The new single/video from 14 trapdoors “Swerve Skrrt”, this is the third of their monthly release series and offers up some clever camera work by the minds of S’likedat and The Media Music, Inc.
14 Trapdoors have created their own sub-genre of hip hop, one they’ve coined New Trap Boom Bap. The trio from Buffalo, New York featuring members bendyface, Shorty Moscato and WZA cull from a wide range of influences that span Aseop Rock, Big L, El-P, Jay Z and fellow Buffalo artists Westside Gunn and Conway to Pink Floyd, Prince and Led Zeppelin. “People who gravitate toward the golden age ‘90s boom bap feel will fuck with it because we focus on lyricism and new age youngins will fuck with it because we have songs with a more ‘trappy’ vibe,” bendyface says.
A good example of their eclectic brand of hip hop can be heard on their self-produced single “Holy Water” that catches the lyricists trading rhymes bar-for-bar atop of a minimalistic track highlighted with ecohing bass, ticking snares and haunting operatic rock backing ad-libs. “Holy Water” symbolizes their relationship to their music. “Our music and our vibes, that’s our holy water,” Short explains. “That’s what makes us feel clean and pure.”
So far they have released 3 singles to date. They flip samples and 16 pad beats on the punchy horn-sampled “Swerve Skrrrt,”, get sinister on the Lex Luger-helmed banger “Corridorz” featuring Dev11n and trade 8 bars back to back to back on the self-produced, ghostly chants of “Holy Water”.
Playing lots of shows, including opening for Freddie Gibbs, Raekwon, GZA, Lil Brother, Brother Ali Blu, Smokepurpp and Comethazine helped shape & improve their sound. “I want to have songs that are meant to chill in a room with some heads and smoke a blunt to,” WZA explains. “But when you start playing festivals, you’re like, ‘Oh shit, you need turn up songs for those festivals too.’” Their music videos for “Holy Water,” “Corridorz” and “Swerve Skrrt” capture the guys wilding out amid trippy, psychedelic graphics.
The rappers met on the Buffalo hip hop scene and decided to pool their assets during the summer of 2016 when they all happened to release projects at the same time. They are all solo artists and bendyface is also a member of the duo Chronic Collective. WZA mixed and mastered their recordings, resulting in them spending a lot of time together at his studio.
The name 14 Trapdoors pays homage to their hometown. The 14 represents the summation of the digits in their 716 area code and trapdoors is a reference to the city’s DIY scene. “Everybody you know is trapping something out their house, whether it deals with music, art or drugs, and when you are a rapper, you need all three of those things,” WZA says. “So you find yourself walking through many trapdoors.”
They also attribute their sound to Buffalo, a city where one of hip hop’s most respected eras still gets its props. “Our whole stance on music is that It’s all about truly being yourself and being honest with yourself,” WZA says.