Trapfuturism™ campaign (2019)


1. a combination of the words “trap” (as in trap music) and “Afrofuturism”

2. describing the intersections of Hood culture and digital technology and the role they play in influencing global culture

3. the future of trap culture and Trap music, including the ways  digital technology can provide opportunities for hood folks to prosper in whatever ways they need and want to– economically, socially, politically, etc.

Trapfuturism™ started as a branding project for my junior year Design Studio III course. A term I coined in October of 2019, it directly derives from the words “trap” (a musical genre and sect of Black culture embodying the hood and its experiences, including, but not limited to, violence and drug production/distrobution) and “afrofuturism” (an envisioning of Black culture in relationship to technological advancement), and was inspired by my love, appreciation for, and personal relationship to Trap culture/”The Ghetto”. 

Although I was born and raised in a hood, my home community in North Lawndale, Chicago, society taught me to hate it– The Hood/the “Ghetto”/the Trap.

As I grow older, I realize the dualities of beauty and pain in the place I call home and places like it, and how much of the world is inspired by these communities. I believe that the monolith and outdated portrayals of the hood need work. The world needs to put some respect on The Hood’s name.

Now, Trapfuturism is a movement. A lifestyle. From aesthetics to delving deep into the power and harmful effects of trap culture, Trapfuturism is what the concept of “the hood” Is evolving into every day. 

I used the slogan “See yourself in the future, you are royalty” from Donald Lawrence’s gospel song “You Are An Heir”, which I was listening to while developing the beginnings of the Trapfuturism™ brand. The song is a blast from the past for me, as I’ve grown up in a Christian household and family my entire life, and know God for myself today. It’s uplifting, telling listeners to see themselves in the future because they are royalty as God’s creations.

The grids used throughout all of Trapfuturism are taken from images of gas stations and corner stores in hoods on Chicago’s west and south sides. These places are social hubs within the community, and many young Black people on social media today, especially those who live and thrive in the hood, have photoshoots in gas stations.

© 2023 nailah golden |