ISSN: 2640-8031
Annals of Psychiatry and Treatment
Research Article       Open Access      Peer-Reviewed

Psychopathologic evidence in the Italian “Trap Music” population

Giulio Perrotta*

Institute for the Study of Psychotherapies (I.S.P.), Via San Martino Della Battaglia N, 31, 00185, Rome, Italy
*Corresponding authors: Giulio Perrotta, Institute for the Study of Psychotherapies (I.S.P.), Via San Martino Della Battaglia N, 31, 00185, Rome, Italy, Tel: +393492108872; E-mail: INFO@GIULIOPERROTTA.COM
Received: 12 December, 2022 | Accepted: 29 December, 2022 | Published: 30 December, 2022
Keywords: Personality disorders; PICI-2; PDM-Q; PSM-Q; PAD-Q; PHEM; Trap music; Trap

Cite this as

Perrotta G (2022) Psychopathologic evidence in the Italian “Trap Music” population. Ann Psychiatry Treatm 6(1): 062-068. DOI: 10.17352/apt.000046

Copyright

© 2022 Perrotta G. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Background and aims: In the last decade, a musical strand has emerged in the Italian national scene that has international roots since the 1990s of the last century: “Trap Music” and younger generations are increasingly fascinated by this genre, for various reasons. The present research hypothesizes the existence of a link between the choice of preference of this musical genre and the psychopathological profile of those who choose their first preference, hypothesizing that such individuals have on average a higher level of dysfunctional traits typical of cluster B (borderline, narcissistic, histrionic and antisocial), according to the PICI model and compared to the population.

Materials and methods: Clinical interview, and administration of the battery of psychometric tests. The population sample was selected based on previous clinical contacts and voluntary participation through recruitment in major social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok), a total of 4,368 participants, divided into three age groups (18-25, 26-37, 38-46) and two groups (the first “clinical” and the second “control”). SPSS, Anova test (with Bonferroni).

Results and discussion: On average, the users selected in the clinical group population sample presented 81% of cases with a psychopathological personality profile (PICI-2) with at least 5 dysfunctional traits afferent to cluster B (bipolar, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, antisocial, and psychopathic) and at least 4 dysfunctional traits afferent to cluster C (paranoid, delusional, schizophrenic spectrum, dissociative), according to the PICI model, compared to 23.1% of the cases in the control group, which, however, shows traits more oriented toward neurotic tendencies (anxious, phobic-avoidant, obsessive, somatic). The investigation of dysfunctional sexual behaviors then showed, in the clinical group, the marked presence of the clinical condition of the users, with an average of 96.8% compared to 24% in the control group; in particular, the presence of a tendency toward pedophilic (under 13 years old) and pederastic (13-17 years old) paraphilia is noted for the average value between only the markings of the second and third clinical groups equal to 54.3% (with an overall phenomenon slightly more inclined toward the male group).

Conclusion: It is concluded, therefore, that the starting hypothesis can be confirmed, as the hypothesized link between the primary preference choice of “Trap Music” and the psychopathological profile afferent to the dysfunctional traits of Cluster B (borderline, narcissistic, histrionic, antisocial and psychopathic), according to the PICI model and compared with the control group (CG) population, which has significantly lower pathological values (57.9% - 72.8%) than the clinical group (CG), appears credible and non-random.

Background and aim

In the last decade, a musical strand has emerged on the Italian national scene that has international roots since the 1990s of the last century: “Trap Music”, and younger generations are increasingly fascinated by this genre, for several reasons. Since its inception, this musical strand was considered a niche genre, and only in 2010 did it begin to spread commercially. It is a musical subgenre of hip hop, derived from American southern hip hop, and from it originated the subgenres drill, phonk and trap metal, the derivatives emo rap, Latin trap, and mumble rap, and the related EDM trap and cloud rap. Not surprisingly, the origins of this music genre are very much linked to environments and themes related to drug and alcohol sales and addiction: initially, it was not a true genre, and until the early 2000s the term simply denoted a place (trap houses, precisely) but later it began to be used to refer to music related to that context. Trap houses were abandoned, run-down apartments in the Atlanta suburbs where drugs were dealt; moreover, the word “trapping” in slang means “dealing”. The drum sounds typical of trap find their origin in the Roland TR-808 drum machine, particularly its deep (also simply called “808”) and often syncopated kick drum, combined with hi-hats in double or triple time. Typically, a trap track is between 70 and 180 bpm. The melodic part of the beat is usually made with synthesizers, with minimal, repetitive, aggressive, or hypnotic melodies, although the use of samples as per hip-hop tradition is common. Trap music is characterized by dark and threatening lyrics, but these vary greatly depending on the individual rapper. Typical themes represented in the lyrics are street life amidst crime and hardship, poverty, and drugs, but as the genre has spread, the topics have expanded. In Italy, the first influences of trap music arrive in the very early 2010s with tracks still described as “alternative hip hop”. Broadly speaking, it is believed that the first Italian album with some trap sounds was by Gué Pequeno, in 2011, followed by Jesto in 2012; on the other hand, it was the Italian-Moroccan rapper Maruego who was the first to depopulate in Italy with trap-inspired sounds, in 2014. The real Italian commercial success, however, came with Milanese rapper Sfera Ebbasta in 2015, followed in the following years by other artists such as Achille Lauro. Starting in 2020, trap in Italy began to decline (leaving more and more room for Indie Music), forcing artists of this strand to pursue more commercial and pop themes and sounds, as in the case of Elodie; a stylistic choice this often criticized by many important exponents of Italian hip-hop who have often criticized (veiledly and openly) the stylistic choices of artists who have decided not to communicate anything through their songs, but only a state of well-being of which they are often not even the creators [1-3].

The present research hypothesizes the existence of a link between the choice of preference of this music genre and the psychopathological profile of those who choose their first preference, hypothesizing that such individuals have on average a higher level of dysfunctional traits typical of Cluster B (borderline, narcissistic, histrionic and antisocial) [4-7] according to the PICI model [8-13] and compared with the population.

Materials and methods

Starting from the classic definition of “psychopathological profile” and “Trap Music”, a population sample was selected for the administration of the following clinical instruments: 1) Clinical interview, based on narrative-anamnestic and documentary evidence and the basis of the Perrotta Human Emotions Model (PHEM) [14] concerning their emotional and perceptual-reactive experience; 2) Administration of the battery of psychometric tests published in international scientific journals by the author of this work: a) Perrotta Integrative Clinical Interviews (PICI-2), to investigate functional and dysfunctional personality traits; b) Perrotta Individual Sexual Matrix Questionnaire (PSM-Q) [15], to investigate individual sexual matrix (only section d); c) Perrotta Affective Dependence Questionnaire (PAD-Q) [16], to investigate affective and relational dependence profiles; d) Perrotta Human Defense Mechanisms Questionnaire (PDM-Q) [17], to investigate ego defense mechanisms.

The phases of the research were divided as follows: 1) Selection of the population sample, according to the parameters indicated in the following paragraph. 2) Clinical interview, with each population group. 3) Administration of the Perrotta Integrative Clinical Interviews (PICI-2), Perrotta Individual Sexual Matrix Questionnaire (PSM-Q, section d), Perrotta Affective Dependence Questionnaire (PAD-Q) e Perrotta Human Defense Mechanisms Questionnaire (PDM-Q, section d). 4) Data processing following administration. 5) Comparison of data obtained.

Setting and participants

The requirements decided for the selection of the sample population are 1) Age between 18 years and 46 years, divided into three age groups (18-25, 26-37, 38-46), in two groups (clinical and control). 2) Absence of confirmed psychiatric diagnosis. 3) Italian nationality, with Italian ancestors in the last two generations. 4) Statement by the subject participating in the clinical group regarding his or her status of “primary preference” of the music genre “Trap Music” and its subtypes, related and connected, musical, OR Statement by the subject participating in the control group regarding his or her status of “no preference or aversion” of the “Trap Music” and its subtypes, related and connected. The selected setting, taking into account the protracted pandemic period (already in progress since the beginning of the present research), is the online platform via Skype and Videocall Whatsapp, both for the clinical interview and for the administration. The present research work was carried out from March 2020 to September 2022. All participants were guaranteed anonymity and the ethical requirements of the Declaration of Helsinki are met. Since the research is not financed by anyone, it is free of conflicts of interest. The selected population clinical sample, which meets the requirements, is 4,368 participants, divided into two groups Tables 1,2.

Results and discussion

Introduction

During the preliminary clinical interview, the sample population interviewed related exclusively to the clinical group expressed the following reasons for preference for “Trap Music” Table 3.

Such positions clearly express the motivational matrix of individual subjects in the clinical population sample, reinforcing the psychopathological matrix of preferential choice.

Clinical group (CG)

CG-1: The subgroup consists of 1,114/2,190 (50.9%) participants (468 m / 646 f) of the total sample referring to the Clinical group. Below are the psychometric data related to the administration of the testifies Table 4.

CG-2: The subgroup consists of 771/2,190 (35.2%) participants (317 m / 454 f) of the total sample referring to the Clinical group. Below are the psychometric data related to the administration of the testifies Table 5.

CG-3: The subgroup consists of 305/2,190 (13.9%) participants (121 m / 184 f) of the total sample referring to the Clinical group. Below are the psychometric data related to the administration of the testifies Table 6.

Control group (Cg)

Cg-1: The subgroup consists of 1,114/2,178 (51.1%) participants (418 m / 696 f) of the total sample referring to the Control group. Below are the psychometric data related to the administration of the testitics Table 7.

Cg-2: The subgroup consists of 810/2,178 (30.9%) participants (331 m / 479 f) of the total sample referring to the Control group. Below are the psychometric data related to the administration of the testitics Table 8.

Cg-3: The subgroup consists of 254/2,178 (23.1%) participants (98 m / 156 f) of the total sample referring to the Control group. Below are the psychometric data related to the administration of the testitics Tables 9-11.

Conclusion

The present research has shown that, on average, users selected in the clinical group population sample present 81% of cases with a psychopathological personality profile (PICI-2) with at least 5 dysfunctional traits afferent to cluster B (bipolar, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, antisocial, and psychopathic) and at least 4 dysfunctional traits afferent to cluster C (paranoid, delusional, schizophrenic spectrum, dissociative), according to the PICI model, compared to 23.1% of cases in the control group, which, however, shows traits more oriented toward neurotic tendencies [18-31], (anxious, phobic-avoidant, obsessive, somatic).

Equally distant are also the hypotheses of affective dependence (PAD) among the users: in the clinical group, on average, 79.3% show symptoms of affective dependence more oriented toward borderline, masochistic, and narcissistic types; in the control group, however, the value drops to 11.1%, with a greater tendency toward the third group (Cg-3, 38-46 y) and the neurotic-affective and dependent component.

The pronounced dysfunctional tendency found in the clinical group is also confirmed by tests related to the study of ego defense mechanisms (PDM), which stands at 100% of cases, the mechanisms of isolation, fixation, identification, denial, denial, repression, regression, omnipotence, idealization and devaluation being markedly dysfunctional; in the control group, however, the average falls to 35.9%, with a greater tendency this time in the second group (Cg-2, 26-37 y).

The survey of dysfunctional sexual behavior (PSM) showed the marked presence of the clinical condition of users in the clinical group, with an average of 96.8% compared with 24% in the control group; in particular, the presence of a tendency toward pedophilic (under 13 years old) and pederastic (13-17 years old) paraphilia is noted for the mean value between only the second and third clinical group markings (CG-2, 26-37 years old and CG-3, 38-46 years old) equal to 54.3% (with an overall phenomenon slightly more tending toward the male group).

Statistical comparisons between the four psychometric instruments used and the two study groups (clinic and control) were found to be highly relevant (p = 0.001).

It is concluded, therefore, that the starting hypothesis can be confirmed, as the hypothesized link between the primary preference choice of “Trap Music” and the psychopathological profile afferent to the dysfunctional traits of Cluster B (borderline, narcissistic, histrionic, antisocial, and psychopathic), according to the PICI model and compared with the control group (CG) population, which has significantly lower pathological values (57.9% - 72.8%) than the clinical group (CG), appears credible and non-random.

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