trapso vibes / by Cyrus Moussavi

D Gainz lands tonight, and we're leaving Trinidad Monday. The next three days are going to be insane, and it's going to take help from all the homies here to make it work.  Logistics, driving, security, filming -- it's all donated time and talent, and I couldn't be more grateful. Let's see what we get.  

In the meantime, I've been doing some filming of my own.  We jammed with Mr. Mark Hardy and Yung Rudd, son of calypso legend David Rudder, at SoundLab Studios in Tunapuna.  Their music is a mix of Atlanta trap and Trini soca and rapso that they've called (you knew this was coming) Trapso.  Atlanta's high hats and frantic synths, Trinidad's accent and relentless energy. Plus the video looks like something D Gainz might make if Chicago was on a tropical island.

So far trapso is taking off, and they've managed rap radio hits in a place where soca is perhaps the only homegrown music to get real love.  The music sounds good, but more than any other artists I've met here, these guys know that marketing, branding, and distribution are the elements that help make a hit.  The music is designed with the audience in mind, and the dreams are international. It doesn't seem far off.

I met Jimmy October at the studio, too. A ferocious young dude with talent and vision. More to come on him.  Here's his latest:

Over the weekend I was in the south of the country, recording with Mistah Shak and witnessing an incredible Orisha drumming ceremony.  It also struck me that the entire island has a population less than half of my home state of Iowa.  And we're here talking revolution and worldwide musical domination and sects and religions and race.  Even if you count all nine members of Slipknot, my fine state hasn't produced this kind of cultural output.