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What is the relationship between architecture and trap?

How music videos have revived the interest and the charm of often forgotten places

What is the relationship between architecture and trap?  How music videos have revived the interest and the charm of often forgotten places
Le Lavatrici di Genova

Le "Lavatrici" di Genova

By Aldo Luigi Rizzo, Angelo Sibilla, Aldo Pino
Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Directed by Theodor Guelat
Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Directed by Theodor Guelat
Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Directed by Theodor Guelat
Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Directed by Theodor Guelat
Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Directed by Theodor Guelat
Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

By Aldo Rossi, Giovanni Da Pozzo, Edoardo Guenzani, Michele Tadi
Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

By Aldo Rossi, Giovanni Da Pozzo, Edoardo Guenzani, Michele Tadi
Le Lavatrici di Genova

Le "Lavatrici" di Genova

By Aldo Luigi Rizzo, Angelo Sibilla, Aldo Pino
Tedua - Fashion Week Rmx (Prod. Chris Nolan) ft. Sofiane

Tedua - Fashion Week Rmx (Prod. Chris Nolan) ft. Sofiane

Directed by Federico Merlo
Buzludzha Monument, Kazanlak, Bulgaria

Buzludzha Monument, Kazanlak, Bulgaria

By Georgi Vladimirov Stoilov
Buzludzha Monument, Kazanlak, Bulgaria

Buzludzha Monument, Kazanlak, Bulgaria

By Georgi Vladimirov Stoilov
Calcutta - Kiwi

Calcutta - Kiwi

Directed by Francesco Lettieri
Calcutta - Kiwi

Calcutta - Kiwi

Directed by Francesco Lettieri
Mecna - Mentre Nessuno Guarda

Mecna - Mentre Nessuno Guarda

Directed by Enea Colombi
Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

By Aldo Rossi, Giovanni Da Pozzo, Edoardo Guenzani, Michele Tadi
Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

By Aldo Rossi, Giovanni Da Pozzo, Edoardo Guenzani, Michele Tadi
Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Directed by Theodor Guelat
Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Complesso Residenziale Piazza Grande, Napoli

Complesso Residenziale Piazza Grande, Napoli

By Aldo Loris Rossi
Mara Sattei - Nuova Registrazione 402 (prod. tha Supreme)

Mara Sattei - Nuova Registrazione 402 (prod. tha Supreme)

Directed by Enea Colombi
Mara Sattei - Nuova Registrazione 402 (prod. tha Supreme)

Mara Sattei - Nuova Registrazione 402 (prod. tha Supreme)

Directed by Enea Colombi
Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

By Emile Aillaud
Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

By Emile Aillaud
Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

By Emile Aillaud
Les Arenes de Picasso, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Les Arenes de Picasso, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Manuel Nunez Yanowsky
Les Arenes de Picasso, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Les Arenes de Picasso, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Manuel Nunez Yanowsky
Complesso Residenziale Piazza Grande, Napoli

Complesso Residenziale Piazza Grande, Napoli

By Aldo Loris Rossi
LIBERATO - NOVE MAGGIO

LIBERATO - NOVE MAGGIO

Directed by Francesco Lettieri
LIBERATO - NOVE MAGGIO

LIBERATO - NOVE MAGGIO

Directed by Francesco Lettieri
Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

By Ricardo Bofill
LIBERATO - TU T'E SCURDAT' 'E ME

LIBERATO - TU T'E SCURDAT' 'E ME

Directed by Francesco Lettieri
Casa del Portuale, Napoli

Casa del Portuale, Napoli

By Aldo Loris Rossi
Casa del Portuale, Napoli

Casa del Portuale, Napoli

By Aldo Loris Rossi
Casa del Portuale, Napoli

Casa del Portuale, Napoli

By Aldo Loris Rossi
LIBERATO - NOVE MAGGIO

LIBERATO - NOVE MAGGIO

Directed by Francesco Lettieri
Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

By Emile Aillaud

At a first glance, there doesn't seem to be an immediate and self-evident link between architecture - intended as the representation of symbolic, but also forgotten places - and rap or trap music. Until recently, the classic music videos of this genre were associated with only one type of imaginary, which hinges on the concept of show off, and which therefore focuses on the artists, their style, and their successes. 

However, it's undeniable that over the last few years there has been a very important evolution from an aesthetic point of view, thanks to a new generation of artists who have moved away from those stereotypes, to tell their hometowns in a more authentic and truthful way. Music videos have become the favourite tool of communication where maniacal attention is paid to the background, that doesn't have anything 'back' any more. This shift in the perception and the representation of places took place both at a European level (just think of the video of Skepta's Shutdown, less than three minutes that alone tell the London suburbs and the faces that populate it) as much as Italian, just think of the partnership between Francesco Lettieri and LIBERATO, and artists such as Mecna, Rkomi, Gue Pequeno, Tedua, and many others. 

LIBERATO - TU T'E SCURDAT' 'E ME

LIBERATO - TU T'E SCURDAT' 'E ME

Directed by Francesco Lettieri
Casa del Portuale, Napoli

Casa del Portuale, Napoli

By Aldo Loris Rossi
Casa del Portuale, Napoli

Casa del Portuale, Napoli

By Aldo Loris Rossi
Casa del Portuale, Napoli

Casa del Portuale, Napoli

By Aldo Loris Rossi
LIBERATO - NOVE MAGGIO

LIBERATO - NOVE MAGGIO

Directed by Francesco Lettieri
LIBERATO - NOVE MAGGIO

LIBERATO - NOVE MAGGIO

Directed by Francesco Lettieri
LIBERATO - NOVE MAGGIO

LIBERATO - NOVE MAGGIO

Directed by Francesco Lettieri
Complesso Residenziale Piazza Grande, Napoli

Complesso Residenziale Piazza Grande, Napoli

By Aldo Loris Rossi
Complesso Residenziale Piazza Grande, Napoli

Complesso Residenziale Piazza Grande, Napoli

By Aldo Loris Rossi

The latest project by Bianca Felicori, architect and author, started from here, as she made research one of the cornerstones of her work, as proved by the IG page @forgotten_architecture. The result of his research has been at the centre of a series of talks, entitled TRAP ARCHITECTURE and held at Triennale Milano together with the (ab)Normal collective, the artists of the DICHO pavilion, currently in the impluvium of the Palazzo dell'Arte in Milan, in collaboration with the Tbilisi Biennial. 

nss magazine has reached out to Bianca Felicori to better understand what is the new bond that connects architecture and trap imagery. 

#1 How did you come up with the idea for this project? Where does your research start? 

Rap before and trap today are musical genres (and sub-genres) born as subcultures that today make up a  universal language. Anyone listens to trap, the twelve-year-old on TikTok as much as the thirty-year-old freelancer who works as an art director. Trap unites us, and we feed this economic and social system. All trap artists today have millions of views, gold and platinum records, sold-out gigs, concerts with endless queues outside. I've been listening to rap since I was a teenager and at the time it was quite atypical, despite being born and raised in Bologna, a city commonly recognized as the symbol of this culture. Over the years I have learned to combine my education as an architect with collateral passions. I began to investigate the most popular architectures that form the backdrop to the music videos of artists - emerging and non-Italian. Artists who have built an empire without forgetting where they come from, indeed, they go up on stage and show you where they have arrived, how much gold they wear around their neck after suffering the condition of isolation of the suburbs and of the province. 

Mara Sattei - Nuova Registrazione 402 (prod. tha Supreme)

Mara Sattei - Nuova Registrazione 402 (prod. tha Supreme)

Directed by Enea Colombi
Mara Sattei - Nuova Registrazione 402 (prod. tha Supreme)

Mara Sattei - Nuova Registrazione 402 (prod. tha Supreme)

Directed by Enea Colombi
Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

By Emile Aillaud
Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

By Emile Aillaud
Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

By Emile Aillaud
Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

Tours Aillaud, Nanterre, France

By Emile Aillaud
Les Arenes de Picasso, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Les Arenes de Picasso, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Manuel Nunez Yanowsky
Les Arenes de Picasso, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Les Arenes de Picasso, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Manuel Nunez Yanowsky

#2 The concept of neighbourhood, of a place of belonging, has always been a core value of the rap and trap world, both on a narrative and visual level. Do you think there has been an aesthetical evolution in the representation of these places? 

I think this depends a lot on the image that the artists want to give of them and on how the director chooses to represent them. The peripheral context remains a constant leitmotiv even today because these places have always been the symbol of social redemption and the starting point for the rise of an artist. It's an Italian and European cultural appropriation born with hip hop in the USA

There has been an aesthetic evolution, yes, and this is thanks to the directors, who are becoming increasingly important. The increase in their importance has also been accompanied by a growing commitment to research in the structuring of videos: storytelling, styling, location scouting. The quality level is very high, also and above all in the location scouting. In particular, directors have recently entered the architectural debate not only by choosing the suburbs as a context but also by enhancing the design components. Think of the video 9 MAGGIO by Liberato directed by Francesco Lettieri or Fuck Tomorrow (Rkomi x The Night Skinny) by Edoardo Carlo Bolli and Antonio Ragni. 

In addition to the peripheral one, there's another interesting trend to keep an eye on, namely directors who choose less known or even forgotten modern or contemporary architectures as locations, another theme that I have very much at heart. On this genre, we still have few examples in Italy, but I hope that in the near future it will be appreciated more and more. An exemplary director is Enea Colombi, in all of his videos architecture plays a fundamental role, I'll just mention the short film of Mentre Nessuno Guarda, shot at Aldo Rossi's Parco Tecnologico in Fondo Toce. 

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Directed by Theodor Guelat
Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Directed by Theodor Guelat
Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Directed by Theodor Guelat
Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

Les Arcades Du Lac-Le Viaduc, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Directed by Theodor Guelat
Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Directed by Theodor Guelat
Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Rkomi - Visti Dall'Alto ft. Dardust

Directed by Theodor Guelat
Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Ricardo Bofill
Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

Espaces d’Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, France

By Ricardo Bofill

#3 What drives directors and artists to often forgotten places and buildings?

I believe that what drives directors, in particular, is the desire to go beyond the clichés of Italian music videos to explore new themes. In particular, these directors work a lot on disciplinary confluences and this is what leads us to read their works as the result of applying a very specific methodology. More generally, thanks to or because of the Internet, we are used to receiving information in bursts every day. We don't even have time to metabolize them as we have already moved on to the next hot thing. Equally the problem with today's music is that you don't even have time to finish listening to a record that three more have come out. The world of music videos is closely related (obviously) to this mechanism and suffers from it in the same way. Directors need to leave something to the user who scrolls their Facebook home or jumps from link to link on Youtube. To fight this, they work painstakingly on research before shooting. Looking for lesser-known architectures also means this: going beyond the research that others have already done. And we architects rejoice because, in addition to giving visibility to buildings often left behind, it allows us to deal with a world that has ideally always been considered far from our discipline. 

Mecna - Mentre Nessuno Guarda

Mecna - Mentre Nessuno Guarda

Directed by Enea Colombi
Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

By Aldo Rossi, Giovanni Da Pozzo, Edoardo Guenzani, Michele Tadi
Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

By Aldo Rossi, Giovanni Da Pozzo, Edoardo Guenzani, Michele Tadi
Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

By Aldo Rossi, Giovanni Da Pozzo, Edoardo Guenzani, Michele Tadi
Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

Parco Tecnologico, Fondo Toce, Italy

By Aldo Rossi, Giovanni Da Pozzo, Edoardo Guenzani, Michele Tadi
Tedua - Fashion Week Rmx (Prod. Chris Nolan) ft. Sofiane

Tedua - Fashion Week Rmx (Prod. Chris Nolan) ft. Sofiane

Directed by Federico Merlo
Le Lavatrici di Genova

Le "Lavatrici" di Genova

By Aldo Luigi Rizzo, Angelo Sibilla, Aldo Pino
Le Lavatrici di Genova

Le "Lavatrici" di Genova

By Aldo Luigi Rizzo, Angelo Sibilla, Aldo Pino
Calcutta - Kiwi

Calcutta - Kiwi

Directed by Francesco Lettieri
Calcutta - Kiwi

Calcutta - Kiwi

Directed by Francesco Lettieri
Buzludzha Monument, Kazanlak, Bulgaria

Buzludzha Monument, Kazanlak, Bulgaria

By Georgi Vladimirov Stoilov
Buzludzha Monument, Kazanlak, Bulgaria

Buzludzha Monument, Kazanlak, Bulgaria

By Georgi Vladimirov Stoilov

#4 Can this trend be seen as a sort of revaluation of the suburbs, at least from an architectural point of view?

Yes, but it takes much more to re-evaluate the suburbs. In recent years this passion for brutalism (an abused term) has spread and therefore everything that is exposed concrete is considered interesting also and above all by those who are not in the sector. This love for the "concrete" has also led to the re-evaluation, by a wider audience, of the Italian and international popular contexts. So although the average user who watches a video may feel attracted to the peripheral context of Genoa, Naples or Milan, I'm quite sure that he would not experience the same sensations being on-site, also and above all because very often these buildings have not had the maintenance necessary to keep them alive and therefore they are in a state of decay. Obviously, it depends on the cases. 

#5 The music video has almost become an art form in its own right, a self-sufficient narrative that often transcends the song it is supposed to convey. Do you think this is a passing trend or that this visual research will continue in future generations? 

No, this trend will never be momentary, this is the future. I started this research intrigued by the connection between the artists and their neighbourhoods of origin, but in reality, as I went on I realized that my interest was practically centred only on the work of the directors. This is not a trend, it's the natural evolution of a profession towards an upward path. I dream one day of seeing artists working more and more with architects, artists, sociologists, anthropologists. An achievement for everyone.