Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, June 21, 2024

Record Routine: Trapo shines on 'Shade Trees'

Shade Trees, the latest project by 18-year-old Madison rapper Trapo, could possibly be the project that puts Madison on the map in the world of hip-hop.

After releasing his EP She earlier this year, Trapo garnered the attention of various music blogs across the country, giving the young rapper a larger national fan base. Performances in Chicago and New York also gave underground hip-hop fans a chance to witness his energy and passion for themselves.

With a voice that stands in a lane of its own, Trapo’s willingness to rap about his hardships in life give him a unique advantage over his peers. Shade Trees combines his distinctive singing and intense rapping with stories of heartbreak, desire and ambition.

Despite his age, Trapo seems to have a deep and profound understanding of how the world works. Opening the album with the dreamlike track “Love Is,” Trapo switches between singing and rapping with haunting emotion.

The next two tracks, “In the Shade” and “Riot” feature some of Trapo’s most boastful and aggressive lyrics. With help from rising Chicago star, Saba, the duo deliver verses that predict their domination of the rap game.

Setting his sights on the hip-hop world, Trapo flows over gorgeous production as he reveals his ambition comes from the desire to make a better life for himself, his family and his friends. “Stop Me” encapsulates the motivation flowing through Trapo’s veins and his desire to overcome every obstacle in his way.

“Nobody saw it coming. It’s a classic. I just made a couple racks off the last one. I’m flashy. I’m stacking like some clothes in a basket. Imagine the things we could do with some time and some practice,” Trapo spits with furious energy.

One of Shade Trees’ strongest attributes is the production. With instrumentals predominantly created by Wisconsin producers, the project blends brooding synths, snapping percussion, heavy bass and jazzy guitars into a unique sound that compliments Trapo’s mature voice. The seamlessness between the vocals and instrumentals make it nearly impossible to imagine the rising star rapping over any other type of production.

While similar thematically, the tracks differ greatly in their individual sound, allowing Trapo to dive deep into emotional territory.

From the get-go, the song “Speed” penetrates deep into your thoughts and feelings. It digs deeper and deeper until the chilling acoustic finale. With a major change of pace from the rest of the album, it is one of the slowest, most intimate songs on the album.

The song is a long drive through the countryside on a dark night alone with your thoughts. It gives off a surreal feeling that makes you want to escape these thoughts, but as soon as that sensation is gone, it feels like something is missing.

Released as the first single from the album, “Beg,” featuring Skizzy Mars, is a reassuring song about relationships and not needing one to be happy in the first place. While several songs on the project focus on love or the search for a girl to spend time with, “Beg” flips the script and puts Trapo in a position to focus on his happiness before needing a relationship.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox

“You’re gonna beg for me when that old phone don’t ring no more,” he sings on the chorus. It’s a message that shows Trapo is putting himself before anyone else.

As the end of the album approaches, “Shade,” the only track without vocals, chimes in the listener’s ears. An overwhelming sense of calmness and happiness takes over as the track lingers on.

Trapo closes out Shade Trees with the song “Youth,” giving a simple word of advice: Enjoy life while you’re young. The song dives into everyone’s desire to grow up and get on with life. He advises that people focus on bettering themselves instead of trying to be an adult.

Commenting on the constant boasting from rappers wanting to become stars by doing everything they can to reach their future goals, Trapo focuses on living in the present. The ironic part is that living in the moment is what makes Trapo’s project good.

He makes ambitious music that isn’t bogged down by reaching a certain point. Instead, his music is pushed forward by taking risks and making his own path. Trapo has what many other rappers don’t: the potential and original vision needed to rise to the top.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Cardinal