WTF is a Trap Beat!?! Hopefully this will clear that up…


I had a general idea of where “Trap beats” came from (the South) and…what kind of sound they had (slow 60-70bpm), but I wanted to know the origin and what makes up a “Trap” beat…  So I copped this off of Listen & Learn

Trap music is a form of Dirty south music or in other words southern music that is either rap or hip hop but instead its in its own league . When the dirty south first broke loose it was very popular in Southern cities that include Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Texas. Often times, hip hop and rap music was deemed as having two different sides to the genre (east and west). I guess you could sum it up say that those in the southern states started to feel a little left out and that is why this type of music emerged around the early 90’s like Outkast, Lil Troy, Ugk, Scarface and many more.


Trap beats

One of the Cool facts that you might find interesting is that (also according to Wikipedia) many Dirty south rappers and hip hop artists all released their music independently without a major label. This had to do with the fact that most of the attention was focused on music on the east coast or the west coast. With Contribution from Artists like Mike Jones,Rick Ross,LiL Wayne,Bun b,Gucci mane,Shawtty Redd,Keri Hilson,T pain,Ciara,Plies,Gorilla Zoe, 2 Chainz, Young Jeezzy and many more the Dirty dirty South came to be the genre that has been topping the Radio Charts with catchy beats in the last decade. Many different sub-genres are embedded in the dirty south genre like Trap beats, club beats and even some R&b artists have added their own twist to the ever growing genre.
As a whole Dirty South beats Are becoming more and more popular by the day as Rappers have easier access to them unlike years ago thanks to a Program Called Fruity Loops.Many Radio Ready Beats in the industry have been created with this piece of software alone.Over the years the Dirty South beat genre has had many phases with everything from Trap Street Bangers to catchy happy tunes. Many pioneers of the genre are still in the music scene paving the way for other dirty south artist in the region making it possible for the genre to prosper.One of the biggest hits the Dirty South has seen was T.I 24’s the song was recognized by many as the hottest song out of the dirty south at the time.Over the years the Dirty South got their Signature sound by reinventing the 808 Drum Machines and adding heavy brass, catchy leads, synthesis,Strings,Sharp Snares and super fast hi-hats and created what is known to us today as Dirty South/ Trap music.

Where Did Trap Beats come from?

Trap Beats

Definition of Trap Beats

Originated from the term “trap houses” with the underground drug trade, “trap music” is a style of Hip-Hop formally made by decent individuals as a means incorporating “traps” for bad people to fall into in reality;a means of tracking down who’s who in society.

Trap beats are technically the new way of describing dirty south beats. Most artist that have pioneered trap are that of Rick Ross, Lex Luger , Waka Flocka , Gucci Mane ,and O da juice man. These type of Trap instrumental have gain serious air play in recent years. They mainly are constructed using the 808 sub kick that acts like the main base line of the song.

Playing the chord structure of which the rest of the instrumental is made. Trap beats like that “BMF” by Rick Ross a Lex Luger instrumental which gained major recognition and pushed Lex Luger up to one of Hip Hop’s sought after music producers. Also during that Time is when Waka Flocka Flame broke with “Hard in the paint” which was also a Lex Luger Beat.

His Signature has even caught the the attention of that of Jay Z and Kanye West as he created the instrumental for “H.A.M” which featured on the “Watch The Throne”. Some of my favorite Trap Beats is that of “Yella Diamonds” By Rick Ross produced by Beat Billionaire. I just like the tricks and the sound used in the instrumental. The orchestra shots really give great energy for Rick Ross. I like the way you can hear the hard 808 kick more than the sub 808 too.

What defines Trap Beats?

Most Trap beats are constructed at 140bpm and tend to a have repetitive structure. Most the instrumentation is minimal. Most of the changes in the instrumental comes from the drums where the drums change over and over again.

Most trap beat makers look for changes in the snare rolls where the change the snare to 16/1 notes to 32/1 notes and use this effect for the high hats. This might create weird rake kind of sound that is heard many time in Trap Beats  . There is a lot of brass sound used in the instrumental’s that tend to follow the bass note’s of the beat.

The drums tend to change if a verse is 16 bars long. Having a different drum pattern In the first 8 bars and may drop out the kick or change the kick for the second 8 bars and have a different more busy with percussion for the chorus. One sound that I can hear regularly in trap music is that of the low crowd chant that can be heard under the snare sound.

Trap producers tend to use a high sound like that of whistle that creates a melody in the track. Some elements of trap music can be heard by listening to the rim shot sound that is trigger at the end of each fourth bar. Trap Beats to have a lot of sound effect’s to show the listener that there is a different pattern in the song structure. This can be heard by shuffling effect or a rising sfx made by the turning the cut-off on the synthesizer.

This will rise up the chorus or show a change in the verse.A Trap Beats producer like Lex Luger’s is well know for the using this effect and is seen with his signature in the trap instrumentals that are made by him.