#TrapCovers: inspired by acoustic covers of Beyonce's 'Formation'
February 28, 2016 7:03 PM   Subscribe

The internet is full of interesting ebbs and flows, and a current push-pull started with Beyoncé's video for 'Formation' (previously), which she also featured in her Super Bowl show. Then came the much-derided acoustic covers. Those covers inspired Nathan Zed to do a trap cover of 'Hey Jude', and the #TrapCovers really took off from there (more on Twitter)
posted by filthy light thief (59 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you wanted to know more general history of trap: What is Trap Music?
posted by filthy light thief at 7:05 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Pretty much every #TrapCover I've seen so far I would really like to hear in full. So.
posted by threeants at 7:15 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


in before the "we r all 1 human race, i don't see color, silenced all my life" crowd
posted by threeants at 7:17 PM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


My fave is this Bohemian Rhapsody cover
posted by windbox at 7:18 PM on February 28, 2016 [12 favorites]


1/3 hip-hop, 1/3 EDM, 1/3 Dub.

Trap. This formula is too esoteric for me. But, I'm not young. The kids I know: it's YEAH, TRAP!
posted by kozad at 7:35 PM on February 28, 2016


this classic vine is making a comeback

I like these two different versions of "a thousand miles"

meanwhile, this is the only cover of "formation" white people should be doing
posted by naju at 7:37 PM on February 28, 2016 [11 favorites]


Yeah. No.
posted by the sobsister at 7:41 PM on February 28, 2016


counterpoint: yes
posted by naju at 7:45 PM on February 28, 2016 [52 favorites]


Pretty much every #TrapCover I've seen so far I would really like to hear in full. So.

YES. I'm way behind social media platforms and their related limitations, but I was a bit surprised that the tweets weren't linking to YouTube videos for clips longer than 20-30 seconds.

Also, I want to know where they're getting their beats. I love the beat(less beat) behind the Thousand Miles cover by Kesan (@WhatIsKiss).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:50 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah. No.

counterpoint: yes

HOT TAKE: maybe??
posted by threeants at 7:51 PM on February 28, 2016 [16 favorites]


meanwhile, this is the only cover of "formation" white people should be doing

Yeah! Prescriptive censorship! Woo-hoo! U.S.A! U.S.A.!
posted by the sobsister at 8:01 PM on February 28, 2016


lol irl
posted by poffin boffin at 8:08 PM on February 28, 2016 [22 favorites]


boo hoo white people aren't being allowed to ruin a thing, how will they go on in this oppressive restricted SEGREGATED ENVIRONMENT
posted by poffin boffin at 8:09 PM on February 28, 2016 [50 favorites]


Man, I’m just happy that we’re getting a new type of generic cover in circulation. Acoustic, metal, and punk are fine but also tired.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:28 PM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


[couple comments deleted. This is not the place to argue that white people are allowed to do anything they want. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:30 PM on February 28, 2016 [13 favorites]


My feeling on these acoustic covers is that they're so ... meh. I mean, some sound OK and all, but for this song? It's elevator music. People make elevator music, and maybe someone like it, but it's like Richard Cheese without the winking cheese.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:36 PM on February 28, 2016


Oh god finally I have been trying for ages to figure out what trap is without asking twitter because these are great and I'm not usually this old and out of it.
posted by quaking fajita at 8:42 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


This cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is great.
posted by t3h933k at 8:56 PM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh man, I love these! They are the best possible response to terrible covers of Formation. SO GREAT.
posted by Sokka shot first at 9:20 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


etymology of the coinage "trap" in this usage please and thank you
posted by mwhybark at 9:29 PM on February 28, 2016


etymology of the coinage "trap" in this usage please and thank you

Without looking it up (so this may be wrong), but it comes from trap house, which is like the house you go buy/use drugs at. Why it's called that I doubt there is a definitive answer but maybe because addicts go in and don't come out?

Music surrounding the gang/drug world is therefore trap music. See Gucci Mane for the #1 example of trap music.
posted by cell divide at 9:39 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


It took tremendous research, but I was finally able to persevere and discover a little known website which documents the etymology of this word.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 9:40 PM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


1/3 hip-hop, 1/3 EDM, 1/3 Dub.

Thats EDM Trap, which is not the Trap that is being referenced here. It's not entirely unrelated but very different. And it confused the hell out of me when a bunch of (primarily non-black) kids making dance music started calling it the same as an existing style of southern rap music about slanging. To bring it all back full circle to the topic of cultural appropriation...
posted by danny the boy at 10:11 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


culture is appropriation
posted by Sebmojo at 12:13 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I guess I am old and white, as all these seem to be is basically emotionless rap to a Casio keyboard. Stop trapping on my LAWN!
posted by Samizdata at 12:43 AM on February 29, 2016


It's too bad we're stuck in "what is trap" and "trap is bad" and can't make it to any of the punchlines or points.
posted by naju at 1:19 AM on February 29, 2016 [18 favorites]


Thats EDM Trap, which is not the Trap that is being referenced here. It's not entirely unrelated but very different. And it confused the hell out of me when a bunch of (primarily non-black) kids making dance music started calling it the same as an existing style of southern rap music about slanging. To bring it all back full circle to the topic of cultural appropriation...


To be a little clearer about the EDM Trap thing it started out with producers pretty directly inspired by and paying tribute to Southern rap production, or specifically by its compatibility in tempo and/or beat structure with dubstep and other genres that could be mixed in - hardstyle for example. Because of stuff like UZ's series of "Trap Shit" instrumentals and Flosstradamus sampling trap mixtape DJ tags kids from the EDM side came to know it just as "trap." And then it became more and more "EDM" and less and less "Hip Hop" musically.
posted by atoxyl at 1:50 AM on February 29, 2016


And yeah, if you can't look it up for some reason "Trap music" in the original sense (I wouldn't bet on this being the initial coinage but it's a well-known reference) does come from "trap house"/"the trap"/"trapping" as southern slang for drug dealing and places where drug dealing dealing happens.

Also I get the joke but I have no idea what's going on in this thread.
posted by atoxyl at 1:56 AM on February 29, 2016


The musical style they're referencing is more the 2010s style of trap rap (which has kind of eaten everything). Like this or this.
posted by atoxyl at 2:15 AM on February 29, 2016


#MefiSoWhite

(this is great and I want to know if anyone takes requests)
posted by divabat at 2:40 AM on February 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


Ok, can somebody please help an old man watch these?. The links take me to Twitter pages, the image or the links in the tweets just isolate the still image on black. I keep clicking but NO TRAP for me.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:45 AM on February 29, 2016


Folks if you don't get it this may not be for you.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:09 AM on February 29, 2016 [20 favorites]


It's too bad we're stuck in "what is trap" and "trap is bad" and can't make it to any of the punchlines or points.
posted by naju at 1:19 AM on February 29 [5 favorites +] [!]


Exactly. And as much as I love MeFi, this happens a LOT when someone does an FPP that's hip-hop related...
posted by tantrumthecat at 6:12 AM on February 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


I'm surprised it took this long for this to happen (these are awesome, by the way) - I remember in college a constantly-mislabeled-as-Phish acoustic version of Gin and Juice was always floating around on Napster and appearing in people's Winamp playlists.
posted by zempf at 6:24 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


bonobothegreat: the tweets should have embedded videos that have a Play button in the middle. Do those not show up for you?
posted by divabat at 6:26 AM on February 29, 2016


Oh my God these are wonderful - the TSwift one made me cackle
posted by brilliantine at 6:36 AM on February 29, 2016


i love these so much.
posted by nadawi at 6:59 AM on February 29, 2016


Now I understand the soundtrack to "Spring Breakers".

I am not the better for it.
posted by gsh at 7:00 AM on February 29, 2016


I'll admit, I do occasionally like hearing the occasional acoustic cover simply because they can be so different. Most of them are bad though, like all covers.

But these trap versions of "You Belong With Me" and "I'll Make a Man Out of You" need to be on my playlist. Seriously, the latter one might be better than even Jackie Chan's version of it.
posted by qcubed at 7:55 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


The best innapropriate cover by a white artist of a meaningful, politically charged song by a black perfomer that they really shouldn't have messed with, has to be this: Straight Outta Compton - Nina Gordon.
It's glorious.
posted by signal at 8:39 AM on February 29, 2016


See also: Gwyneth Paltrow drops some lines from "Straight Outta Compton" on The Graham Norton Show -- awkward white lady rapping, but it's got nothing on the soft loungey version from Nina Gordon.

Mentioned above, without mentioning the song: Richard Cheese makes "Gin And Juice" really swing.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:04 AM on February 29, 2016


Given the premise of this thread it seems particularly tone-deaf to start posting your favorite 'White people appropriate songs from black people for humor' links.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:06 AM on February 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


I think it provides a window into the wider world of (tone-deaf) musical tributes/appropriations, which is in itself an interesting topic (and probably a tangent too far for this particular thread).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:07 AM on February 29, 2016


Post: Black people are pushing back against white appropriation
Comment: Here's a funny video of a white woman singing the n-word several times
posted by shakespeherian at 9:12 AM on February 29, 2016 [15 favorites]


The best innapropriate cover by a white artist of a meaningful, politically charged song by a black perfomer that they really shouldn't have messed with, has to be this: Straight Outta Compton - Nina Gordon .

See also: Gwyneth Paltrow drops some lines from "Straight Outta Compton" on The Graham Norton Show -- awkward white lady rapping, but it's got nothing on the soft loungey version from Nina Gordon.

George Dalton covers “Trap Queen”
posted by Going To Maine at 9:41 AM on February 29, 2016


In an effort to completely sidestep the racial politics in music, I just want to thank you for this post from a pop trends standpoint. I love the evolution of all these different subgenres, (of course if southern rap is itself a subgenre, is trap as subsubsubgenre?) but am a woeful amateur when it comes to music theory and I always dig covers like this. Even when Passionpit pays an acoustic set it drives me while to see the same chord progressions and motifs without the production. Here seeing this trap production over such a familiar songs really is cool from a non political point.
posted by midmarch snowman at 10:23 AM on February 29, 2016


(of course if southern rap is itself a subgenre, is trap as subsubsubgenre?)

rap southern rap trap drill
posted by Going To Maine at 10:28 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


These are awesome and are improving my Monday to no end. My favorite so far might be the Spongebob Squarepants theme.
posted by rtha at 10:29 AM on February 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


Oh my god, rtha, that's killing me.

This whole thing is great; really enjoying that sort of frisson of disorientation at the start of each one trying to jump from the original in my head to the new meter and flow of the trap cover.
posted by cortex at 10:45 AM on February 29, 2016


Exactly. And as much as I love MeFi, this happens a LOT when someone does an FPP that's hip-hop related...


It's almost like posting stuff that's outside some people's comfort area is situation in which people lie in wait to make an attack... you might even call it a tra.... never mind.

I love these videos a lot for somebody who doesn't listen to a lot of music like this often. Like who knew that the way to my heart was for a stranger to sing 30 seconds of a trap cover of a Nirvana song? Not me but here we are.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:09 AM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


The Nathan Zed doing the Star Spangled Banner is like something from a Fox News viewers most feverish nightmare, and I am in love with it.

Related: I think I figured out why I like these covers so much. Everyone doing them is having Such A Good Time. It's infectious.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:47 PM on February 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


drill

that's not the south! but yeah those pseudo-808 + synth beats really took over everything - including in many ways "Formation"(produced by Mike WiLL)
posted by atoxyl at 1:07 PM on February 29, 2016


that's not the south! but yeah those pseudo-808 + synth beats really took over everything - including in many ways "Formation"(produced by Mike WiLL)

When southern rap kind of went national, Chicago went drill.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:35 PM on February 29, 2016


I remember seeing this unfold on Twitter in real-time last week. One thing that might be a little hard to appreciate after the fact is how quickly people were making these and posting them. Like a huge portion were in that initial wave over the course of just a few hours. There was a second wave that came in the next morning, but I really liked the rawness and spontaneity of that first batch.

Here are a few I managed to bookmark that I don't think have been linked yet:

A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton
Hello - Adele
Yellow - Coldplay
Shake it Off - Taylor Swift
Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
Photograph - Nickelback
Yellow Submarine - The Beatles
She Will Be Loved - Maroon 5
Golden Girls Theme Song (not to be confused with the gospel remix)
Wonderwall - Oasis
I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher
When September Ends - Green Day
Livin on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
Full House Theme Song
posted by mhum at 7:56 PM on February 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


It's almost like posting stuff that's outside some people's comfort area is situation in which people lie in wait to make an attack... you might even call it a tra.... never mind.

I see what you did there. :)
posted by tantrumthecat at 8:02 PM on February 29, 2016


That Wonderwall one is kind of sick, like I actually can't tell if she lost the rhythm at one point and did a good job recovering, or if she was on some serious intentional next-level cadence there.
posted by threeants at 8:12 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah, and speaking of trap: Tracing the Lineage of the Migos Flow (via this answer from an AskMe from last year).
posted by mhum at 12:21 AM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Someone should do a trap cover of Macklemore
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:05 AM on March 1, 2016


Potomac Avenue: Already done!
posted by divabat at 6:41 AM on March 2, 2016


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