The Feminist Guide to Trap Music
The Feminist Guide to Trap Music
TBC Selects

The Feminist Guide to Trap Music

Empowering music with depth, sexiness, and dope beats.

This post was originally published on August 8, 2017, on The Dowsers, a “magazine about playlists” produced by Third Bridge Creative. You can read more about that project here.

Being a feminist music critic is much less restrictive than it may seem. I put this specific mixtape together because I’d been having a number of conversations about the blatant misogynistic content in contemporary trap music. Back in the ‘90s, when Goodie Mobb, Outkast, and Master P were laying the foundation for trap, the lyrics were much less abusive towards women, our bodies, and general existence. But these days, when I talk to younger trap listeners, they treat me like I had never heard the genre before, while cis male music enthusiasts who are my age tell me I’m being too rigid with my music taste.

When you’re a female-identified music critic, there are going to be those times when you have to say, “I know what I like.” Not only do I know what I like, but I can make a collection of trap songs that are not overwhelmingly exploitative and abusive.

When Nicki Minaj’s “Beez in the Trap” came out in 2012, the song felt truly empowering. It was in-your-face, sexy, and had the quintessential elements of trap production style. I loved her interaction with 2 Chainz, so when they came together again in 2017 for “Realize” on 2 Chainz’s latest album, Pretty Girls Love Trap Music, I was excited. For me, finding good music takes patience—I’d rather wait five years for a collaboration I know I’m going to like than to listen to every single thing on the radio that comes my way.

The feminist aspect of this playlist comes from me being clear about what I enjoy as a female-identified listener—and it also comes from having the discipline to listen to music that isn’t profoundly violent towards women and female-identified queer music listeners.

This playlist includes cis and LGBTQ women as lead rappers on their tracks, it features trap originators from the mid-’90s, and it consists of music that has a bit of depth—not to mention authenticity, a little sexiness, and dope beats. Not all trap music is offensive, and even if some of the artists on this mixtape have other songs that are disrespectful towards women, I want to highlight those rare tracks where they show who they are without having to demean anyone. I’m not about censoring artists, but rather giving listeners the freedom to choose safe music.

More Blog Posts

Playlists for Life: Sunny Peace
TBC Selects

Playlists for Life: Sunny Peace

Christopher Carson
Third Bridge Creative’s Head of Operations reflects on the peaceful landscapes he's seen through his life, and the music it inspires.
Playlists for Life: Keeping it K-pop
TBC Selects

Playlists for Life: Keeping it K-pop

Rachel Saywitz
Third Bridge Creative’s Associate Editor and Producer charts the impact of K-pop on her life, from her teenage years through to adulthood.
Playlists For Life: Songs for a 3-Year-Old
TBC Selects

Playlists For Life: Songs for a 3-Year-Old

Chris Martins
Third Bridge Creative's Editorial Director shows off the eclectic mix of artists soundtracking his toddler-aged son's childhood.

Let's Talk

Do you have a project that would benefit from a world-class team of data analysts, pop culture writers, and marketing strategists? We’d love to hear from you.

Get in Touch