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Exclusive Interview with TrapCore

TrapCore is a brand which merges hardcore inspired fashion with Trap influenced style. Creator, Matt Penttila aka Tilla, is also director of the Certified Trap documentary series which debuted in 2012. The documentary followed Tilla and his partner Pesh as they bridged the gap between the Electronic trap music world and Trap Hip Hop. The series made notable contributions to the future of Trap music, like introducing Waka Flocka to EDM, Flosstradamus to DJ Trap-A-Holics (Mr. Damn son, where’d you find this?), among others. Tilla’s new creation, TrapCore is the next step in the evolution of the post-trap wave. You can buy gear with a 20% off discount with the promo code trapstyle too!
Tilla has worked closely with Heavy Metal style illustrators from around the world and asked them to flip their style using Hip Hop themes. Together, they’ve created graphics which paint a post-apocalyptic vision of the world where society has been plunged into a war torn ghetto. Demon fiends invading the bando, zombie women popping bottles in VIP, and gun toting robot gangsters all illustrated in vivid detail make up the TC universe. Regardless of gender and race, we fight to transcend the madness and escape the Trap.
As they launch their website thisistrapcore.com, we partnered for the premiere of their first official lookbook showcasing twelve different designs and featuring EDM artists Duelle, Sullivan King, Nathaniel Knows, DJ Sophia Lin, model Melissa Paradise, and rapper Crichy Crich shot by IG famous photographer Steve Bitanga and newcomer Kaito, who recently shot Diddy and Justin Bieber among others.
We sat with Tilla to talk the current state of Trap and what is vision is for TRAPCORE is. Check out the interview below:
What made you integrate hardcore and trap music? Were there any inspirations from a specific song or artist that made you realize that these genres mash perfectly?
Heavy Metal has always had a strong illustrated element since the early days
14 Crichy Crichof Megadeth, Iron Maiden, and Metallica.  You see it in
everything from the album covers to the merch.  The lyrics in Trap music paint a vivid picture as well.  I wanted to paint that picture in a way that’s never been done.  As far as inspiration, the first song that comes to mind is “Sanitarium,” by Metallica, which is a song about being imprisoned or ‘trapped.’  Megadeth’s album cover for Countdown to Extinction depicts a man in a prison cell.  These are literal Trap comparisons, but beneath the imagery, I feel the emotion comes from the same place.  For instance Young Jeezy states in “Soul Survivor” “First they give us the work then they throw us in jail, I’m trafficing in the white, Please Lord don’t let me go to jail tonight”  The lyrics sound desperate and describe a man doing what he has to survive.  We all share the same struggle at different levels.  Trapcore represents that.
You successfully mixed two different genres that incorporate rebellious themes. How did you find their harmony?
11 Melissa ParadiseAuthenticity is everything!  I reached out to reputable Heavy Metal illustrators from around the world and worked closely with them to create the Trapcore style, coming up with unique themes for each shirt.  I found a really amazing designer who did the Trapcore main graphic on our website, an armor clad urban warrior emerging from fire and rubble, clutching two giants axes.  A year after we worked together, the same designer did Megadeth’s new Dystopia album cover and it bears a resemblance to the graphic we collaborated on.  Real recognize real.  We’re from two totally different worlds, but riding the same wave.  I feel very honored since Megadeth was such a huge inspiration for Trapcore.
What is your next step for Trapcore and what do you hope to accomplish?
My goal is for Trapcore to be the premiere destination for graphic tee’s in 9 DuelleRap.  I want to feature a wide variety of artists from around the world who can graphically depict the feeling you get listening to Trap music into a t-shirt design.  I want them to explore the surreal and draw from their imagination, not from reality.  Take rap fans to a world they’ve never seen before.  I want the TC line to become collectibles and twenty years from now we’ll rock em like kids wear vintage rock t’s today.

Who do you hope to collaborate your work with in the future and what areas would you expand your horizon (such as other genres, artists, or locations)?

16 SquadI’m working on show merch for Chicago rapper Montana of 300.  We are preparing several merch pieces for his up coming Fire in the Church tour.  I have a collaboration with rapper/singer James Dennis, who is pushing his own style of trap, Trap Goth, coming soon.  I would like to work with Southside of 808 Mafia, who I reached out to and got a good response from so hopefully we’ll collab sometime in the future.  I work closely with Livemixtapes, who premieres major tapes from some of your favorite rappers, so I’ll definitely be working with them on some releases and possibly an official Trapcore mixtape.
How do you get the full attention from an audience that listens to only hardcore or trap? 
Good music is good music.  I want to cater to people who recognize that.   I’m 7 Crichy Crichmarketing to the different scenes separately, but my target audience is people like myself, who have a love for both.  We’re a new breed, and we’re growing in numbers.  The Trapacalypse is coming, get down or lay down!

The art displayed on your website perfectly envisions the style of Trapcore. Do you think this line of art helped gain an understanding of this evolution?

1 DJ Sophia LinWhen you see all the designs on our website you can begin to see an underlying theme or story told between the different images.  It’s not really something you can explain in words.  You hear the music, and you see the art, and it makes perfect sense.  I think when people see it, they get it!