Welcome to a new Rapzilla concept where you can both read the article and listen to the interview in podcast form. Today’s story is about Derek Minor explaining the overarching theme of The Trap.
Derek Minor is certainly living through his visionary stage as an artist. Last year, he set out on an ambitious four-part project called the “Up and Away Series.” The first two parts were Your Soul Must Fly and High Above. Part three is called The Trap. While the first two projects were EP’s, this one is a full blown album. Not only that, but it’s Minor’s opus as an artist. Most of the fans have said it, and he’ll say it himself.
The Trap is incredibly deep. In this two-hour conversation, Derek Minor joked that it was a “Hood Ph.D. breakdown.” And the best way to break down this project is to let Derek use his own words to speak about it. In part one of this conversation, Derek Minor will talk about the concept and creation of The Trap. Enjoy.
What is the Trap About?
Derek Minor: “The ten-thousand-foot view from the airplane of the album is, everyone, or most people, if you don’t know what the trap is; when you talk about it from Atlanta, T.I., Gucci Mane, invention of that whole scenario is a house where they’ll call it the trap because that’s where drugs would be sold. The reason why they would call it the trap is because usually it’s a very narrow situation to work out of, it’s an abandoned house, and it could be a trap. Police could raid it, and you get trapped inside. So that’s the whole idea of it. So I wanted to take that and apply.
That’s the big thing in music, especially in rap music. It’s been telling the story of living. It’s making the music and telling a story. Often times the story in rap music is [the] ‘from-zero-to-hero’ situation. The guy that starts off poor, works his way up through the streets. And that’s the narrative – works his way up through the streets, to go from selling drugs to being a superstar. Usually, the music details those journeys. So with commercialization, it’s crazy the idea that drug dealing and things of that nature have become a commercially viable form of entertainment. It’s mind-blowing. But that’s what it is, that’s where we are. I think often times when people hear those stories, most of those stories come from actual real-life events from the artist themselves, or people that they know, or just the environment that they grew up in and what they’ve seen over time.
So what I want to do is take that and have commentary on that whole world. I want to tell it from a different perspective because usually, you hear rappers talk about it – people think most rappers are glorifying that, and some are, but most aren’t glorifying the actual trap. Most are glorifying the idea of ‘I came from this, I beat this’. So when you hear rappers say ‘I got gold, I got chains,’ and etc. etc., usually people think those are super shallow individuals, and some are. But often times it’s almost like their Rocky story. It’s ‘hey, I’m not supposed to be here, and here’s why I’m not supposed to be here, because I came up from this and selling dope and whatever gave me the opportunity, along with music, to be a hero’.
I wanted to take that idea and I wanted to talk about the other side of it, which is usually for the people that don’t hit the lottery and become the biggest rapper of all time or are professional rappers with trap music.
There’s the actual stories of people going to prison. What makes a person choose selling dope? What happens to the people who use it? I want to tell that story. But then, if we were to zoom out, even more, I wanted to tell the bigger story of – ‘What is the ultimate trap for us all’? The ultimate trap is sin. That’s the trap, which for some of us, is greed. I can’t be charitable because I got to save and take as much money as I can because money makes me who I am. For some people, it’s womanizing, or whatever. Pick your trap; we all have one. So I wanted to take that and show the bigger picture of what’s happening in the life of the trap, like the hood trap, and the trap in all of our lives.
Another layer would be, most of these stories are personal to me like I don’t believe in naming names or whatever, but most of this is inspired by actual conversations I’ve had with people or people that are in my family and things I’ve seen personally with my own eyes.”
Check back next week as Derek Minor dives into the first six tracks of the record. Also, what do you think of this new reading and audio format? Let us know what you think in the comments.
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Interview conducted by Justin Sarachik, transcription provided by Ed Boice.