Real Trap Shit

One song I'm fond of is "Top To The Bottom", by Lil Boosie (now Boosie Badazz). I went to the same high school as Boosie, and though he left well before I arrived, his presence could still be felt frequently on campus. The song is about the come-up, reflecting on difficulties faced on the way and his improbable rise to success.

'The Bottom' here is some clever lyricism. The bottom is an abstractly low place, but it's also a nickname for the neighborhood where he's from. RapGenius doesn't seem to know this, I don't think it's such an obscure fact for folk from Baton Rouge. At one point after I had graduated and left The Bottom, I sought out the power outage map from the electric company that served Baton Rouge. The neighborhood around my high school was indeed labeled 'The Bottom', so maybe that name is official in some sense. That map has changed since then, and I don't think it gives neighborhood names now. I felt uncomfortable when I saw the power company, in many purposes a proxy for the state, label a neighborhood like that, telling its residents that there is no place worse. There's a certain sense of something like pride in taking part in a place with such a name, which Boosie touches on. Maybe it's evidence that you bore what some might claim unbearable, maybe it's evidence that you've made some semblance of progress by either staying there or getting out. Maybe it's just a bad label; in my brief time there I saw plenty of bad, but it was far outnumbered by good and caring people.

"Top To The Bottom" dropped in 2010. Thrown up on YouTube on April 30th, on Lil Man's profile. I don't know if it was always his profile. This track is littered with several Trap-A-Holics ad-libs, including "You can't find this on the Internet" at about a minute and a half in. Maybe ironic, maybe this video was originally passed around on tape for a while before finding its way to the Internet. Out of place in 2010 regardless. I think I've heard that in a couple other songs, but this one is the only one I remember it from. Discounting its usage in this song, the existence of this quote is unusually temporally bound: it only makes sense in the brief period of time in which music and videos weren't almost exclusively distributed on the Internet and in which the Internet was known to contain nearly everything, which (depending on the future of the Internet) is probably a period of only a few years.

Another neat bit comes from Waka Flocka Flame's "Karma", where P Smurf says he put down a hundred dollars to pay for gas. I think it's a safe bet that gas prices will get pretty high in the future, but at the moment there's a pretty narrow window in which a hundred dollars woudn't get you way more than a full tank at an Atlanta gas station.