Playlist: Liquid Trap

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What “trap” is associated with today is a lot different than what it meant in the 90’s and early Aughts. Trap used to refer to a style of Southern Rap that focused on drug-dealing and the idea that getting out of that life was nearly impossible. The music itself generally featured beats created on an 808 with heavy snare rolls and skittering hi-hats alongside sub-bass lines, and rappers like Gucci Mane and Three 6 Mafia helped make the genre popular. As time went on, EDM artists started to pull from Trap and use various elements in their own compositions. It should also be noted that most of these EDM artists made shit music, but the molly-eating masses ate it up because it had huge drops and the other garbage nonsense these people look for in a song. The perfect example of this new type of Trap would be that horrible “Harlem Shake” song by Baauer, and it was around this point that anything associated with the word “trap” was avoided by anyone with any musical taste.

So if you’ve made it this far without unsubscribing to aDeadKid because of this post’s title, you might be thinking, “Yeah man, Trap sucks, so why are you giving us this playlist?” That’s a good question, and a question to which I have an answer. There are a lot of cool aspects to what the OG Trap artists did, and people started to incorporate these into songs that weren’t meant for stadium festival drops. In fact, many figured they could mix parts of Trap with more laid-back or experimental genres like Chillwave and Future Garage, and Liquid Trap was born.

Liquid Trap (sometimes called Chill Trap or even Future Bass, because genres are fuzzy), is a different beast altogether. The double-time, triple-time, and even quadruple-time hi-hats are still there, along with 808 kicks and hard snares, but you also might find the pitched vocals of Future Garage, the side-chained pads of Chillwave, or the rolling basslines of Liquid Drum & Bass present. Essentially, the songs were toned down a bit and made much more atmospheric, and to be honest, I love this stuff.

That isn’t to say all Liquid Trap is nothing but pads and floating samples; there is a lot out there that stays closer to Trapstep and whatever other crap you’ll hear at some festival, so it goes without saying that although I am endorsing a fair amount of the genre, there are still some real stinkers out there. If you come across them, don’t blame me.

This time around I did the playlist through SoundCloud, since a lot of these artists aren’t on Spotify. I apologize that this playlist is through my artist account, but I didn’t really have a choice. Just ignore the stupid picture of me on the player. Full disclosure though, I did shamelessly throw a track of my own into the playlist. Overall it fits into Liquid Trap, although it does change to breakbeats at some point because I’m a wild man.

Original photo of Baauer from billboard.com. Classic “I SUCK” treatment added by yours truly.

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