As people walk into the classroom, it seemed like any typical day of learning. Each person finds a seat, faces forward and focuses on the 70-inch monitor at the front of the room.
Then a familiar nervousness settles over the room of 20 people as everyone tries to figure out who’s next.
But instead of seeing an equation or notes, it’s the lyrics to TI’s “Whatever You Like” that roll across the monitor turned karaoke screen.
A sorority member in blue and white makes their way to the front of the room rapping lyrics into headphones until students become comfortable enough to join in while eating their pizza and laughing.
“I’m just here for moral support for my friend,” sophomore Renate Fort said.
That type of support was the vibe Zeta Phi Beta Incorporated and the Black Student Union brought to all who attended Trap Karaoke April 11 in Room 207 of Classroom Hall at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
Students individually or in groups tackled the lyrics to their favorite trap artists such as Chief Keef, Tee Grizzley and YNW Melly.
Trap is a type of Southern rap music that originated in Atlanta in the early 1990s. It is heavily influenced by rap artists such as Master P, Three 6 Mafia, 8ball and MJG, Young Jeezy and UGK.
The event shared new trap artists to attendees, shining more light on the genre for those who may have the wrong idea about it and believe the music is only about “trap houses,” or locations where drug dealers reside and do business.
“Because, not everybody knows what trap music is or when they hear the phrase trap music, they think it’s something bad, but actually trap music is just you know, a type of rap music,” said Shameka Roberts, vice president of the citywide chapter sorority Zeta Phi Beta Inc.
The underground culture made it to the mainstream airwaves officially with Fetty Waps’ “Trap Queen” in 2015. The audience and sound have evolved since then.
“People should come to this event if they’ve never heard trap music or they don’t know what trap music is,” Roberts said. “It’s just not, for, you know, the African American or the Black community. It is for everybody.”
For those who are already familiar and love the genre, it brought a safe place to have fun and enjoy music on campus.
“It was needed to show that there is Black culture and influences on campus too and that Black people can still have fun the way that they want to have fun on campus and they don’t have to filter it or feel restricted,” said Xavier Watson, president of the Black Student Union.
Having fun, with no filter, and a place for students to let loose is exactly what Zeta Phi Beta Incorporated and the Black Student Union aimed for, and they said they hope more students catch the wave of Trap Music Karaoke.