If the phrase "song of the summer" ever meant anything before it was stripped of all context, it was this -- an unshakeable earworm that somehow managed to infiltrate car stereos, barbecues, and parties for the hot months, the song you associate with that summer ten, 15 years down the road. In 2015, "Trap Queen" is, undoubtedly, that song. Over a year after its original release in April 2014, it's what you hear blasting out of everyone's cars, what people put on after taking the aux cord from their Uber drivers, what will play back in people's heads when they think about their summer flings. "Trap Queen" ruled the summer.
It's not hard to see why -- it's an upbeat, soaring, track about blending your romantic life with your work life (isn't that the dream?), sonically accessible but not cringe-worthy, capable of inspiring long works of praise. But now, with another month of summer left, "Trap Queen" has died, a victim of its own catchiness, fun, and our cultural tendency to take beautiful things and run them into the ground. We hit peak "Trap Queen" a while ago -- something that was once exciting and fun has been shriveled.
It's not that being mainstream implicitly makes something bad -- some of
the uses of "Trap Queen" are still endearing and funny, and speak to
how powerful the song is. The Kansas City Royals are obsessed with "Trap
Queen," to the point where they have decided to forcibly work "1738" into all of their interviews, ruining the press' ability to get good quotes out of them. This is hilarious, because the Royals love Fetty Wap and are using "Trap Queen" as part of a joke that's just for them.
But by the time something is acceptable on, say, The Today Show's parents vertical, it's on its last legs, drained for all its initial cultural excitement until everyone is just tired. (Imagine the hurdles it would have to get through for "Trap Queen" to actually be played on the show!) Like any cultural product, everyone just gets tired after a while. And lo and behold, this video, in which Doug Funnie from Doug sings "Trap Queen," is the last straw. Finally, after many months, the meme of "Trap Queen" and its various connotations replace "Trap Queen," the very enjoyable piece of music.
The important thing here is not the mere presence of Doug Funnie -- he is great, and the show is great -- it's that the whole joke is Doug Funnie is ostensibly singing "Trap Queen," putting two things next to each other and assuming that will create humor. If "Trap Queen" is at the same place in pop culture as a decades-old cartoon, we have a problem.
Something like simply putting Doug and "Trap Queen" next to each with no added value drains the resource of our collective love of the song much faster, and with less care paid to the original object of mass affection. So while it's not like we haven't participated in this (comparing Betty Draper to Fetty Wap, considering illuminati conspiracies about Kate Hudson and her son dancing to "Trap Queen"), at least we're doing our best to not deplete this precious resource.
The best we can hope for now is that Fetty Wap will ride his massive, not-just-"Trap Queen" success on the pop charts to a long, healthy career, and we can all just leave this embarrassing few months behind us. Maybe in a few years, we'll be able to wholeheartedly, earnestly enjoy "Trap Queen" again without having to think about what we did. Just let "Trap Queen" be for a while.