To really understand what began the rise of “Trap music,” the genre combining deep-south gangster-rap beats with the wobbles and synths of Electronic dance music, the first step is to take a good look at UZ. Born from SoundCloud fame, he quickly gained critical acclaim after Diplo announced his signing to Mad Decent with the release of his EP, Trap Shit 6/9.
The EP brought cult status to not only UZ, but to Trap as well, paving the way for many other electronic artists. Even more talked-about are the many mysteries surrounding him; he’s never revealed his face, refuses to comment on his identity (other than claiming to be a computer) and responds to messages and comments on social media with a simple wingding of a rifle. The biggest mystery of all though was simply: Why has he never played a show?
Now, that’s all changed. The management behind UZ soon announced that his first tour would be throughout Canada. Montreal was booked as only the fourth city to experience a live UZ show.
Once he made his way onto the stage of Foufounes on the evening of Sept. 17 (about 20 minutes late), his appearance brought cheers from the crowd. To say he’s an intimidating-looking figure is an understatement. Donning two black bandanas covering his face, a gold masquerade mask over his eyes and a hat imprinted with “FUCK” in old english lettering, it was obvious he wouldn’t be revealing his identity anytime soon. He shied away from photos throughout his performance-even pictures taken by the official photographers were taken down a day later.
But never mind his late arrival or the fact that this person looked like some kind of burglar.Not many DJs can beat juggle, loop, scratch and possess the song selection he does, especially with such a new and experimental genre of music. He played at least one of his unreleased tracks, his remix of “Cowboy” by the Toronto dubstep duo Zed’s Dead. He also played one of his more commercially popular tracks, “Trap Shit V11,” which was featured on Diplo’s radio show on BBC Radio 1 Xtra.
Soon he’ll make his way to Britain to tour with Foreign Beggars and True Tiger, before making his first stateside appearance at the Day Of The Dead in Los Angeles.
For now, the man behind UZ remains a mystery. But if you were lucky enough to be there, you’ll be happy to claim that you’re one of the few that have run the trap with UZ.