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John Cleary

Trap Symphony, Merging Orchestra and Modern Hip Hop

By John Cleary

In 2015, I had the unique opportunity to work with the then “mid-level” artists Migos. The special project challenged me to arrange three of their existing songs for an eight-piece ensemble. The result became the first installment of Trap Symphony, a series that has gained significant traction in the Hip Hop community. For my Media Scoring Capstone, I produced two Trap Symphonies with “high-level” Hip Hop artists over a four month period. I challenged myself to improve on the shortcomings of previous versions, using the arrangement, conducting, engineering, production, and mixing skills I developed in my time at Brooklyn College and Feirstein. The product of the project is a series of YouTube videos, with accompanying audio recordings.


We created six unique videos; Chief Keef’s “Love Sosa,” “Faneto,” and “Belieber” and Rich the Kid’s “Plug Walk,” “Splashin,” and “New Freezer.” The installments released on November 7, 2018 and February 19, 2019, respectively, on YouTube and Audiomack. Overall, the six videos generated over 4,000,000 views on YouTube and close to 40,000,000 views on Twitter.


Video Links 

Chief Keef: Love Sosa // Faneto // Belieber
Rich the Kid: Plug Walk // Splashin // New Freezer