Inside the Success of Fetty Wap's 'Trap Queen,' the First Hit for Lyor Cohen's 300 Entertainment
The giddy rap anthem -- which pays affectionate homage to the 24-year-old's faithful ex -- is No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 after entering the tally's top 10 on March 28. Having topped the Hot Rap Songs chart, "Trap Queen" holds down the No. 2 slot on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The single has sold 502,000 units, according to Nielsen Music, and racked up more than 30 million video views on YouTube.
Fueling the track's trajectory: South by Southwest showcases presented by Rolling Stone, Samsung and Fool's Gold; remixes from Rick Ross, Fabolous and French Montana; and co-signs from Kanye West and Rihanna, along with an early one from Bobby Shmurda in October 2014. The first major push behind "Trap Queen," however, came in November when Atlantic-distributed 300 partnered with Fetty Wap's label, RGF Productions.
Fetty Wap (real name: Willie Maxwell), a Paterson, N.J., native and member of the Remy Boyz 1738 rap troupe, originally uploaded "Trap Queen" to SoundCloud in March 2014. After being revised into a radio version, the RGF track was out for six months prior to 300's involvement. Moscowitz credits WQHT New York DJ Funkmaster Flex for first championing the single in December. Soon, thanks to a boost from YouTube's IND-Music, the video began to take off. Says Moscowitz, "The minute we got it on radio, TV and blogs, the record did the rest of the work."
300 plans to release another Fetty Wap single this spring followed tentatively by a debut album in the fall. But first, "Trap Queen" must run its course. "300 was started just over a year ago," says Cohen, "and to have an artist like Fetty make the impact he's making is a testament that if we find the right artists, great things will happen to our label."
This article first appeared in the April 11 issue of Billboard.