Interview: Trap Duo Loudpvck Brings The Noise And Breaks Genre Barriers
“Trap is building strength off [hip-hop]. Rappers and trap artists are starting to pay attention to this EDM thing to form this third thing. It isn’t EDM trap, it isn’t rap music, it’s something new.” – Kenny Beats (Loudpvck)
Trap duo Loudpvck—made up of New York City hip-hop producer Kenny Beats and LA electronic producer Ryan Marks—are just finishing sound check at Highline Ballroom in New York City. Kenny rocks a Supreme snapback while Ryan sports a couple tattoos across his arms with a cigarette tucked behind his ear. The two have had a busy year, dropping their signature gangster-esque trap remixes left and right, producing for A$AP Ferg, and playing shows around the country. The two seem alert and confident, probably still buzzing from the coffee they had at 9:00 AM to spin for Sway’s morning radio show: “It was a trip, Sway’s always been an ambassador of what’s dope in hip-hop,” Kenny says. “When you get to listen to them for 2-3 years you never think you’re gonna hear your voice on the other side.” It’s clear these guys are hip-hop heads first and foremost: “It’s also crazy when you’re in a room with five people and you know there’s like a million people listening,” Ryan adds.
The Loudpvck duo are forerunners amidst a merging of genres, an evolution in music. The emergence of trap, a hip-hop hype genre converted dance, blew up with Flosstradamus’s “Original Don” remix a little over a year ago and has taken hold of EDM ever since. Over that short year, trap has infiltrated festivals nationwide and even mainstream radio as the lines separating hip-hop and dance music continue to blur and enter into each other’s worlds. Yeezus’s electronically-heavy production credits shocked the world, Waka has announced a forthcoming “EDM” album, and Diplo is hard at work executive producing Riff Raff’s Neon Icon. Rap, music’s prominent genre for arguably the past 20 years finally seems to be converging with music’s newborn cash-crop, festival driven dance music or “EDM.” And Ryan and Kenny, who formed trap super-group Loudpvck over bong rips while listening to Clipse’s Hell Hath No Fury record, are right in the middle of it.
In truth, trap has been around for years through hip-hop, dominating southern rap beats since the early ’90s. It was the rise in EDM that brought trap into the limelight again, only this time catered in a dance format: “Our new kind of trap is really just what the Shawty Redd’s or the Lex Luger’s would be doing if they were 18-year-old white kids or random kids from the suburbs who didn’t have the southern rap music exposure,” Kenny says. “The genre is basically 808-influenced drums with every sub-genre of dance music’s sounds on top of it, and then blurring the lines between those two things as much as you can – that’s what we try to do,” Ryan adds.
So let the lines blur. This formula has landed Loudpvck great success and has helped them stand out in a sea of over-saturated and generic music. And for the critics claiming trap is dying and riding on hype, Loudpvck throws away the term ‘trap’ all together: “To us the name trap isn’t important to why this music is hitting so hard, it’s just a label you can put on it that makes people comfortable… It’s going to become less and less of this new thing in-between dance and rap, and start to be just wild rap records, just these crazy dance records,” Kenny says. ” As that dissipates and the music just speaks for itself it’s going to become something more cohesive.”
Loudpvck’s recent remix, “Shakedown,” embodies that cohesiveness in trap is shifting to, the 100 BPM ‘twerk’ range – a different style of trap that producers like Baauer, Brillz, and RL Grime are starting to move towards. But with seemingly the entire nation obsessed with anything ‘twerk,’ Loudpvck wants to make it clear they’re not bound to any genre: “We’ve incorporated it into our whole shit and we definitely have 100 BPM parts of our sets, and like you said we dropped that Jackal remix. But more so than that specific tempo being a new thing we want to cling to, I think just the idea of taking our sound to any vibe and tempo is what’s exciting,” Kenny says.
The sky is truly the limit for Loudpvck – as genres barriers fade into obscurity their booming 808’s, gritty synth lines, and hip-hop vocal samples will shine through wherever they take their talents next: “Our goal is to get to the point where we can do any beat, any tempo or genre. Like we can make a 128 house thing, and you’ll listen to it and think ‘yeah that’s a Loudpvck’ record,” Ryan says. En route to TomorrowWorld in September and with a huge remix, “Asphyxiation,” out yesterday, best believe 2013 will be on that loud for Kenny Beats and Ryan Marks.