The previous decade has seen the rise of trap music from its 90s local scene in Atlanta. Since 2010, both independent and mainstream artists have placed hits on the singles charts. From Shawty Redd, Young Jeezy, and TI. to Migos, XXXTentacion, and Travis Scott, trap music has definitely become one of the mainstream's most trendy subgenres over the past years.
Contrary to popular belief, trap music is not necessarily synonymous with mumble rap. Mumble rap is mainly characterized by its almost unintelligible delivery, using trap beats filled with kick drums and ambient synths.
Here are four of the most successful trap hits from the last five years to witness the rise of trap music towards mainstream audiences.
"Trap Queen" (2015)
This is Fetty Wap's debut single, first released in 2014 before being included in his eponymous debut album in 2015. It was a sleeper hit, later entering the Billboard Hot 100 in the middle of 2015 before breaking through the top ten. The hit trap music ultimately peaked at the second spot. "Trap Queen" moved around the Hot 100 top ten for 25 consecutive weeks.
"Black Beatles" (2016)
First released in September 2016, "Black Beatles" propelled the hip-hop siblings Rae Sremmurd. Its sudden fame is largely due to the viral exposure the trap music track enjoyed as the background music for the then-trending "Mannequin Challenge." It served as the first chart-topping single for brothers and artists Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee of Sremmurd, and Gucci Mane, who was featured on the track.
It peaked at no. 1 in the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as the Hot R&B/ Hip-Hop Songs and the Rhythmic charts. It also topped singles charts in numerous countries including New Zealand, the UK, and Australia.
"Bad and Boujee" (2016)
Shortly after the release of "Black Beatles," another trap music single dominated the airwaves and later, the singles chart. Migos and Lil Uzi Vert's "Bad and Boujee" was a hit because of its Internet presence. Memes featuring the song's lyrics "rain drop, drop top" appeared in online forums.
It was also the trap music hit that would mark Migos' and Lil Uzi Vert's first foray on the top of the Billboard Hot 100. It would be toppled for one week by Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You." Migos and Vert would reclaim their position a week after. "Bad and Boujee" would stay for another two weeks before losing again to Ed Sheeran.
It has been featured in the American sitcom "Black-ish." Moreover, during its time at the top, other variants of the word "boujee," itself a variant of "bougie" from bourgeoisie, has seen increased usage across various social media platforms.
"Bodak Yellow" (2017)
"Bodak Yellow" is both the major-label debut and the breakthrough work for rapper Cardi B. It was influenced by Kodak Black's "No Flockin," adapted by Cardi with samples from the earlier track. It also served as the lead single for her successful debut album "Invasion of Privacy" in 2018.
Cardi B's trap music hit topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks. It marked her as the first female rapper to top the singles chart solo in almost two decades. It succeeded Lauryn Hill's 1998 hit "Doo Wop (That Thing)."