The Ten Hottest Trap DJs Right Now
The proliferation of electronic music all over the world can’t be ignored. It bleeds into every other genre and accounts for a massive fan base in every continent. But how to sort through the synths and hi-hats, the 808’s and reverb? Know your DJs. Electronic music is all about mixing sounds and recreating borrowed bites, so genres inevitably get crossed at every turn, and with a talented DJ, these turns come unexpectedly. This new series, “The 10 Hottest DJs” takes you through the biggest names in trap, house, trance, and dubstep so you can keep your basslines straight.
Trap music is one of the fastest growing genres in the US right now. It’s snowballing with the resurgence of Hip Hop in the music industry’s mainstream. Trap relies on massively exaggerated bass, over the top synth and a ritualistic 808 worship. The heavy handed sound came out of Southern rap releases from DJ Screw, Three 6 Mafia, and most recognizably, T.I’s 2003 album, Trap Muzik. One of the big descriptors of trap is “chopped up,” it sounds like the vocals on a song have been stretched out and dropped down to baritone across the board.
1. DJ Sliink
Hailing from New Jersey, DJ Sliink started out making Jersey Club music. Looking to expand on his production skills, he started playing around with Hip Hop and Trap a few years ago and hasn’t looked back since. After DJ’ing everywhere from swanky hotels in New York City to abandoned public schools in Berlin, Sliink set out to headline the Certified Trap Tour hitting clubs and venues all across the East Coast. Check him out on Soundcloud to get a taste of the Rihanna, Missy Elliott and Justice remixes he dropped recently.
This Chicago-based DJ duo, made up of J2K (Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci) have paired up with the likes of Diplo, Juicy J, Kid Sister and A-Trak. They’re seasoned performers, having graced the stages of every festival from SXSW to Coachella, to Lolapalooza and back again. With an ear for 90’s hip hop and R&B, their flavor of tripped out EDM makes them one of the hottest pairs in Trap right now. Click here to hear “Rollup” ft. fellow top-ten Trap DJ, Baauer.
Baauer has been sitting at #1 on Billboard for weeks after his smash hit “Harlem Shake” exploded across the internet. The young Philadelphia-born producer has teamed up with Diplo, collaborated with Flosstradamus, and is currently touring with legendary Hip Hop producer, Just Blaze. If you haven’t already, click here to do the Harlem Shake, Baauer style.
Yet another Mad Decent recruit, UZ seemed to surface out of nowhere in 2012. The enigmatic producer always identifies by his alias, and has expressed the importance of fans being able to trace the trap sound back to Southern rap music and the surrounding culture. His music is loyal to the drum machine patterns and amplified bass of a lot of the other artists on this list, but his sound is characteristically clean, stripped down to the essentials and paced down to slower tempo than most club music, and even most trap. Wherever he goes, you can recognize him by the web-influenced graphics he slaps onto all his releases. Click here to check out UZ’s Soundcloud page.
TNGHT combines the musical prowess of Canadian producer Lunice, and EDM heavyweight Hudson Mohawke. The officially debuted with the TNGHT EP, but gained viral notoriety overnight after Kanye West joined the duo on stage at a show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg in November 2012. Check out their Soundcloud here and get tickets to a show ASAP, clearly you never know who’s going to show up to help them out!
Luminox mixes trap with dubstep, Moombahton and straight-laced electro to create an all-around sound appealing to almost any brand of electronic music lover. He’s hitting almost every summer festival on the lineup this year, so get to know the young LA DJ on Soundcloud to prep you for his speaker-booming sets.
Atlanta’s Hayden Kramer, AKA heRobust burst onto the scene in February 2011 with his debut EP Albumin. The attention he received from electronic authorities like XLR8R and Vice led him to collaborate with formidable artists like Flying Lotus and and Shlomo. Now his method of colliding hip hop with drawn own electronic beats is popping up in remixes across the board. Hit up his bandcamp page to stay up to date with new releases.
8. Dillon Francis
Strictly speaking, Dillon Francis is more well known as a Moombhaton DJ than a Trap DJ. Lately, the Mad Decent signed LA-native has been experimenting with heavier sounds and stricter Hip Hop influences. He’s set to release his debut album this year, and if it follows suit, you can expect to hear the young Beatport chart-topper dropping some major trap anthems. Click here to check out his Soundcloud page.
9. RL Grime
RL Grime is only one of Henry Steinway’s multiple monikers. The future-bass producer and DJ recently released his debut EP as RL Grime Clipz and has been building momentum ever since. Explicitly drawing from artists like Lex Luger, Dipset, and other emerging DJs like Lunice and James Blake, the thoughtful young musician will likely go chameleon and transform his sound ten times over the course of what’s sure to be a long career. For now, check him out on Soundcloud while he’s still into the trap sound.
10. Lex Luger
Virginia producer Lex Luger is by-and-large the pioneer of modern Trap music. The first radio single he produced was Waka Flocka Flame’s ground-breaking 2010 hit “Hard in the Paint,” not a bad place to start. Since then he’s touched songs by Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Soulja Boy, Snoop Dogg, Big Sean, Slim Thug and even tracks on Kanye and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne. He’s #1, because he truly was first, and it’s almost guaranteed that all of the DJ’s on this list have him to thank as an influencer.
March 22, 2013 via Pepsi