What The Hell Is Trap Music?

By Rebecca Haithcoat

You may have heard the term "trap music." You may even realize that what people are calling "trap music" today, which sounds a whole lot like dubstep, is not necessarily what people were calling "trap music" a few years ago.

So, what the hell is trap music?

Not too long ago, "trap" referred simply to a place where drugs were sold -- hence the title of T.I.'s 2003 breakout album Trap Muzik, and the line from Yung Joc's jittery snap song "It's Goin' Down": "Meet me in the trap."

There's something poetic about this usage, with overtones of being "trapped" in the lifestyle. Trap music derived from this slang, and was associated with dealing, gang-banging or sipping drank, i.e. codeine/promethazine cough syrup mixed with soda.