Dominican Switch Up
When the great shift from NY to Atlanta as the center of Hiphop occurred, the sound and aesthetic changed, leaving the work of many artists to appear obsolete and un-marketable. To add to this, the attempts made to keep up with new trap sound reeked of effort and compromise, and only helped to quicken the demise of their careers. It’s rare to see a tru school 90’s era rapper rocking an 808 beat without looking like they’re just trying to get paid by jumping on the bandwagon. Out in the Dominican Republic it’s a bit different. There were no trap artists emerging from a different region of the country to introduce the new sound, as in the States, just the same roster of artists with a new demand to fulfill. In other words it was either switch to trap or not get shows. Back in the States you have rappers that have ALWAYS been trap, for instance, you can’t find any early Jeezy joints in a boom bap style, no matter where you look. If you look back in the careers of most Dominican rappers making trap music however, you will find that most if not all, had their start kicking rhymes about the social issues of street life with a graffiti covered wall behind them. This kind of Hiphop can’t be claimed by the trapstars on the mainland, they even seem intimidated by it some cases. They can’t even rap on classic beats in many cases, claiming they don’t want to, which just looks like an excuse because they just can’t. It takes skill and ability in combination with mental training to freestlye or compose material on this style of production. Ad libbing on a trap beat in many instances just amounts to repeating the same phrase with little variation, with a slogan or motto to fill in the gaps. The Dominican rappers who switched styles can rock either or, without looking nervous or stuttering if the DJ throws on Shook Ones. If given the choice without the need to cater to the demands of the market, which style would you think they would choose to rock? It wasn’t trap that inspired them to pick up the mic in the first place. It’s just what they gotta do to keep it in their hands.