What began as a marginalized movement on the outskirts of society, has now instated itself as the epicentre of popular culture in Spain. Rap, and particularly trap music, has taken over mainstream audiences. The visibility, presence, and influence of the Latin and Spanish trap scene have placed Hispanic culture at the helm of the global youth.
The ‘normalization’, if you will, of Spain’s rap and trap music is reflected in its audience. An audience that has become much more varied over the past decade, steering away from the stereotypes that plagued the genre at the beginning of the millennium, when trap music was born. You can no longer pinpoint which type of consumer listens to this genre and which doesn’t. Not that we’re necessarily saying that before you could take one look at someone and guess 100% correctly which music they listened to. It’s simply that nowadays, underground rap and trap music listeners span various generations, classes, and subcultures. The palatability of the genre is no longer inherent to the community it is kindled by. Before, trap music and underground rap fans were largely drawn to this music as a pseudo-mass preached from and for the very entrails of their communities, whose themes and lyrics delved into and reflected their own struggles and daily life.
Why trap music in Spain is at the centre of youth culture
One of the reasons why trap music and underground rap have such an avid fanbase is because they emerged from deep within Youtube. It did not get big by standing on the shoulders of huge music record companies. Rather these genres stand on the shoulder of the youth, the masses that picked it up from the deepest darkest corners of Youtube and brought it into the light as contemporary hymns. That’s precisely its appeal. It belongs to the people. It represents the youth. It makes you a part of something. Moreover, trap music, in particular, being the hybrid of genres that it is, touching on hip-hop, electronic music, dancehall, reggaeton, lo-fi and anything and everything that includes a voice through a vocoder. All in all, it’s q tough genre to pinpoint compared to its predecessor, purebred rap.
At the centre of it all is a demographic that wants their strife to be heard. It’s the same story that’s been told before: In every new era, the youth has its own struggles which more often than not are dismissed as unimportant by the rest of society. A genre of music, or movement, then emerges as a form of expression, a dissident attitude that seeks to forge its way in the world in such a manner that often puzzles, confuses, and at times even infuriates older generations. But suddenly many who felt lost, find themselves in these new sounds and take it upon themselves to be part of said movement because it means they too can be a part of something.
Spanish women in trap music: Leading the charge of female empowerment
One of the most notable differences between the current trap music and underground rap scene nowadays, when compared to its preceding eras, is the presence, force, and sheer empowerment of women in the genre. In the past, these genres were permeated by patriarchy, the visibility of women limited to scantily clothed backup dancers, a few vocals during the chorus here and there at most. Not that there’s any issue with scantily clothed women, the issue was that it arose as a result of the enforced male gaze through which women were portrayed. Nowadays, the Spanish underground rap and trap music scene is host to an array of female powerhouses.
Some of the most successful rap and best trap artists in Spain are women. La Zowi, Bad Gyal, the late Gata Cattana, Ptazeta, Kyne… All of them are brilliant trap artists, whose talent is on par with that of Yung Beef, Cecilio G, Israel B, Morad… To name a few.
All of these female artists, as well as countless others, have transformed the genre and pushed through, making their voices heard and their vision respected and highlighted. Carving a space for themselves, as well as for all female artists that will come after them, in the industry. Proving once and for all that they belong.
At the end of the day, when it comes to trap music the best you can do is…
Just listen to it.