The Trap - PhMuseum

The Trap

Vincent Desailly

2018 - 2019

“I couldn’t be rapping about shutting down the clubs because I wasn’t in the clubs. I was in the trap house. I was on the corner.We didn’t know the fun we were having would give birth to a whole genre and inspire a generation of artists after us. Trap music. The whole process was crude and unrefined. What we were making wasn’t radio-ready and definitely not destined for the charts. When I think about trap I think about something raw. Something that hasn’t been diluted. Something with no polish on it. Music that sounds as grimy as the world that it came out of.”

Gucci Mane - known as the “Trap God” and as one the creator of Trap music.

From The Autobiography of Gucci Mane (2018), co-written by Neil Martinez-Belkin, edited by Simon & Schuster.

In our collective psyche, Atlanta is a city associated with Coca Cola, the 1996 Olympics and its airport, the busiest in the world. However, in recent years, Georgia’s capital has become a worldwide cultural epicenter for an entirely new reason: Atlanta is the birthplace of trap music. Alike Detroit and the Motown movement in the 60’s or britpop in Manchester during the late 90’s, Atlanta is the latest post-industrial city to give birth to new musical era.

This new style of very popular rap, has reinvented all the standards of the genre. It is characterized by very slow beats and lyrics that are centered around drug trafficking. In fact, its name is a direct reference to the drug trade: trap houses are crack houses in abandoned neighbourhoods, where all kinds of drugs are prepared and sold. 

This serie is an intimate deep dive into the cradle of trap music: the southern neighbourhoods of Atlanta, their tropical climate, their moist and humid air.

A world in which the stars of the genre return home regularly, receiving a hero’s welcome and being treated like role models by a large part of the community. 

In order to capture the unique atmosphere and musical era that’s currently being written, we navigate between the different places that make up the lives of its key actors: the iconic Magic City strip club, improvised home studios, trap houses and street corners. There, we meet various characters, famous rappers or aspiring stars, observers and fans.

This is not meant to be a photojournalistic treatment, I believe it's a more subjective treatment of a real, tangible cultural movement and the community it came out of.

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