EDM trap music

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An example of EDM with trap-inspired elements (Arabian Riches by Audial)

EDM trap (simply known as trap) is a fusion genre of hip hop, rave music and EDM (electronic dance music),[5] that originated in the early 2010s on peaking popularity of big room house and trap music genres. It blends elements of trap, which is an offshoot of Southern hip hop, with elements of electronic dance music like build-ups, drops, dense production with dynamic rave synthesizers, sound designs and breakdowns.[6] As it was popularized, it increasingly began incorporating more pop elements.


In 2012, a style of electronic dance music (EDM) incorporated elements of trap music,[7] creating "dirty, aggressive beats [and] dark melodies."[7] Electronic music producers, such as TNGHT, Baauer, RL Grime, Flosstradamus and Yellow Claw (DJs) expanded the popularity, and brought wider attention to the derivative forms of trap.[8] This genre saw the use of techno, dub, and electro sounds combined with the Roland TR-808 drum samples and vocal samples typical of trap.[8]

In the later half of 2012, these various offshoots of trap became increasingly popular and made a noticeable impact on the American electronic dance music scene.[9] The music was initially dubbed simply as "trap" by producers and fans, which led to the term "trap" being used to address the music of both rappers and electronic producers, to much confusion among followers of both. Instead of referring to a single genre, the term "trap" has been used to describe two separate genres of hip hop and dance music.[10] The new wave of the genre has been labeled by some as "EDM trap" to distinguish it from the rap genre. The terms "trap-techno" and "trapstep" are often labeled by producers to describe the musical structure of an individual track. The evolving EDM trap has seen incorporation and stylistic influences from dubstep, in which trap has been hailed as the superseding phase of dubstep during the mid 2010s. The new phase typically plays at 140 BPM with strong bass drops, which has been growing in popularity since 2013.[11]

In 2013, a fan-made video by Filthy Frank (also known as Joji), of electronic trap producer Baauer's track "Harlem Shake" became an internet meme, propelling the track to become the first trap song to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100.[12] This challenge consisted of one person dancing to the rhythm of the song until the beat dropped, in which then whoever else within the video would dance along with the person dancing in the beginning. Five EDM trap producers performed at the 2013 Ultra Music Festival in the United States, including DJ Craze, Baauer and Flosstradamus.[7] The 2013 Tomorrowland festival featured a "trap stage".

On February 10, 2013, All Trap Music released their debut compilation album which featured 19 tracks from artists including RL Grime, Flosstradamus, Baauer, Bro Safari and 12th Planet. Described by the music press as the first album of its kind[13][14] it reached number two in the iTunes dance chart with Vibe stating it was "the world's biggest-selling EDM trap album ever."[11] In 2013, DJ Snake and Lil Jon released the single "Turn Down for What", which became both a commercial hit charting in several countries and a critical hit. Rolling Stone voted "Turn Down for What" as the second best song of 2014, saying that, "The year's nutsiest party jam was also the perfect protest banger for a generation fed up with everything. DJ Snake brings the synapse-rattling EDM and Southern trap music; Lil Jon brings the dragon-fire holler for a hilarious, glorious, glowstick-punk fuck you."[15]

Trap music has also found fame internationally, especially in South Korea. South Korean boy band BigBang was one of the earliest groups to bring trap into the K-pop sphere with commercial hit singles such as "Good Boy" (2014) by its members GD X Taeyang and "Bang Bang Bang" (2015).[16] In 2018, South Korean girl group Blackpink released the commercially and critically successful single "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du", which propelled the trap sound to "global heights." Rolling Stone recognized "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du" for having perfected and popularized K-pop's EDM trap template, and named it the sixth best Korean song of all time.[17]

Trap began to fuse with synth-pop and emo pop in the late 2010s when Philadelphia producer group Working on Dying began to produce Eternal Atake the third studio album by Francisville rapper Lil Uzi Vert. Brandon Finessin of Working on Dying earned eight producer credits Lil Uzi Vert’s emo rap album, adding hyperpop and EDM elements to tradition trap drum sequences. This led to Lil Uzi Vert and Brandon Finessin leading the Billboard charts collaboratively on the Producers and Songwriters Top 100s.[18] This caused an offshoot scene of hyperpop trap beats to emerge from minor YouTube producers based on Working on Dying’s electronic approach to trap music.

A new subgenre of trap music referred to as trapwave (or hardwave) emerged also in late 2010s that fuses trap music with synthwave.


  1. ^ "What is Twerk Music? | 100 BPM Trap - Bounce Music - Run the Trap". 3 June 2013.
  2. ^ "Home". rtrap.org.
  3. ^ "SLANDER Channel Heaven Trap Roots in New Collaboration with Jason Ross". 29 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Exploring Wave, Beatport's Newest Genre". 15 April 2021.
  5. ^ Hip Hop around the World: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. December 2018. p. 701. ISBN 9780313357596. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  6. ^ "An Idiot's Guide to EDM Genres". Complex. October 13, 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Bein, Kat. "Top Five Trap Stars at Ultra Music Festival 2013". Miami New Times. Archived from the original on 2014-10-22. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "What is Trap Music? Trap Music Explained". Run The Trap. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  9. ^ Wagner, David (2012-12-06). "The New Music Genres of 2012, in Order of Ridiculousness". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  10. ^ Drake, David. "The Commodification of Southern Rap's Drug-Fueled Subgenre". Complex. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  11. ^ a b "'What the hell is Trap music (And why is Dubstep involved)'". LA Weekly. 2012-04-10. Archived from the original on 2012-10-07. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  12. ^ Wagner, David (February 13, 2013). "The Harlem Shake Meme Is Dead". The Atlantic Wire. The Atlantic Monthly Group. Archived from the original on February 20, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
  13. ^ Herr, Lindsay (2014-08-14). "All Trap Music Mini Mix". Earmilk. Archived from the original on 2014-08-19. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  14. ^ "V Premiere: "All Trap Music" Minimix from AEI". Vibe. 2013-01-28. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  15. ^ "Turn Down For What". Rolling Stone. 3 December 2014.
  16. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (20 November 2014). "G-Dragon & Taeyang Combine Powers for Big, Booming Banger 'Good Boy". Billboard. Billboard.com. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  17. ^ "The 100 Greatest Songs in the History of Korean Pop Music". Rolling Stone. 2023-07-20. Archived from the original on July 20, 2023. Retrieved 2023-07-20.
  18. ^ "Brandon Finessin & Lil Uzi Vert Lead Hot 100 Producers, Songwriters Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-03-15.