The challenge: How do I get my fiancee to listen to more hiphop?

My fiancee does not keep up with artists beyond Celine Dion. The only hiphop she discovers is through standard Spotify playlists. Whereas I am a huge hiphop fan, and of course wanted her to like it too. Because of course she must like the things I like.

My goal was to find a way to fit hiphop into her life as seamlessly as possible.

Each month I would make a playlist of new songs for her. That she could easily find, sync, and use during her workouts. I would get her first impressions, followed up by her lasting impressions. That data would help fuel future artist and song selections. Originally I planned to do this short term, and  now I’m halfway through year 3.


137 songs. 446 minutes.

The design for year one focused on bold gradients and the Star Wars “it’s a trap!” reference. It was also created entirely in Photoshop; my personal hell. That said, year one was a success. Each month I delivered a new playlist and shared the music I love with someone I love. And each month I learned more and more. I was basically a tastemaker.


131 songs. 376 minutes.

I made the executive decision to change the design every year. Each year evolving the design, keeping something of the old, but introducing something new. This year I kept the gradients, the bold type, and even the It’s a Trap logo. The Star Wars visual was killed so I didn’t get sued, and more emphasis was put on type for a quicker read while in the app. The concept behind the final design was the idea of a trap door with individual letters falling and stacking on top of one another.


B-sides introduced—
54 songs. 159 minutes.

B-sides was added in 2019 as a way to introduce her to even more music. These were songs I deemed to be on the periphery of her interest. I was able to make riskier choices. And this enabled more opportunities to learn what she liked and expose her to new sub-genres and artists.



In 2020 it was time to leave the gradients behind, but keep the bold color. I wanted to shift from the big type of old into more of a conversation. While also making the cover more dynamic and relevant to the content inside. Throughout the year each cover will have a message that either fits a theme, a lyric, or what’s going on in the world outside of covid.

Also, B-sides was a success and kept as a staple moving forward.