Drill and trap music may sound similar to some, but there are some notable differences between the two. In this article we’ll discuss drill vs trap and look at some real examples.
What Is the Main Difference Between Drill and Trap Music?
The main difference between drill and trap music is in their lyrics. Drill music focuses more on the violence and brutality of the streets, whereas trap music focuses on drugs and drug dealing.
Drill is slang for shooting, so if someone says they’re a driller it often means they’re calling themselves a gun shooter.
Trap refers to a traphouse, a place where drugs are sold and sometimes taken.
The theme of the music around these two genres often relates to the above-mentioned subjects.
Now, let’s look more into each of these two music styles. Video examples below.
Drill music is a genre of hip-hop heavily influenced by trap music. This style of music originated in the South Side of Chicago, and drill music came from the violent streets in the Woodlawn area of Dro City.
The lyrics focus on crime, gang violence, and daily challenges. Songwriters of this genre write straightforwardly.
Drill music is known for its dry and emotionless delivery. Artists are conveying the tension they feel in their violent environments. The listener feels the pessimism expressed by the artist as they prioritize violence and material success over everything else.
The lyrics for drill music are very violent and dark. The words represent the harsh reality of the criminal underworld and contain a great deal of slang and profanity. They recount stories involving guns, death, drugs, gangs, and violence.
The name comes from the slang term used for automatic weapons.
Drill music is known for its absence of metaphors. The artists tell the story in real terms with no flowery imagery; their stories are usually quite horrific.
Some influential drill artists are Kay Flock, B-Lovee, Lola Brooke, Eli Fross, and Dougie B.
You can see more details in our article on what is drill music.
You can recognize drill music by its haunting sound and slower beat than trap music. Drill songs typically have 60 to 70 beats per minute.
What Makes a Good Drill Song?
An actual drill song reflects the horrors of the street and describes the reality of violence and death daily. You can see the best drill songs here.
Trap music originates from Atlanta, Georgia. It is a form of rap that describes life on the streets. Trap songs usually recount the dangers of manufacturing, selling, and using drugs. The name “trap” comes from where criminals sell drugs.
Trap music began to emerge in the 2000s. T.I. was one of trap music's founders when he found a following with his album Trap Muzik. He introduced the sound of trap music to a broader audience in the Atlanta area. Soon, other rappers were introducing the trap style into their music.
You will recognize trap music when you hear the 808 kick drums and heavy bass lines. The lyrics focus on dealing drugs, women, and violence. However, the violence is not as harsh as in drill music, where listeners will hear a much milder version of the violence.
Trap music has increased in popularity since its crossover to the mainstream. In the last decade, many trap songs have found their way to the Billboard Charts.
Some of the most influential trap artists are Gucci Mane, UGK, Jeezy, Boosie Badazz, and Master P. These artists were pioneers in developing the trap sound and style. They brought the trap stories to the stage and helped spread them worldwide.
You can see more details in our article on what is trap music.
Trap music is characterized by rolling kick and bass sounds much faster than drill music. There are also hi-hat rolls as well as snare rolls.
What Makes a Good Trap Song?
An essential element of a trap song is the kick drum and the 808 patterns, and this element gives the piece that serious hard, thumping feel. You can see the best trap songs here.
Some Drill Artists
Several drill artists have influenced the style enormously.
Chief Keef brought drill into the mainstream, and his experience with gang violence impacted his lyrics. He released his debut album, I Don't Like, in 2012, which was a huge success. He is known as the King of Drill.
King Louie started his musical career by handing out his CDs at parties and bus stops. He became a familiar face on the drill music scene and was soon appearing with stars like Kanye West. He is a born survivor, living through a car crash and a gunshot wound to the head. His song “Live and Die in Chicago” is a realistic glimpse at life on the streets of Chicago.
Headie One is another pioneer of drill music who has risen very fast on the charts. He started with the group OFB and has found his niche in the drill world. He has publicly called out the police for blaming drill music as being the cause of violence.
Some Trap Artists
In a discussion of drill vs trap, several trap artists have significantly impacted this unique style of music.
Travis Scott is a talented trap artist. He blends rap with melodies which is unique in the trap music world. His song “Coffee Bean” will give you an idea about his influence. Released in 2018, his album Astroworld is the definition of trap music, and it won him the BET Hip Hop Award for Album of the Year.
Young Thug is one of the most popular trap artists on the music scene today. His popularity has increased significantly due to his collaborations with artists like Drake and Travis Scott. He likes to challenge gender and sexuality stereotypes, and his unique persona serves him well. “Best Friend” was one of Young Thug's biggest songs.
Gucci Mane is one of the most influential trap artists. He has enormously influenced the trap genre and has more Billboard Top 10 Rap Albums than any other artist. Listen to his song “I Get the Bag” to learn how his lyrics make such an impact.
Trap Vs Drill Comparison, Final Thoughts
Drill and trap music are genres that generally appeal to young people. The lyrics of these songs focus on the hardships of the criminal life. In terms of drill vs trap, both are unique sounds that rappers use to describe a life of violence on the streets.