For whatever reason, T.I. remains adamant about establishing the fact that he invented trap music. Fresh off his appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where he honored Tupac Shakur, Tip sat down with radio host Angie Martinez where he talked about what fans might expect to hear on his next album.
“I’m going for trap music on this,” the Atlanta rapper explained about the sonic direction for his latest project. “A lot of people don’t really, really know that I created trap music,” he elaborated.
It’s a bold claim to make, but T.I. continued: “There was no such thing as trap music prior to [T.I.]. No such thing. It didn’t exist,” he said. “It was OutKast and crunk, like that’s what it was. Organized Noize and crunk.”
Personally, this argument doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Just last month, I went down to SXSW and sat down with T.I. for a short interview right before he went onstage with The Roots. During our talk, I called him one of the inventors of trap music. He stopped me, dead in my tracks, mid-question to clarify. “THE inventor,” he said, before letting me continue.
While T.I. would probably be correct to claim that he helped bring trap into the mainstream or that he popularized the term, people have been using the word since the mid-’90s, well before he dropped his album Trap Muzik in 2003. Big Boi threw in a nod to trap in the OutKast track “SpottieOttieDopaliscious,” back in 1998, rapping, “So know you back in the trap, just that trapped.” And I’m sure both Jeezy and Gucci Mane might have something to say about T.I.’s claims of being the father of trap. Still, if you repeat a claim enough times, eventually people will start to believe it.
You can check out T.I.’s most recent claims in the video above.