The Death of Trap, a Eulogy (1998 - 2015)

Yesterday Trap died at the age of 17, killed like so many terms before it by adorable white people.
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Yesterday Trap died at the age of 17, killed like so many terms before it by adorable white people.

Family, friends, well wishers, welcome. We are gathered here today to mourn the passing of Trap, whose life was cut short yesterday at the tender age of 17, killed like so many hip-hop terms before him by adorable white people. 

But let us not hang our heads low, eyes heavy with years. Rather, we come here today not to lay blame or mourn but to celebrate! Trap would not have wanted us to cry, trap would have wanted us to get Lit, so let us now get Lit in his memory!

Trap was born a poor kid on the streets of the South in the '90s. At first he was just a baby really, a simple and humble term that referred to a real, physical place, a place outside the bounds of the law and mainstream society, a place that, let us not do him the disservice of lying about his past, was used to sell hardcore narcotics.

Trap then took his first wobbly, teetering steps into the larger world in '98 under the watchful gaze of Big Boi, who mentioned him on “SpottieOttieDopaliscious.” But while Big Boi might have taught Trap how to walk, it was T.I. who truly raised him into a man. By the time Trap Muzik dropped Trap was no longer a place, it was an entire subgenre of hip-hop, a lifestyle, and thanks to some wise guidance from Uncle Jeezy, Trap soon became a star in its own right. 

Trap might have easily reached its peak there with Jeezy in 2009, but no, its story was only just beginning. Trap had already graduated from the streets to major label albums, but it was Trap's Godfather, Gucci Mane and his 1017 disciples who truly brought Trap into the internet age in 2012 and elevated Trap into something even bigger again, a hashtag, a symbol, a worldwide phenomenon, the trap most of us know best. Over the next few years it would grow even more distant from its once meager beginnings, traveling beyond the confines of the South, adopted by Harlem Lords, learned by rap bloggers with beards and embraced by European EDM DJs, for whom Trap was nothing more than a sound completely divorced from any physical location. Let us pause here to marvel at how astounding this rise was, how far Trap travelled. Oh, how the word of the street doth spread like the most powerful winds across the globe! How mighty was the Trap!

And then, eventually, fatefully, Trap made its way to the door of a young rapper from New Jersey with one eye, who married it to a Queen and low and behold, that marriage was fruitful beyond comprehension. 

Trap was now the centerpiece of the most streamed song in all of North America, an accomplishment that both brought its prominence to previously unimaginable heights and stuck the dagger in its back that would eventually bleed it dead. For although Trap has started as a place of destitution, quite literally one of the most deadly places in America, it was now so stripped of any semblance of danger that white girls with acoustic guitars could sing about it during the Henry E. Lackey High School Talent Show of 2015 to much acclaim. And from there its death at the hands of George Dalton was inevitable. 

But let us not blame Fetty Wap or the young Dalton. When the mosquito bites and gives some unfortunate soul malaria do we blame the mosquito? No. As Shakespeare said, all the world is but a stage and every creature is merely playing its part, often blind to its role in the larger play. And this is why we should not mourn my friends, for while any death is sad, it is but the natural order of things. Like Bling, like Crunk, like indeed all of us, we have but our time on this Earth. Immortality is afforded to no man, or woman, or creature, or term first used by rappers.

I recognize many of you from our recent service for Swag, and I'd like to extend our prayers to Fleek, Turn Up and Lit, who I know would have loved to have been here today but are unfortunately deathly ill themselves. I'd also like to send my condolences to Trap's family, the Stash and the Bando, who are with us today. I'm so sorry for your loss.  

I know many of you are still shocked at Trap's death, it seems like just yesterday we saw him seemingly alive and healthy, but while it will take months until Trap truly disappears, you can't erase a legacy so enormous so quickly, let us not prop up Trap's corpse, that's not what Trap would have wanted. Trap would have wanted us to remember it as it was in its early days, alive and vibrant and yes, even dangerous. So let us now, for one last time, visit the trap.

Again, donations to help pay Fleek's mounting medical bills can be made at the front of the church, your help is greatly appreciated. Unfortunately I know I will see you all again soon, but that is simply the way of the world. There is no other path but birth and death. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we now lay your soul to rest. Trap, you may be gone, but you are not forgotten. 


[By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.]