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Rise of the Trapp All-Stars

Rap is the language of the slick-talker, lover, brute and by extension, the hustler. Hustler prudence sways my sentiments just like the next man -- particularly in the land of limited opportunity. Those who make their way intrepidly are rewarded and those who make their way intrepidly in raps are similarly rewarded.

There's nothing better than the narrative of true hustler transcribed in the various homespun albums of the Deep Trap we know as the South. Dope boys in Brooklyn have blocks and corners sure but both the heated climate of the Dirty and the trunk-pushing-emcee archetype add for slightly more intrigue. In other words, it's rough and tumble when you want to stay dopeboyfresh in the territory of hustlers. Trapp Mendoza is Dade County's newest trap congressman. He elevated his name like Jeezy, Ross and T.I. has before him and purports some of the same blistering warnings and glories of the life.

Trapp's double feature includes "Bumpin" with Posta Boy and "Hot 1," which animate the dilemmas of his all-or-nothing scenario. Be a Hustler or else. Push or be pushed out. He relies on the custom fables of his own life, respectable if familiar. On one track Trapp explains the ineffable problem of having a snitch in the camp but must rebuke his own cousin for being a bitch and endangering the hustle. There it goes. Trapp falls just short of Lil Wayne with swelling swagger on each track but the simplicity of the hustle never fails. For that, I give the young buck his due for sticking to the script and finding ways to persevere through music.

However, the real draw of tracks like "Hot 1" is the way in which Mendoza commiserates with thumping beats and presses the vocal delivery for pure effect. Try out "snuck up in the scene set off no alarms/everything in position it's a go, it's on/you witnessin' a certified pro performance/they wishin they had the talents that's bestowed upon me" in an aloof drawl that comes off as cool, in the hustler's pronounced tones. In those dragging syllables he can complement the relentless tap of drums, high hats and regal horns a la T.I.'s King. (Sidebar: T.I. has really been blessed with the beat of the summer '06 with Young Joc and Rick Ross tied for noble runners-up) Point being, the way that many Southern artists have missed out on joining their more popular peers is by stressing one element too much -- either too much beat, too few lyrics or vice versa. Trapp Mendoza is going to excel to the class of radio artist with fan appreciation because he is paying attention to the needs of the song and the truths of his life.

For the East Coast 'heads' and such who affix the sourpuss about Southern dominance, I say this. Get over that shit. The emcees we came to favor dared to talk about shit that affected them, mostly through anti-cop anthems and cautionary allegories. This is the same thing with an accent and the entrepreneurial git-up that the corner MC could take a page from. Neither Jeezy, T.I. nor Trapp make any bones about being a successful reporter for the hood. Neither should we.

Trapp Mendoza Selected Downloads

Fireside Tracks from Trapp Mendoza: "Hot 1" and "Bumpin" + the remixes of "Hustlin" and "Nasty Girl"

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Words by Drew Ricketts


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Christina Aguilera - Ain't No Other Man [Version 2]

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Papoose Ft.Akon - Go To War (Produced By Green Lantern)

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Rick Ross ft. Dre - Blow

UA feat. Joe Budden - Unexpected Arrival

India Aire - I Am Not My Hair [Swizz Beats Remix]

Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls feat Mannie Fresh - Groove Tonight

Rick Ross - Whip It Whip It

The Game - It Is What It Is (Prod. by Ill Will)

Tha Dogg Pound ft David Banner - Faknass Hoes (Produced by David Banner)

Trey Songz - Performer

6.26 Loosies Download

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