The genre of Meek Mill’s “Trauma,” is Rap. It didn’t take full shape until after the Sugar Hill Gang released “Rapper’s Delight in 1979. Rap is a style of delivery that includes rhyme, rhythm, and spoken language, usually delivered over a beat. It’s a part of the wider hip-hop culture, which includes the spoken word (the MC), the beats (the DJ), break-dancing, and graffiti art. Rap consists of content (what is actually being said), flow, and delivery. Flow refers to how it rhymes and its rhythm; delivery is the tone and speed in which it’s spoken. 

It didn’t come out of nowhere though. Rap was used as storytelling in Western African countries. It was first credited to DJ Kool Herc of the Bronx. He had back to school parties in the 1970s that were absolutely crazy! He would play songs and use his 2 turntables to keep the beat going even after the song was done playing.

Trauma, when unpacked, comes out to be a lot to process. It discusses a heavy message of police brutality and an unjust criminal system. Meek Mill uses his life experiences as examples to touch on very serious topics that affect the african-american man growing up in this country. Life is already a jungle where they are from. If you don’t fall victim to that and the streets, you will fall victim to the criminal justice system – who only wants to see you  ́ ‘dead” or unsuccessful.

He is very upset in this song. You can tell he is being sarcastic, rude, and commanding almost. He’s not asking for your opinion or giving you details on something he sort of knows about, he is talking about something that he knows is facts – especially because it’s happened to him. His life as a young adult and even to this day are all proof he needs. 

THe sample used is singing but eery. Over top an eerie and menacing beat that seems like something bad is about to happen when you hear it. You can tell the energy is going to change when the beat drops and the sample continues to sing “I used to be a dreamer.” No dreaming here, at least not anymore.