There was a time, when trap music, EDM trap music to be specific, was actually kind of fucking interesting. It wasn’t just a bunch of hacks jerking off in Ableton to the thought of being famous.

There was a time when EDM trap (let’s just fucking call it trap from here on out) was fresh. It was innovative, it was made by people with talent.

I remember 2012 when trap really took off. I was at SXSW and the Flosstradamus remix of Major Lazer’s “Original Don” had just dropped. That was THE TRACK of that SXSW. You could not avoid it. Within a few months trap had taken over dance music and totally upended all the music that had been popular just before. It was like tsunami.

Now that the wave has pulled out it’s hard to think of it in the context of those glory days. It’s in a weird spot because it’s still being made but not cool anymore (sorry folks) and yet already it sounds like a different time. There will be a revival at some point. There always is.

I would say you can credit EDM trap for paving the way for the current rap dominance of pop music. It primed a lot of white people for actual rap music. Also, interestingly, it was influenced by rap music but then influenced rap music. Rap music today wouldn’t be the same if trap had never been popular.

I feel like because it’s music that is not yet considered classic, there is a danger of much of the original material not being preserved. I had initially wanted to compile this playlist on Spotify but you can’t find most of the essential tracks of 2011-2013 on that platform. Luckily there is still Soundcloud. The very platform that served as one of the incubators of trap music is also it’s preserver.

So here it is. 50 essential tracks. Let’s relive the time when everyone ⍵℞○✟⍷ ⍳⌠kℨ ♱ℌ⎮⎎: