Today we meet for a special video that changes a lot compared to what I do usually. We’re going to analyze the “trap metal” genre, its caracteristics and its major artists. Firstly, I wanted to say that is the video “LE RAP, NOUVEAU ROCK ?” from “Le Règlement” that gaves me the idea to make this video and he inspired me a lot. The theme he talks about in his video is something that interested me a lot. Since a kid I listen to metal/rock, I’ve been raised by the double pedal and nasty guitar riffs. I’ve discovered recently the rap and now I listen it often. So, when I saw his video, I got a boner. A few months ago, I discovered a special kind of rap and now I almost only listen to that. I don’t even know if this kind of rap has a real name but we usually see the name “trap metal”. This genre brilliantly mixed everything I like and I discover new artist every day. This genre seems to emerge step by step and gather more and more people, and I hope it will keep going this way. We find not so much articles on Internet about it so I decided to make a video. I do not pretend in any way to be an expert in metal or rap, far from that. I don’t have a big musical culture in metal and even less knowledge in rap. A true specialist would beat me so I’m just a fan who want to share his passion. As I said before, the video from “Le Règlement” inspired me a lot. However, I’m not going to do copy past, he already said everything and I respect his work very much. Here we’re going to only focus on the similarities between rap and metal (and no rock). Our goal will be to analyze trap metal songs to understand the relationship between the rap and the metal, and how these two kinds influence each other (since more than 20 years). Let’s go! According to the Urban Dictionary, “trap metal is a subgenre of trap mixed with heavy metal elements as screaming added to a trap beat.” According to this definition, trap metal is a guy screaming on a trap beat. It’s not the first time we assist to the combination between these two kinds. Already in 1987, the band Anthrax associate with Public Enemy on Bring The Noise, mixing hip-hop and thrash metal. The following year, the rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot associate with Metal Church for the composition for his single Iron Man, in 1988, inspired from the homonym song from Black Sabbath. In 1990, Ice-T constitute a heavy metal band called Body Count. Stuck Mojo, a metal band which the singer rap, is considered as an another pioneer of the genre. And this is how during the 90’s, we saw bands such as Rage Against The Machine, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Faith No More emerge. The phenomenon became a full kind simply named rap metal and knows a real popularity. Later, featuring as Korn and Ice Cube or SOAD and the Wu Tang Clan will be made. Despite the popular belief, rap and metal are not as different as we think. You will probably ask me: “if it exists since the 80’s, why are you talking about like it’s brand new ?” To that I would answer that before, the rap metal was built on a “metal” instrumental base (ordinary one drum, two guitars and one bass guitar) and on a rapped sing. Now, it’s the contrary. The trap metal is more built on a trap beat and on a metal voice (scream). And between this and this there is a difference, right? So, how this transition happened? It has been possible thanks to the “crunk”, subgenre of hip-hop that appears in the 90’s/early 2000. The songs of this genre were generally shouted. It was one of the first time that an artist shouted on a rap beat. Step by step, the “crunk” genre divided in to many subgenre such as trap, which brought his kicks his violent sub-bass his semiquaver and his triplets. The typical trap beat is much more violent than the crunk one, but the chant is not wailed anymore. So, in the past couple of years, it’s with artists like Bones, XXXTENTACION or scarlxrd that the trap beat will go along with a shouted chant (like alternative metal). And it gave birth to what we call trap metal. It’s surely easier to yell on some loud trap beat than on some R’N’B song. For the metal history I advise you to watch this video, and for the rap the one from “Seb la Frite” As I said in the introduction, I don’t know if the genre “trap metal” officially exists but this is the term that we always found on the internet (it’s sometimes named “screaming rap” or “rap screamo”) One of the most famous artist in the genre is certainly XXXTENTACION. Personally, it’s through him that I started to look into this kind of rap because I had never heard such aggressivity and violence in rap. I discovered him with the track #ImSippinTeaInYoHood. (Yes, my accent is shit). The bass is over saturated and aggressive; and it uses the tritone, a characteristic harmony of the metal (because it is strident and disturbing). Contrary to what many people say, X is also a good rapper, like in his song H2O in featuring with Ski Mask the Slump God or in his song Riot. The firsts tracks of X were poorly recorded with not much material and this is specially the bass are over saturated and noisy. (like in Take A Step Back or RIP ROACH). It’s a characteristic that we found in some black metal bands for instance: self -sufficiency, self-production and poor sound quality. It create a very particular atmosphere because most of the todays music are all the same. The mix is conventional and well done, which sometimes give the impression that all the song are the same. Generally in black metal, what we hear the most are the high pitched frequencies (guitars) while it’s the contrary in his songs.
Here, it’s the song in himself that matters, not the mixing. We do what we can with what we got and fuck the conventions. Speaking of black metal, many artist get the inspiration for their album covers from its esthetic, like Ghostemane or PRXJEK. Unlike X, scarlxrd produce much more tracks of this kind (X is very fickle and multifaceted). At the beginning, scarlxrd was part of a rap metal band named Myth City, , so it’s kind of obvious that he’s influenced by rap and metal. He quit his band in 2016 and started a solo career: the voice is the same but the beat is not. Instead of singing on the drum/guitar/bass instrumental, scarlxrd gets trap kind beats and shout on it like he used to with his old band. Some other artists mixing trap and metal: Sometimes, the distinction between trap and metal is almost invisible. The trap beat includes true drum or some guitar riff, and the artist combine rap and scream in the same song. Such as create a real confusion and bring closer the two genres. Some artists sample metal bands songs ; which homogenize even more the two kinds because they make clear references. The most extreme cases are the one completely metal. Here, the instrumental and the voice are metal, there is no more characteristics of the trap genre. We can ask ourselves if it’s a trap track, a metal one, or both at the same time It’s very complicated to define this musical genre and I would not be able to do it precisely. After all, it’s still music and I believe we must let our heart decide This kind of music is a true revelation for me and it particularly touch me, wherever it’s trap metal, g funk hardcore, thrash heavy power r’n’b or jazz acidcore gangsta rap… I’m not saying that the distinction between the musical genres are useless All the genres have their characteristics and each artists of each genre have its own style The distinctions are useful, they are tools to talk about the complex musical world. It’s useful to analyze and decrypt the music and her history (as we did here) Like all tools, in my opinion, we must use them with moderation We use it to understand music but not to feel it. If those music interest you, I advise you to take a look at VoidTracks or DarkTxnes channels, they regulary publish this kind of sound, usually with a video clip they do themselves, which make us discover new artists every day. I certainly forgotten many artists, if you know others please share it in the comment. I’m sorry for all the possible errors in what I’m saying. I’ve made many research before the video, but error is human. If you liked the video, don’t hesitate to share it and subscribe, it would help me a lot! Thanks for watching!