In a recent interview at Complex, Atlanta based artist 21 Savage says that trap music can only be made by Atlanta rappers.
When asked for his definition of what trap music is, 21 kept it straight forward per usual.
“Shit about the trap – just cause shit got an 808, it ain’t trap music…These niggas don’t know nothing about the trap, how is that trap music?”
Some of the artists who 21 believes embody trap music are himself, Young Thug, Future, Migos, 2 Chainz, Young Jeezy, T.I. & Gucci Mane. Pretty undeniable list there. He continued to make his case by asking the question if a rock star gets on a Jay Z beat is that hip-hop? “No!” Savage said answering his own question.
Young Thug recently released his album Beautiful Thugger Girls, where he is heard experimenting with acoustic guitar and country music elements. I think if we asked Rascal Flatts or Luke Bryan if Thug was making country music, I certainly think they would disagree.
“Trap is some Atlanta shit, that’s where trap comes from. Trap suits, trap house, bustin’ the trap.”
A great point was made by co-host Joe Budden stating, with today’s sound so heavily dominated by elements used in trap beats, it’s hard for the average listener to decipher who is actually making legitimate trap music.
When Savage was asked if fellow Atlanta rapper Lil Yachty is a trap music maker, he disagreed saying Yachty’s content is not of the trap.
The biggest piece of Savage’s argument is that it’s not about the beat you’re rapping over that makes a song trap music, it’s the content. If you’re not rapping about the struggle, selling drugs and “living that life”, you are not making trap music.
21 ended his argument by stating “all that other stuff” using trap music elements is just club music, not trap.
“You just gotta be from the trap to know what trap is.”
I would say I 95% agree with Savage on the qualifications of who & what makes up the trap music genre. But there is a case to be made for an artist like Meek Mill, who does rap about the trap, is in the trap and comes from that exact same struggle, but is from Philadelphia. I think if Meek was questioned, he would state that he does make trap music. The question that has to be asked is, is someone who is not from Atlanta entitled to make that qualification?
Definitely get in the comments and let us know. Can trap music only be created by Atlanta based rappers or is there room for artists outside of that region to be apart of the genre?
Watch the full interview with 21 Savage below.