Wednesday, May 24, 2017

TRAP Karaoke Is a Thing, and I'm Here For It

Trappin' in the Q.C.

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 7:00 AM

This past Sunday at 3 p.m., for the second time in the past two months I might add, I was standing in a cellphone repair shop hoping to fix my phone screen. *Sighs.*

I don't know about you, but I'm no habitual cellphone breaker, so you can imagine my disgust at having to pay upwards of $150 to get my screen replaced twice in such a short period of time. Nevertheless, the cracked screen was a reminder of yet another epic weekend in the Queen City.

How many times can you run into the same person and not remember having had a conversation with them? In this specific incidence, the first time came on Food Truck Friday. I'd received a tap on my back and turned to hear the words, "Two days in a row?" Stunned, I responded without quickly recalling sharing small talk with the man in front of me from the night before. As he walked away, however, the embarrassing introduction I'd given at 5Church's five-year anniversary shindig started to flood back to me. All I could think for the next day was how many times this had happened to me before. The answer was, way too many.

So, why was my phone broken, you ask? Well, after a few escapades around the Q.C. on Thursday and Friday, Saturday was actually so lit, my brain nor my phone could keep up. Ink N Ivy, 5Church, AA5, SIP (yes, two weekends in a row), The Corner Pub, Murphy's Kitchen, Sycamore Brewing, Workman's Friend and Whiskey Warehouse. Even after making so many moves already, I knew I was going to have to keep the party going because my old roommate was coming into town for TRAP Karaoke at The Underground on Saturday (more on that later).

But first, in true Joanne the Scammer fashion, why not scam my way into a boat trip on Lake Wiley for a little pregame? I grabbed a bottle of champagne and hopped on the highway. By the time 4 p.m. rolled around, the sun was bright, I was unsuspectingly working on a sunburn (yes, those of us with melanin can still burn) and my old roommate was almost in town. That's when the boat decided it was going to stop working. Panic mode, right? Nope, how about shotgunning a beer instead? After all, who doesn't make the most out of situations like that, right?

Four hours and a tow later, it was 8 p.m., TRAP Karaoke was starting and my friend and I were just walking into my house to get ready. Give the tickets away? Negative. I was going to hear some trap music before calling it a night.

You're probably wondering what trap music is and what TRAP Karaoke looks like? Well, for the average music listener like me it's more of a feeling I get or a place to go and buy drugs than a music genre with a tangible definition. Artists like Boosie Badazz, Crime Mob and Young Jeezy come to mind and all I want to do is form a mosh pit. But a simple Google search will reveal that trap music has much more depth.

Born out of 90s southern hip hop, trap music incorporates pitched and resampled hip hop vocals, gangsta synth leads, layered synthesizers, heavy kick drums like those from a Roland TR-808 drum machine, pipe flutes and triple hi hats. These days, however, trap has gotten tied up in EDM culture — that's why I wasn't surprised when the event page advertising TRAP Karaoke popped up on my timeline, now it's accepted into the fold of mainstream music.

Before my friend decided to surprise me with tickets for my birthday, I went to the website to get a feel for what the event would look like. The first quote I noticed? "TRAP Karaoke is like going to church ... but instead of 'Amazing Grace,' you're singing 'Back That Azz Up.'" Then, I read, "Anything can happen at the night show. Like your favorite rapper surprising you on stage." And after watching videos of a crowd jumping and singing in unison, even without music, and Pastor Troy walking on stage at one of the shows, I was sold!

Donned in military boots, a metal bralette, high-waist jeans and a jean jacket, I entered The Underground for the sold-out show. I'd never been to the mid-sized music venue before, and was just as shocked to see how many people were filling the space as I was the "fire lane" carpets that surrounded the center standing room area. My friend and I made our way to the very front right next to the stage and proceeded to let loose while performers belted out some of our fave songs on stage. Granted, by the time we arrived "fashionably late," there were fewer artists performing trap music as the music shifted to "I'm Going Down" by Mary J. Blige and other artists like Keyshia Cole. Nevertheless, we sang and it was lit.

TRAP Karaoke is a nationally touring event, so unfortunately Charlotteans won't be able to experience the cultural goodness anytime soon. But be on the lookout, and sign up to perform the next time around. It definitely made breaking my phone at 4 a.m. well worth it.

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