Trap music is a sub-genre that evolved from Southern hip-hop roots. But lately, the label’s become attached to any music with a fairly upbeat tempo and, preferably, a song to which you can fervently twerk; it’s turn-up music at its best. Everyone from pop stars to EDM DJs has co-opted the music style, leaving the definition of what does and doesn’t qualify as trap muddled. The founding father of the genre is a topic discussed at length all over the internet. Ask one rap fan, and they might tell you Jeezy or Gucci Mane were the originators, ask another, and they might tell you T.I. was. Ask T.I., and he’ll also tell you T.I.
“I would just go as a historian and point out facts. Before my album Trap Muzik was released in 2003, the term was never even heard,” explained T.I. in an interview sometime back. “There was no such thing as trap music, or the genre being defined as trap music.” He’s not wrong. Up until the early ‘00s, Trap wasn’t considered in a musical capacity until T.I. came along. Now it’s a genre dominating the charts and dance-floors, turning upcoming rappers into megastars and platinum sellers.
Done right Trap music is undeniably intoxicating and someone who is doing it right is Joe Wave on “Know Your Worth (Perfect)” Prod. by Adot Tha Tha God. Born in California and now living Danville, VA, Joe has been doing music since he was 19. His interests go from music production to fashion designing, as well as shooting and editing videos.
Adot Tha Tha God has got the 808’s propelling the extended sub-bass lines and the double-time hi-hats while the gently layered cinematic keys fill the atmosphere. To decode the brilliance of this track in a greater world of seemingly similar pop-hop records requires an ear for subtlety.
Moreover, you’ve only got two and a half minutes to do so. For that is the concise brevity of the song. It’s the balance of the beat’s slow banging pull, with Joe Wave’s snake-charming vocal lull, that creates this song’s captivating, easy-street bounce.
It’s Joe’s hypnotic use of melodic tones throughout the beaming verses, and his razor-sharp aesthetic vision that he demonstrates in the sonic and visual content he drops with this one. Many traditional zealots of music will struggle to deny the strength of the songwriting, performance, and production on “Know Your Worth (Perfect)”.
On the track Joe Wave and Adot Tha Tha God plucks ideas from both the mainstream and the fringes, work-shopping them into something that displays taste and curation. Joe seems to know what’s popular or what will be popular, and infuses that into his sound.
It’s this compositional thinking that makes Joe so interesting. Joe Wave is pushing the genre in a new direction, producing music that is distinctly different — and better — than many of his contemporaries. And the “Know Your Worth (Perfect)” motif has helped him find a fascinating sonic center for himself.