Well, folks, you can officially call it a wrap for “trap” music. As you might have heard, attention whore Lady Gaga “leaked” a rap song to the world that is basically her own take on the ever-increasingly popular trap sound. We’re talking big 808s, plenty of snappy snares, and all sorts of hi-hats.
The thing is, the beat I just described and even her raps are basically exactly what you would expect from your average “trap” joint that hits the web every 1.5 seconds or so. She “rhymes” about trick bitches, all the money she makes, and every other stereotypical thug-errific boast we’re so accustomed to these days.
Now to be fair to “trap music,” any hip-hop head with an ounce of knowledge will tell you that this sound has been around for years and years. It’s nothing new, per se, but like EDM, for example, it has broken into the mainstream and become commonplace. You know, like every other goddamn fad out there.
But now that Gaga’s taken on trap—in an obviously ironic and eye roll-inducing manner—is it time that we declare the sub-genre to be dead? Or is it simply going to retreat to the grimy underground it belongs and instead of in the forefront? Plenty of folks have argued that racism is at the heart of trap music becoming so popular, partially because it’s been utilized by folks who have never stepped in or near a trap house. Is this just like when Paula Abdul got MC Skat Kat to rap on her “Opposites Attract” single back in the late ’80s? Or will people just forget about this in a week because, you know, the Internet?
I know I’m asking a lot of questions here, but that’s mostly because I don’t have the answers. I also don’t know how to react to all of this. I kind of want to simply take it in stride and believe that all the elements of good-ass trap production can remain a staple in some circles. I also want to believe that there’s nothing racist about this because, honestly, that’s an entirely different discussion.
So all I can ask you to do is listen to the two versions of Gaga’s “Cake Like Gaga”—one is the original and the other is pitch-shifted to show that it is indeed her rapping—and answer as many of my questions as you can.