable. From hip-hop to pop to EDM and beyond, the sound of trap music is everywhere.”

What is the history of trap music? To find out how that simple, rapid, rolling sound came to dominate nearly every corner of popular music today, we’ve got to go back to 1980. That was the year the Roland Corporation introduced its newest analog drum machine: the TR-808 Rhythm Composer. In an abrupt, bold move, the machine didn’t go for realism. It sounded nothing like an actual drum kit. The 808 flopped. By 1983, just three years after its debut, Roland stopped making it altogether. But two things happened simultaneously that would ensure the 808 had a second life, both thanks to hip-hop:

First, Afrika Bambaataa and producer Arthur Baker used it on the 1982 hit  “Planet Rock,”  one of the most influential records in a then-burgeoning hip-hop scene. Second, the machine’s unpopularity led to dropping prices, making them accessible to an entire generation of curious kids—kids who would go on to use the 808 to make some of the most important hip-hop of the 1980s and ’90s. The story of the trap drums that we’re still hearing on the radio today starts with them.

From “How Trap Music Came to Rule the World”, Shawn Setaro, Complex News.


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