Atlanta-based journalist and author A.R. Shaw is this week’s guest on Day 1 Radio. Shaw has spent the last five years researching and collecting interviews for his upcoming book, Trap History. In it, he tells a holistic story of the music genre that emerged from crime and poverty to produce chart-topping pop stars. In this interview Shaw shares the journey of creating the book and talks about the importance of people who come from similar backgrounds as these artist to take control of the narratives.
2:30 – Shaw immediately gets into how important the role of a Black music journalist is. He goes into why he decided to create about trap music history specifically, especially since the genre is popular right now. He also shares how even though Atlanta artists get credit for creating the genre, its roots can be found in music by UGK, Playa Fly and 8Ball & MJG.
6:00 – Shaw, a Georgia State University graduate, gets into his history as a writer. He talks about how coming up during the time that Atlanta’s music industry explosion was beneficial to his career. He also talks about the challenge of writing a book about a music genre that keeps growing every day. We also talk about how trap music has been able to continue evolving and outgrow other Atlanta-based genres like crunk and snap.
12:30 – As a journalist, we are taught not to put ourselves in the story but Shaw was advised by a friend to put himself in this story because he was actually there, similar to authors who wrote about the Civil Rights Movement. He gets into how he fits in the history and how he went about writing the book for “aliens” who may not know anything about the subject.
17:10 – Shaw says he never worried about one of the people he interviewed or anybody else “beating” him to putting out a trap music book first. He says he focused on telling the story right instead of first. He also gets into how why he interviewed drug addicts and talked about how mental health plays a part in trap music as well.
21:30 – Shaw gets into how he was able to tell the history of Atlanta alongside the history of trap. He breaks down how Atlanta’s infrastructure actually birthed “the trap.”
23:30 – Shaw answers the tough question of who is the true pioneer of trap music. He also ponders if trap music is indeed the most successful sub-genre of rap music. We also talk about how long the trap music run will last.
34:00 – Shaw gets his knowledge tested with some Hip Hop Trivia. Listen to see how he did.
Day 1 Radio podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, IHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, Radio Public, and CLNS Mobile Media app. Follow us on Twitter, FB, and IG at @day1radio