I could not agree more with the tweet above. For those unfamiliar, trap music is a sound derived from the Atlanta streets that ostensibly refers to drug-dealing crews who happen to make music. For this trio, comprised of Pacman (of Pacman and Pe$o fame), his manager Ramsey Aburdene, aka Abu Rahss, and a guy going by Nine Five, snow days are simple: Get dressed, trap out.
Technically, trap is both a noun and a verb, with the former meaning drug house, (or more loosely translated to home base of operation), and the latter meaning to carry out the act of selling products originated in said location, although not necessarily at said location. Hence, coffeeshops. As for trap music, there are typically a lot of two hand upper body dances involved, and minimal leg movement, with a lot of references to consumer sales, which may or may not be coded references to illegal products.
“It was kind of just a joke chorus at first,” Pacman said via e-mail. “Trapping in my opinion is just another way to say someone is out here actually working hard. Anybody can trap but it all depends on the image that the trapper wants.”
In the case of “Trap Out the Starbucks,” though, it doesn’t matter. This works on all levels. The video is incredible. The beat is by a local guy named TrapStar, appropriately. Let’s start with the beginning, which features a couple of guys getting ready to head out in the snow from a Northwest Washington group house. Off into the snow, and that’s when things become truly awesome.
Rahss deftly informs viewers in his sensible tie/crewneck sweater/blazer combo that his trap game expands all across the neighborhood from Columbia Heights down to Marvin’s on U Street. He exchanges hugs and even throws in a “Free Gaza” reference, visually. At one point in the first chorus, Pacman is standing outside of the BestWorld Supermarket on Mount Pleasant Street, using a payphone that we all know hasn’t been operational for at least four years, which makes the whole scene that much better.
Next up is Nine Five, who has been with the crew since they came back from their epic trip to North Korea. He also happens to be Samira Wiley‘s brother, and is obviously professionally awesome, because he managed to snag one of those window seats at the Adams Morgan Starbucks that are nearly impossible to come by after 6 a.m. He’s got some Tic-Tacs too with his Americano, which is a strong combo, if you ask me. Not to be forgotten is his use of a snow umbrella, the only sensible use for such an otherwise useless tool. Very smart guy.
The rest of the video is a melange of slickly shot scenes from around Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle and Columbia Heights, with a few tricks thrown in. And it’s glorious. They shot it two weeks ago, and it’s obviously a hit. No matter what product you’re moving out of Starbucks — spreadsheets, contracts, group projects, blog posts, whatever — this video is a great soundtrack for it.
“We didn’t make the song with a particular message but I think there are some things it conveys … we love trap music like many other people but it can become redundant. We thought this was a new way to do trap music that don’t sound like everybody else,” Pacman explained. “At the same time, it’s not fake … I’m just at Starbucks.”
I’ve probably watched it 15 times and I already feel more productive.