Where does trap queen come from?
The trap in the phrase trap queen most likely comes from the black slang word trap, which refers to a place for making or dealing drugs and which also lends its name to the hip-hop genre called trap. Fetty Wap popularized trap queen in his 2014 hit song “Trap Queen.” Its lyrics concern a powerful woman (queen) who helps the speaker deal drugs (in the trap).
Although Fetty Wap’s song helped spread the term trap queen, it was already in use on Twitter by 2012.
While trap queen can more literally refer to a woman who supports a man in making or dealing drugs, it has evolved, much like the slang term ride or die chick, to refer to a strong, successful, loyal, street-smart, assertive woman. Fetty Wap himself acknowledged there are “different meanings” to the phrase, but that it connoted loyalty and emotional strength to him, and that his song itself pays homage to important women, like his mother, in his life.
Who uses trap queen?
As Fetty Wap’s use suggests, trap queen can also be used an affectionate term for a person’s “rock” and by some black women, including a self-styled trap feminist, as a form of self-empowerment and agency. The male counterpart to a trap queen is a trap king.
A trap queen can also refer to a woman who is very knowledgeable about or skilled in trap music, which genre, as noted, takes its name from its association with drug-dealing traps.
Unrelated is the derogatory term trap queen, which insults transgender people, especially transgender women, who “pass” as cisgender. With queen being a slang term for a “homosexual,” the trap in this trap queen comes from the offensive misconception that transgender or nonbinary people are deceiving, or “trapping,” cisgender people.
“I ain't looking for a trap queen, I'm lookin for a house wife”
@tallfuckk Twitter (April 30, 2017)
“What's a trap Queen without a Trap King!! ”
Dionte Fizer Facebook (January 23, 2017)
“But the defunct trap queen, like any other cultural tourist too busy taking selfies to immerse herself in her surroundings and actually learn something, only sees hip-hop as ‘money, cash, hoes,’ because that’s the music in which she intentionally trafficked.”
Preston Mitchum, “Dear Miley Cyrus: Hip-Hop Culture Never Needed You and It Won’t Miss You,” The Root (May 8, 2017)