Before Richmond’s Gene Thompson became Trapcry, he was writing demos intended for the stars. These songs for Britney and Rihanna showed off his millennial pop upbringing and love for Nineties sounds, but they carried something underneath. Gene soon finished school and shifted focus towards his own artistry. Trapcry formed as an expression of his life as a gay Black artist, a rejection of hip-hop’s hypermasculinity, and a thrilling celebration of radical honesty with himself and his audience.
After three years of obsession and revision, his second full-length Dangerous was released days before the November 2020 election, transformed from its beginnings as a dance record to something densely layered and fiercely political. This is a theme that can be seen in the album artwork before playing a note: a stack of gay men’s magazines is crowned by an issue featuring Trapcry in his Blonde Ambition era from 2016, centering Gene’s Blackness in a sea of white faces. Dangerous is Gene’s boldest campaign for space yet, and after a listen through its near-hour of genre alchemy, it’s hard to forget its impact and scope.
Trapcry’s work remains a proudly sexual, musically rich time capsule of those unprecedented times. Gene takes listeners through a dried-up ghost town on “Man in This Town,” painting a lonely portrait of the dating pool in the pandemic. “Lemonade” even surprised him during playback, its overt sexuality and Kelis homage flirting with a ticklish synth line and gasping percussion.
Dangerous’ political climate allowed Trapcry to lean further into his influences as themes grew darker. “Gettaway” gives an iOS update to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” channeling the track’s folky backbone and lyrical tension towards the insidious revisionism of white supremacy and Trump’s sputtering evil. “Bad 4 U,” featuring another lacy guitar line, finds Gene standing on the dividing line between his unapologetic identity and relationships with conservative value-holders, shouldering a different kind of heartbreak.
Trapcry’s evolution can be best heard where these two worlds converge. The title track—a fan favorite—is a driving, infectious club banger. It’s easy to get lost in Gene’s slipstream of celebration and revelation, inspired by Odetta’s “Hit or Miss.” Dangerous revolves around this idea: expressing one’s identity freely as a form of artistic liberation. Just listen to “Goku thee Stallion” for another example: a supercharged trap moment that Gene feels is the project’s star, a thunderbolt of pride doubling as a dance floor anthem. All of these moments of self-assuredness come with a side of softness. “As a gay artist, I want to be true to the experience for as many people as I can. I have to be authentic, but thoughtful,” Gene explains.
Dangerous will be reissued on double 12” vinyl in fall 2021/winter 2022 by Richmond’s own Quiet Year in celebration of the project’s first anniversary.
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Trapcry's Latest Single "d33p inside" (10/18/21)
TRAPCRY'S VIDEO FOR "LEMONADE"
PRESS FOR TRAPCRY
“Dangerous is most decisively glued together by a sense of pride weaving in and out of its colorful track list, emboldening songs worthy of voguing, twerking, and hitching a ride in fast cars.” — FLOOD Magazine
"Dangerous is a bold endeavor from an artist who isn’t shy about defying stereotypes, transcending genre, and staying true to himself. With a wealth of inspiration from the past and a sense of personal and political urgency in the present, Trapcry is breaking the ice. Are you listening?" — Robin Schwartzkopf for RVA Mag