Trapping Ecosystems Apeshit's Fugitive Politics of Post/coloniality

Carlos Garrido Castellano, J. Griffith Rollefson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On June 16, 2018, Beyoncé and Jay-Z released "Apeshit"-a trap-styled hip hop track featuring a chorus of "I can't believe we made it / Have you ever seen the crowd going apeshit?"The muchcommented- on music video for the track was framed as a hip hop takeover of the world's most visited museum-Paris's Louvre-featuring pop's reigning power couple, marketed as "The Carters,"making themselves at home with a collection of dancers in flesh-colored black, brown, and beige bodysuits. While the video was generally received through the split-screen frame of either a cutting decolonial takedown of this monument to Western civilization or the ultimate in money-flaunting bling spectacle, a more subtle and complex set of issues is at play. This article examines the deep historical ambivalences at play in this pop cultural artifact. Employing multi-modal methodologies that combine visual and musical arts perspectives articulated via the frames of postcolonial studies, this analysis theorizes the cultural "traps"in effect. Ranging from the track's "trap"sonic production and lyrical rhetoric of escape ("we made it"), to the historical trap of musealized colonial plunder and the Louvre's labyrinthine, oft-subterranean floor plan, to the "trappings"of consumption, bourgeois self-making, and aesthetic contemplation, we seek to illustrate how this socio-cultural text destabilizes Enlightenment universalism and its public/private split.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-45
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Popular Music Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Apeshit
  • Beyoncé
  • Decolonization
  • Fugitivity
  • Hip Hop
  • Jay-Z
  • Museums
  • Post/Colonial Studies
  • The Carters
  • The Louvre
  • Trap Music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Music


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