TRAP PUNK! Same values, New styles
Whether you’re talking old school or new school, hip hop has always been a “reactionary” genre in the sense that the trends and content of the culture are produced as a reaction to the social and political climate. All that really means is...when something is going down with the people, hip hop is going to tell you about it. Yet, there is another musical genre that I believe has these same reactionary roots as a culture: punk rock. These cultures move very similarly, and they also have the same common opposition: law enforcement.
Thinking about it in these terms, I think a lot of people will agree that N.W.A.’s “Fuck tha Police” is the first thing to come to mind. It’s one of the most iconic hip hop protest songs standing against police brutality and racial profiling. Now compare that anthem to punk rock band Black Flag’s “Rise Above” with lines such as “we are tired of your abuse/try to stop us it's no use.” So it’s clear that the content and ideals of the two cultures have similar values, but going to a hip hop show versus a punk rock show in the 80s and 90s would provide widely different experiences.
That’s not so true in the new school. The trap music subgenre might have you questioning how closely hip hop has fused with punk rock at this point. Local artist Caulfield brings a dark punk rock aesthetic to the stage, accompanied by an actual punk rock drummer Scott Sutton. Other groups like BYV and theYOD fuse anti-establishment themes into their music along with an anything-goes stage performance. We’re seeing this “trap punk” genre taking over in our home city and dominating the major stages.
It’ll be interesting to see where this goes from here, but one thing is sure, music will continue evolving and adapting as our culture does. Drop your thoughts in the comments below! In the meantime, support our local artists and check out the artists mentioned in this article below.