Local Wire

Trapstyle Duo Trapzillas Are Not Bullshitting

As 2012 draws to a close, we'll be looking forward to the 2013 and spotlighting 13 Phoenix bands that will be making a mark on the Southwest throughout the new year. This entry comes from Benjamin Leatherman, focusing on the audio exploits of trap duo Trapzillas.

Bragging seems to be as natural a biological process to Adolfo Salazar as breathing. Ask the outspoken local EDM/hip-hop producer about some of his life experiences or the recent exploits of Trapzillas, the two-person trap music act he founded with L.A.'s Logic Ali, and you'll be submerged by waves of stories involving the duo's collaborations with eccentric white boy rapper (and Pitchfork fave) Riff Raff or Salazar's misadventures with a certain cult film director that are too scandalous to print.

Thing is, a majority of his tales are true, at least when it comes to Trapzillas. "People are usually even more surprised about me when they realize I'm really not bullshiting," says Salazar, who we spoke with via Facebook chat.

See also:

-13 Bands You Need to Hear in 2013 -[Archive] That Was 2012

The past year was huge for Trapzillas, as both Salazar (who performs as Dolfz) and Ali (a.k.a. Ten Pill Shawty/Pete Flipper) provided the beats for Riff Raff's "Neon Freedom" and "Midnite Sprite," appeared in his music videos, and backed up the hip-hop star onstage at Mad Decent's block parties in both Philadelphia and NYC. Trapzillas' successes in 2012 weren't only just borne from hitching themselves to Riff Raff's kooky fame train. They've also worked with controversial Chicago rap star Lil' Reese and Salazar is currently brewing up a joint mixtape/album called Wavy in the Trap (due out next year) with hot Brooklyn-based hip-hop producer Harry Fraud at his studio/house in Scottsdale.

And in each of their projects, both Salazar and Logic continue to refine their intoxicating and entrancing trap music creations, which invoke the hip-hop/EDM hybrid genre's mix of Southern rap bombast and the crunchy hooks of hardstyle. Salazar, who digs trap's obsession with "808's and dope dealer fairy tales" more than anything, says that the duo's sound is closer in spirit and content to hip-hop than the EDM-heavy trapstyle that's become hugely popular in the last year. It's even earned them some haters, and not just from the anti-trap crowd that's sprung up as of late.

"The whole 'trapstyle' movement catching on right now has been presented as some new form of music - its all just hip hop. We build songs that can be actually rapped on by a MC," Salazar says. "We are making music for everyone - but with the energy to stay on a dance floor and with a solid appreciation and respect for what the culture behind this sound."

"We don't get hate from hip-hop world [and] the trapstyle movement doesn't know what to do with us really. I'm just an old school raver and Logic's old school hip-hop. We go back and forth, but we love the music and it shows -- real nerds of hip-hop will understand and respect our approach."

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.