If you were on Tik Tok last year, or at least adjacent to someone who was, you probably heard a snippet of a metal/pop-punk cover of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" blanketed by a hip hop beat, as it was one of the apps most popular sounds of 2021. After hearing the song, a quick Google search led me to the track's creator, known as Kim Dracula, and the surging genre of Trap Metal.
Growing up a fan of both genres, I always found it puzzling that rock and rap kept their distance from each other. On the surface, both rap and rock are rooted in the same sense of rebellion, albeit from different sides of the fence. Occasionally, the genres would cross streams to produce a Rage Against the Machine or Linkin' Park, but the mergers were often few and far between. However, the lines are more blurred than ever before.
Some of the most prominent rap acts like Lil Uzi Vert and NBA Youngboy cite rock artists as influences on their sound and presentation. While it's refreshing to hear that they're open to other genres, neither artist reflect as much in their work. In opposition, the artists in trap metal – one of the fastest-growing genres in music- deftly infuse both sounds into every track. Artists like Ghostemane, Scarlxrd, and Kim Dracula typically buttress their songs with enough bass boosted "trap drums" to fit on contemporary rap radio while simultaneously showering their tracks with gnarly metal growls. It's an exciting fusion, and I'm elated that it exists. If you're as interested in "what the kids are listening to" as I am, give the tracks a once over.