10 Of The Best Trap Albums Ever: [Trap is a subgenre of Hip Hop music that originated in the Southern United States during the early 1990s. The genre gets its name from the Atlanta slang word “trap”, which refers to a place in which drugs are sold illegally. Trap music uses synthesized drums and is characterized by complicated hi-hat patterns, tuned kick drums with a long decay (originally from the Roland TR-808 drum machine), atmospheric synths, and lyrical content that often focuses on drug use and urban violence. It utilizes very few instruments and focuses almost exclusively on snare drums and double- or triple-timed hi-hats. This is the signature sound of trap music.]
Frequent visitors to the HHGA site know our stance on the trap subgenre of Hip Hop. We prioritize lyricism, considering it to be more than just catchy flows and cadences – content matters. While trap music may have its allure, we remain firm in our belief that it doesn’t consistently offer substantial content. Our exclusion of trap albums from The Best 250 Hip Hop Albums Of All Time list has drawn criticism, but we stand by our choices.
Nonetheless, seeking to acknowledge trap for what it represents without discrediting it for what it lacks, we endeavored to broaden our perspective and revisit a collection of albums that could be categorized as trap music, some of which we genuinely appreciated. Some argue that the modern trap sound truly broke into the mainstream with the crunk of Waka Flocka Flame’s influential album, Flockaveli, in 2010. Anything preceding that year might have influenced the sound but might not precisely align with our current definition of trap. Nonetheless, we included pre-2010 albums on this list either for their influence on the Southern scene or because we deem them the finest creations of artists often associated with trap (even if their top albums might not strictly fit the trap music criteria).
Thus, without further delay, here is our compilation of what we consider to be 10 of the finest trap albums ever released. The list isn’t ranked but is presented in order of their release years. We eagerly await your input on this selection. Are there any pivotal trap albums that we’ve overlooked? Should any albums be omitted? Please share your perspectives in the comments!
Charting the Blueprint: T.I.’s ‘Trap Muzik’ (2003) Among the Best Trap Albums
T.I.’s ‘Trap Muzik’ marks the Atlanta rapper’s second studio album, a marked improvement over his lackluster debut ‘I’m Serious’ (2001). Regarded as a Southern classic, ‘Trap Muzik’ stands as a thoroughly fulfilling, start-to-finish listening experience, brimming with vigor and character. This pivotal album presents trap music in one of its earliest iterations, serving as a testament to its gradual rise before its explosive prominence in the early to mid-2010s. ‘Trap Muzik’ played a vital role in the genesis of trap as a distinct genre, solidifying its status as an indispensable cornerstone within the realm of trap and Southern rap.
Exploring the Blueprint of Trap: Young Jeezy’s ‘Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101’ (2005)
The trap genre, forged by T.I., Yo Gotti, and Gucci Mane in the early 2000s, found its evolutionary catalyst in Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy. His debut under Def Jam, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, presented nearly 80 minutes of quintessential early trap music. Young Jeezy’s prowess as a rapper may not be extraordinary, yet his ability to infuse the album with unwavering dynamism is evident. It’s the infectious bounce and the infusion of crunk-styled beats that elevate this album to the status of a (pre)trap masterpiece. Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 remains an iconic release, arguably representing the pinnacle of Young Jeezy’s artistic achievements.
Reigning Supreme: T.I.’s ‘King’ (2006) Among the Best Trap Albums of All Time
T.I.’s fourth studio album, ‘King,’ stands as his finest and most consistent project to date. It expertly amalgamates radio-friendly tunes with club bangers and street anthems. The album boasts celebratory production, and T.I. demonstrates his prowess at the peak of his abilities, making it the pinnacle of his musical collection. ‘King’ nearly lives up to the grandiosity it sets for itself, except for a handful of filler tracks nestled in the midst of its overextended 70-minute tracklist. Trimming these would have elevated the album’s overall impact. Nevertheless, even with a runtime extended by approximately 15 minutes, ‘King’ undeniably secures its place as a Southern classic.
Tha Carter III (2008): Lil Wayne’s Defining Contribution to the Evolution of Trap Music
Pop-rap with trap influences, Tha Carter III stands as Lil Wayne’s sixth studio album. It succeeds Tha Carter II, following a string of mixtape releases and guest appearances on various Hip Hop and R&B artists’ records. These collaborations amplified Lil Wayne’s exposure in the mainstream. The album features notable artists like Jay-Z, T-Pain, Busta Rhymes, and Kanye West, among others.
Lil Wayne holds an iconic status, reigning as one of the most influential rappers in the last two decades. While not precisely a trap-rapper himself, he played a pivotal role in birthing the mumble trap genre. His influence birthed an array of face-tattooed Lil Clones, saturating the mainstream with a slew of monotonous music. Consequently, Lil Wayne has faced dismissal, especially for some of his releases in the 2010s. However, amidst the criticism, not all his creations merit condemnation. Notably, his earlier Cash Money works, whether solo or as part of the Hot Boys, and his mixtapes from the 2000s hold a trove of commendable music. Tha Carter II stands as his pinnacle album within his discography.
Tha Carter III assumes a prominent role among the albums of the 2000s. Initially overlooked upon its release, it has undeniably grown on us over time. The album exhibits a frontloaded structure, albeit with a comparatively weaker back half. Classic Lil Wayne hits like “A Milli,” “Dr. Carter,” and “Let The Beat Build” compensate for its shortcomings. While Tha Carter II remains Lil Wayne’s superior and most coherent album, Tha Carter III follows closely behind. True, it may not fall precisely within the trap genre, yet its influence on shaping the genre, perhaps fostering artists like Young Thug, warrants its inclusion on this list.
Exploring T.I.’s Trap Evolution: Unveiling ‘Paper Trail’ (2008) – A Pivotal Mixtape in Trap Music
‘Paper Trail’ marks T.I.’s sixth studio release, emerging during the zenith of his career. It stands as a pinnacle of his commercial triumphs and ranks as his third-best album. Laden with widespread mainstream allure and rooted in pre-trap inclinations, ‘Paper Trail’ encapsulates T.I.’s musical trajectory during this era.
Gucci Mane’s ‘The State vs. Radric Davis’ (2009): A Defining Masterpiece in the Realm of Greatest Trap Songs
Gucci Mane stands as a foundational figure within the trap genre, boasting perhaps the most extensive discography across all realms of trap music, flooded with a ceaseless stream of mixtapes and albums. Undoubtedly, he epitomizes an artist driven by quantity rather than honing purely polished creations, akin to a trap version of Kool Keith. Within the multitude of projects he’s unleashed since his inception into recording in 2005, there’s a scarcity of truly memorable musical offerings.
Among the plethora of works Gucci Mane has released, Trap God 2 (2013) shines as a standout, claiming the title of his premier mixtape amidst the more than seventy mixtapes to his credit. However, nestled within his repertoire, The State vs. Radric Davis, his sixth studio album, asserts itself as his pinnacle project, despite the presence of a few filler tracks and the jarring interludes and skits that mar its appeal. Full disclosure, we haven’t ventured through the entirety of Gucci Mane’s expansive output. Should there exist an essential Gucci Mane release that surpasses The State vs. Radric Davis, we welcome your input in the comments below.
Flockavelli (2010): A Pinnacle in Popular Trap Music by Waka Flocka Flame
“Flockavelli” from 2010 stands as a significant milestone in popular trap music by Waka Flocka Flame. It represents the pinnacle of crunk albums, marking a crucial point in determining the trajectory of the trap subgenre. Everything preceding “Flockavelli” can be considered pre-trap, while everything succeeding it falls into the category of post-trap. Though it might seem exaggerated to emphasize the impact of “Flockavelli,” its influence remains undeniable. This album emerged as a game-changer, laying the foundation for the subsequent generation of rap artists.
Waka Flocka Flame isn’t necessarily the most exceptional songwriter or lyricist in the realm of penning verses and gripping the mic. However, it’s his infectious energy and undeniable charisma that propels “Flockavelli” to a higher echelon. With bombastic bass-heavy beats, razor-sharp synths, and aggressive rapping, this album embodies an enjoyable collection of bangers that continue to age gracefully.
Unleashing the Best Trap Vibes: A$AP Ferg’s ‘Trap Lord’ (2013
“Trap Lord,” A$AP Ferg’s debut studio album, stands as a hallmark within the A$AP Mob collective. The LP boasts an impressive lineup of guest appearances including A$AP Rocky, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, French Montana, Trinidad James, Schoolboy Q, Waka Flocka Flame, Aston Matthews, B-Real, and Onyx. This ensemble contributed significantly to the album’s success.
Featuring tracks such as “Let It Go,” “Shabba,” “Lord,” “Hood Pope,” “Fergivicious,” “Dump Dump,” “Didn’t Wanna Do That,” “Murda Something,” “Make A Scene,” “Fuck Out My Face,” and “Cocaine Castle,” ‘Trap Lord’ brims with energetic bangers. This album represents A$AP Ferg’s pinnacle, eclipsing his preceding releases by a substantial margin. Its vibrancy and allure stem from the energetic, fun, and decidedly trap-centric nature, bolstered by its deliciously dark, gothic production style and charismatic delivery.
Unveiling the Best Trap Rap Songs: Future’s ‘Monster’ (2014)
Monster by Future stands out as one of his top creations, following closely after DS2. Its chief allure lies in its dark, atmospheric production, a credit largely owed to Metro Boomin, whose distinct touch permeates throughout this tape.
Unveiling Young Thug’s ‘Barter 6’ in the ‘We Are Young Money’ Tracklist: A Game-Changing 2015 Release
Young Thug stands as an influential figure of his generation, deeply impacting the modern trap music scene. His music embodies a unique sound, characterized by an eccentric vocal style and avant-garde fashion choices. Thugger initiated his musical journey by releasing a sequence of independent mixtapes, commencing with ‘I Came from Nothing’ in 2011. Transitioning to Gucci Mane’s 1017 Records in early 2013, he unveiled his label debut mixtape, ‘1017 Thug,’ later that year, receiving critical acclaim. Challenging the norms of Hip Hop and pushing against gender and sexuality stereotypes, Young Thug has emerged as one of the most distinctive and divisive rap artists in recent times, marking his chart debut with the single “Stoner” in 2014.
The album ‘Barter 6’ epitomizes sheer entertainment. Thugger’s lyrics oscillate between serious and downright hilarious, often veering into the realm of the extravagant or the absurd. Yet, seeking lyrical profundity isn’t the forte when it comes to Young Thug; his melodic mumble flows primarily serve as a vibe. His extravagance and vitality distinguish him from his peers, showcasing an ability to make trap music infectious and captivating without solely relying on production. Nevertheless, the deep 808 bounces play a crucial role; this tape stands out for its exceptional production and polished execution. ‘Barter 6’ emerges as Young Thug’s inaugural outstanding project, setting him on the trajectory to become the paramount trap artist of the 2010s.
In conclusion, the world of trap music has seen a vibrant evolution showcased through the top 10 albums that encapsulate its essence. Each of these albums stands as a testament to the genre’s innovation, influence, and ability to capture the zeitgeist of its time. From the groundbreaking beats to the lyrical prowess, these albums have not only defined the genre but have also left an indelible mark on the wider landscape of contemporary music. As trap continues to evolve, these albums serve as a reminder of its impactful journey, shaping the musical landscape and leaving an enduring legacy in the realm of hip-hop and beyond.