The Explicit-lyrics City

dpr-barcelona for Volume #52: The end of informality

Born in the US in the 90s, the trap music scene has recently increased in Spain after several years of assimilation. Since 2016, it has become a mainstream phenomenon. Marshall McLuhan would agree if we say that this is a success story rooted in the perfect combination of medium and message. Exclusively broadcasted through YouTube videos, trap has disseminated via mobile phones and social networks, which have played a fundamental role in its rapid expansion, turning it into an omnipresent phenomenon within urban city culture. The lyrics of trap songs are simple ‘stories’ about hedonistic lifestyles, often bragging about drugs, sex, social marginality and luxurious consumerism. Trap merges genres like hip hop and reggaeton, and can be characterized by its use of synthesizers and voice distortion by means of the Auto-Tune effect.

There are some languages specific to informality. The article ‘The explicit-lyrics City,’ written for Volume #52 ‘The End of Informality,’ uses trap music as an attempt to read some of these languages, with the intention to present other narratives that are an alternative to common approaches of mapping informality, which could draft for a new tool of understanding other semiotics of the city.

Read it while listening to The Explicit-lyrics City playlist in YouTube.

Language: English

Date: May 2018

Publisher: Volume