On September 30, 2018, T.I. unveiled a new museum to commemorate the impact Trap Music has on today’s culture. Initially, Trap Music emerged from the South, which is home of the hottest original trap rappers like Gucci Mane, Three 6 Mafia, Jeezy, OutKast, UGK, and Master P. The low 808 bass, snappy snares, pipe flutes, and catchy verses provides a unique sound we can hear and feel. It’s no wonder Trap Music has been so influential and embedded into the hip hop world.

Tip “T.I.” Harris dropped his album, Trap Muzik, in 2003 just 15 years ago. His album refers back to his experiences coming up in the streets of Westside Atlanta, where he found his voice. “I wanted to make a classic. I knew I had to make timeless music, which could stand the test of time”, the rapper told Noisey — and that it did.

Trap Music Museum

The museum is partnered with Escape Room ATL, veteran Hip-Hop journalist Maurice Garland, creative artist DL Warfield, and others. Artists who have helped to bring the genre to the forefront of mainstream culture are include: 21 Savage, Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, Future, and Young Jeezy, all of whom will be highlighted in the showcase.

Similar to an escape room, participants will also have a chance to crack codes to “Escape the Trap”. Each set is designed to take you through the experience of the trap culture’s inception as well as the dysfunctional family ties and hardships many face in the streets. Guests can even sign prison walls during this memorable interactive experience.

Trap Music Museum

Its message is to define society’s standards and to rise above stigmas of Hip-Hop culture. In the words of a trusted writer at Pitchfork.com, “Trap Muzik presents the trap as not just a setting or a sound or a state of mind, but as a portal into the self.”

The infamous Bankhead neighborhood will house the Trap Music Museum. Just in time for A3C week, Atlanta’s annual Hip-Hop festival, the Trap Music Museum will be open to the public on October 5th at 630 Travis Street NW, Atlanta, GA.

For more information visit the official Trap Music Museum website.

Written by Chelsea McKain

The Pros & Cons of Indie Artists

words by ViV C.

I’ve always been told that if you want something done right, you should do it yourself. It seems that quite a few of today’s indie artists are taking heed to those very words and doing just that when it comes to plotting the trajectory of their career.  After watching previous generations of artists wrestle with infamously crooked deals (a la Chuck Berry, New Edition, N.W.A., & TLC), major contract deals aren’t the golden goose they once were for up and coming indie artists. Choosing to focus on the indie route is sometimes not an easy decision to make and indie artists often have to choose between pursuing a bigger stage or having complete artistic control over their creative process and it’s fruits.

Artistic Control

Speaking of artistic control, when asked, it’s one of most indie artists’ major reasons for deciding to do things their way. When it comes to production, writing, release dates and even merchandise packaging nothing compares to being able to release a project the way an artist envisions it. Nothing comes without sacrifice though and one of the biggest hurdles for indie artists is exposure. Being an independent artist requires footwork, patience, and lots of grassroots efforts to have your art be seen and heard. Something to keep in mind is that record labels often provide massive financial backing for artists’ projects, however it’s usually at the expense of some level of artistic control, the possibility of release delays or even a shelved album. While choosing to be an indie artist means footing the bill for your own tours, marketing, and appearances it’s worth the grind.

Work Harder, Move Smarter

Putting in the work does pay off and with so many critically popular and lucrative artists like Tech N9ne, Freddie Gibbs, and Guwop going hard as free agents, some records labels are starting to offer partnership deals similar to the one 21 Savage recently signed with Epic. These partnerships allow artists who have already built up their fan-base independently to use that fan-base as leverage to negotiate keeping control of their masters, and their creative process.

Keep Hustling

Despite any hurdles, I think most indie artists would tell you that the journey and the grind are extremely worth it. So stay inspired, check out some super trill artists’ thoughts on why being indie is the move down below.