Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Abu Dhabi F1: Future and Gucci Mane will bring trap music appeal to the capital

The form is a subgenre of hip-hop that originated in the US southern rap scene

 Rappers Future and Gucci Mane will perform in Abu Dhabi as part of the F1 weekend.  Courtesy Shutterstock
 Rappers Future and Gucci Mane will perform in Abu Dhabi as part of the F1 weekend.  Courtesy Shutterstock

Tonight Future and Gucci Mane have the unenviable task of performing at the du Arena, as part of the Abu Dhabi F1 after race concert series, having been drafted in as last-minute replacements.

It will be a tough gig as the pair were recruited to replace superstar rapper Travis Scott, who announced he was pulling out of the show on Tuesday due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

Whatever those reasons are, which concert organiser Flash Entertainment insist are “extremely legitimate,” fans now have to make due with Scott’s fellow Atlanta rappers to bring the hip-hop entertainment.

Now, no one can ever replace a Travis Scott show entirely successfully. That’s because Scott is simply immense on stage. The fierce energy of his shows are more similar to a punk concert than a hip-hop gig, with his fans ‘raging’ in the mosh-pit upon his behest.

That said, if you swallow your disappointment and look at things from a more objective point of view, you will realise that the replacement double act is a relatively dope move from the organisers.

Bringing trap music to the UAE

Aesthetically speaking, both Future and Gucci Mane are in the same ballpark as Scott, in that they are part of the leading acts in the popular trap music scene.

A subgenre of hip-hop, trap music has grown to become a force in its own right. Springing from the US southern rap scene in the mid-1990s, the music is hedonistic in sound and content.

The rhythms are feverish, with stuttering kick drums and incessant hi-hats. While traditional hip-hop, also known as boom-bap, took its instrumental cues from funk and soul, trap music is more enamoured with dance music elements such as synthesisers. All of this came together to make trap music the dominant sound in any self-respecting nightclub with its major acts now headlining international music festivals.

Future has played a huge role in the genre’s elevation, not to mention in inspiring the likes of Scott. Entering the scene in 2008, four years before Scott signed his first record deal, Future - real name Nayvadius Wilburn - came with his own style and sound.

Where artists like T-Pain used auto-tune to enhance their voice, Future, 36, was one of the first hip-hop acts to use the vocal processor as an actual instrument. His originally raspy voice, moulded and twisted via auto-tune, coupled with dark and claustrophobic production, created a trademark sound that’s both noir-ish and, well, futuristic.

Hits like Mask Off and Low Life are a showcase of trap music’s focus on vibe. While traditional hip-hop focuses on lyricism, trap music is more about the sensation it evokes. Fancy word play is not a necessity here. Instead, it's all about the cadence with which those words are delivered. This is why many of the genre’s lyrics are, often, delightfully weird. Peep this from Might as Well from Future's self-titled 2017 album: "Tears fillin’ up a pond/AC blowin’ like it's snowin'/I know I'm bliss, I speak in tongues."

Gucci Mane released 15 albums in as many years

When it comes to the veteran Gucci Mane, he believes he invented trap music. It is a view point that resulted in him having an online spat with fellow Atlanta native and rapper T.I, who also claims that crown.

While that argument is inconclusive, and frankly petty, there is no doubt that Mane was there in the early 2000s when the genre was just beginning to go mainstream. Where Future often focusses on the genre's bleaker aspects, both sonically and lyrically, Mane is more on the celebratory tip.

Over a staggering 15 albums in nearly as many years, Mane played a key role in bringing the form to the masses, with hits singles Freaky Gurl, I Get the Bag with Migos, and his Bruno Mars collaboration Wake Up in the Sky.

Abu Dhabi can expect Gucci Mane to take the stage in some fine threads courtesy of his partnership with Italian fashion house Gucci, of-course.

Future and Gucci Mane perform tonight at du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Doors open from 5pm. To attend the after race concerts, you need to have a ticket for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Tickets are available online from Yas Marina Circuit.

Updated: November 29, 2019 04:19 PM

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