White background surrounding a tree and a square of Trapo under the Shade

The Career of Trapo

By Gio Gilmore
Music Journalist

Trapo, in case you haven’t heard of him, is a 20-year-old rapper, singer and producer from Madison, Wisconsin. He has been releasing projects to the public since 2015 with his project The Black Beverly Hills. I started to listen to his music a bit after he dropped TBBH when I heard his feature on Max Wonder’s song “Phone Call,” and since then I’ve been a major fan of his music.

Recently, he has announced through his Instagram that he has retired from music at the moment due to personal reasons relating to his mental health. With his retirement, he still has much in his discography in the five years of his music career. Trapo’s previous projects include The Black Beverly Hills (2015), She (2016), Shade Trees (2018), and Oil Change (2018) as well as singles between projects. Before his retirement announcement, the talk of his debut album Ford 4 Door was teased and anticipated from his fans including myself.

Each project, to me, made for an amazing album from start to finish. Some highlights in the beginning of his career are songs like “Ease My Soul,” “Cigarillos,” “Magic” and many more. “Modelo,” one of the singles of the TBBH mixtape, was a song that just hypnotized me into being a fan of his with the flow he puts on the song along with the instrumentals. Being the same age he is when I first heard TBBH, it made me appreciate the music being made by someone so young and at my age too. In the early years of his career, he would get many comparisons to Chicago’s rapper Mick Jenkins due to his raspy voice, but he shot down those comparisons in “CTBTS.” Throughout his discography, only a few features have touched his projects except for a few rappers like Allan Kingdom, Max Wonders, Saba, and Skizzy Mars. Even with little to no features in his music Trapo is still able to put his all in each song. With being fully independent and still turning down labels, Trapo made a big impact with his music career.

Trapo performing live at a show on his tour.
Trapo performing live during his Shade Tree Tour, used for the cover of “Road.”

In some of the midway peaks of his career he had songs like “Chicago” that rose to the Spotify charts while “Global Viral Charts” hit No. 2. Over the years, with rapping and putting many hits out for his audience, he was quickly named one of Pigeon and Planes “20 under 20” for three years in a row and Best New Artist when he dropped his first mixtape. He was also able to open for some big artists when they went on tour like Chance the Rapper and Vince Staples.

With early retirement came the disappearance of most of his early projects on streaming services. Every mixtape and EP of his disappeared besides the newest called Oil Change. Even with a lot of his music being not available anymore I still suggest to checkout the music that he has on streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud.

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