An Interview With Trap Papi

By Damilola Grey

Trap Papi is an 18 year-old artist originally from Worcester, Massachusetts who spent most of his life in Orlando, Florida. His parents are from Bangladesh, and Trap Papi has expressed on various occasions how proud he is of his heritage. We talked about his introduction to hip hop, his most recent project and his upcoming release ULTRAVIOLET LOTUS which hits all streaming platforms on the 25th of December.

Dami: What was your first introduction to hip hop?

Trap Papi: I think my first introduction to hip-hop was Logic. More specifically, when he dropped the first Bobby Tarantino. I’d heard his name around and a couple songs before due to his partnership with Faze Clan, but listening to Flexicution for the first time with my friends really opened my eyes as to what I was really missing in that side of the music world. Flexicution was the first rap song I ever learned when it came to rapping with a fast flow and I feel like that really elevated my way to create flows that I feel like a lot of people my age can’t.

Dami: What made you want to start rapping?

Trap Papi: To be honest, I started making music and rapping in my freshman year of high school, so about 4 years ago. I started it as a joke, almost like a parody-satire thing. I wanted to make YouTube videos with characters that would interact with each other all played by me, and one of those characters I came up with was a stereotypical SoundCloud rapper, which is why I created the name Trap Papi. Definitely not the most ideal name if you wanna make a career out of this lol but the idea was that I would create this character and make songs like Lil Dicky or Lonely Island with the kind of persona as someone like Lil Pump or any other kid my age at the time trying to hop on the SoundCloud wave. I wrote a full song to put in my YouTube video and my friends told me to make a mixtape on SoundCloud. So I did that, and on December 25 th 2017, I dropped my first ever mixtape titled “CRACKED” which included 4 songs, with 3 of those being hype stereotypical songs and 1 of them being a slower and more personal track just to test the waters and see if people enjoyed it. I used my Apple earbuds and school laptop at the time, but people still decided to tune in. My whole school came to know about it and as I was scrolling through my Snapchat stories, I noticed so many people posting about my thing saying they didn’t expect it out of me but it was a pleasant surprise. Looking back, it was terrible lol, but at the same time that really made me think I should maybe try making another mixtape shortly after to see if this was something people could actually listen to from me.

Dami: What’s your creative process like?

Trap Papi: I feel like it’s a little unorthodox and not so normal but it works for me. I will just think of random phrases or things throughout the day whether something happens in my life or I just randomly think of it and I immediately just write it in my notes app and go on with my day. Whenever I have free time, I’m almost always looking through beats and finding what I think would work best for me and I go back to my notes app and use some of the phrases I write in them and bridge a song or something out of that. I then try to find visuals that have the same sort of atmosphere as the song I’m creating and use that to enhance the song while also working on a small promotional snippet I can post on my stories to get people a little more hyped for it using those same visuals. One thing I also do is find myself scrolling through Pinterest and creating mood boards with pictures that represent the vibe of the music, and when I’m in album mode, I try to do little things that kind of put me in the zone a little more like create wallpapers for my phone, change the LEDs in my room to whatever the album’s theme represents, and little things like that really get me in the mindset that I’m really in the world that I’m creating for my albums.

Dami: You dropped a project a few weeks ago. What were the vibes when creating it?

Trap Papi: It was a short little EP that is meant to be the ‘throwaways’ of my actual album dropping this Christmas titled “ULTRAVIOLET LOTUS”. The vibes are as I like to describe it, Yeezus-era Kanye West mixed with Blond-era Frank Ocean and some Baby Keem and 6LACK. It’s a very wide range of sounds but I feel like I’ve fused them together in a way that makes a lot of sense and will definitely open a lot of eyes in terms of my music. The EP was a small collection of loosies that didn’t make the album that I thought I could generate some hype for when the album actually does come out and I have a feeling it’s gonna shock some people.

Dami: If these are the throwaways, then what can we expect from the album itself?

Trap Papi: You should expect some songs that sound a lot fuller than the throwaways- songs that you can play on the aux when you’re with a group of friends, songs you can listen to while driving late at night, songs you can hear and play your own memories to in your head as you stare at the ceiling, and so on. The EP was just a collection of songs, but I made sure to make this album an EXPERIENCE.

Dami: What would you say is the most challenging part of being an

Trap Papi: I think one difficult thing about being an artist is not getting in your own head too much. It’s very easy in this field to be caught up in what other people say about your music or let any small negative thing set you back a lot. Keeping that mental toughness is very important because you need to understand that you can’t please everyone but it is possible to please yourself and that’s what I remind myself every day. Another thing is balance. I’m a full time college student now and it’s definitely a toss-up between what I should focus on more. Balance is still something I am struggling with but I’m learning as I go along.

Dami: What has been the most memorable part of being an artist?

Trap Papi: One of the most memorable parts for me was probably when I performed my first and only show so far in August of this year. Doing that for the first time really showed me that I was making some progress and really made me feel like I was finally showing myself what I could really do. Another thing is when I first dropped my merch and people were actually buying it way more than I expected. I think the most memorable moment for me was when I released my first album “Glass Garden” and my cousins got on a call with me all the way from Canada and we had our own little listening party and it was really the first time I created my own sound in a way, and seeing people react to that allowed me to go as hard as I did all throughout quarantine and even until now.

Dami: Any dream collabs?

Trap Papi: I got some underground ones and also some unrealistic ones for now. In the underground scene, I wanna eventually make songs with ZEYNI’s NGHTMRE, Augxst, and Choker. Those are some artists I’ve found and think it would sound amazing if I worked with them. As for dream collabs with established artists, I would say 6LACK, PartyNextDoor, J Cole, EDEN. I mean the list really goes on.

Listen to Trap Papi’s EP INFRARED ROSE 1.75: DAYS BEFORE LOTUS now:

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