Trap Muzik Turns 10 Today

In honor of the album’s 10th birthday, Complex is running a terrific oral history of T.I.’s Trap Muzik. A specific subject, but also a good opportunity to revisit the golden decade of Southern hip-hop and think about 2003 Producer Kanye making beats in an ATL beauty salon and “playing demos like, ‘What do y’all think about this?’”

Jason Geter: We actually started renting out a room in the back of Mac Boney’s mom’s hair salon. We had a Roland 2480 machine. Truth be told, Trap Muzik was 90% made in that back room of KBJ’s Beauty Salon on this Roland 2480. We would come when it was closed and leave before it opened up. Sometimes we’d be creeping out of the back door with old ladies coming in the front door to get their hair done… the neighborhood that we were in, like Bone Crusher was around the corner working. He had a studio and David Banner would always be there. Lil Jon used to work not too far away.

The piece goes track-by-track through Trap Muzik, and here’s a bit about “Rubber Band Man,” which is still just a blockbuster of a song, a broad and bouncy playtime anthem with the best organ line since “Swing Swing” (kidding, but also very serious).

David Banner: I had been doing the ‘David, David, David, David Banner’ drop a long time before ‘Rubber Band Man’ but radio stations used to chop my tag off. T.I. was the first artist to tell radio stations not to take my tag off of his song. That really opened it up for other producers to put their tag at the beginning of the songs… [“Rubber Band Man”] brightened the scene up. Music was so dark, especially urban music from the South. It had gotten so aggressive, so mean. Although he’s talking about, you know, ‘wild as the Taliban,’ the beat was na-na-na-na, like it was happy. That one song changed the tone of music. You heard them ‘Rubber Band Man’ chords in about 12 songs after that record came out. It sort of changed music into that bright music with hard subjects.

You heard it from David Banner: we’ve got Tip to thank for “Paper Planes” and your top 40 radio slowly drowning in whispers of Mike Will Made-It.