Rap music is the combination of rhyming and poetry to a beat. It is part of the Hip-Hop genre, which involves lyrics over fast-paced music. Some people have described Hip-Hop as a way of life and a subculture, while rap is a specific genre of music. The Grammys for the Hip-Hop category include R&B and Rap subcategories.
|Cultural origins||Originated from the Bronx projects of NY in the early 1980s, commonly associated with impoverished minority communities (African-Americans & Latinos)||Midwest USA, Southern USA, late 80s to early 90s|
|Elements||MCing, DJing, graffiti and breakdancing. Contains lifestyle trends such as clothing and slang. Also includes R&B and beatboxing.||Combination of rhyming and poetry to a musical beat.|
|Musical themes||Generally involves witty, poetic wordplay with assonance and rhyming stanzas. Deals with social matters such as wealth, drug use, promiscuity, poverty, luxury, politics, etc.||Generally involves witty, poetic wordplay with assonance and rhyming stanzas. Deals with social matters such as wealth, drug use, promiscuity, poverty, luxury, politics, etc.|
|Stylistic origins||Originated from isolating the musical breaks in old funk/soul/jazz records that patrons of house parties could dance to and groundbreaking new poets could rhyme over||ghetto aeras|
|Typical instruments||Mic, turntable, synthesizer, drums, bass||mic, turntable, FL Studio/Ableton Live, Drums, Bass|
|Tone||Anywhere between fast-paced and swingin' to slow and bangin', mayne||Usually more serious|
|Popular artists||Wiz Khalifa, Mos Def, Kanye West, Common, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, Notorious B.I.G., Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Kid Cudi, Mac Miller, etc.||Eminem, 50 Cent and Lil Wayne. Tupac, DMX, Brother Ali, T.I, Tech N9ne, KRS-one, Three 6 Mafia, Lil Jon, Ludacris, Young Jeezy, Meek Mill, etc.|
|Dancing||Often used as background for complicated dance routines ("breakdancing")||Twerking, Jerkin', Nae Nae, Yeet, Crunk|
Both hip-hop and rap have the same origins. They originated in the Bronx in the 1970s, and are believed to have been first used by a Jamaican DJ, Kool Herc, who repeated rhymes over instrumental music at parties at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. The movement spread through the borough, taking inspiration from the rapping used by folk poets in West Africa. Hop hop culture, including graffiti and rapping, was adopted by street gangs in the Bronx as a new form of competition and one-upmanship.
In the early 1980s, Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force released an electro-funk track called “Planet Rock”, which used electronic sounds and synthesizers. These grew to become common elements of the genre. The music movement spread to minority populations through the US, and with the advent of music videos, the culture spread to Europe and beyond.
Hip-hop is composed of four main elements: MCing, DJing, grafitti and breakdancing. The term “hip-hop” also includes other lifestyle trends such as clothing, slang and mindset.
Rap is the combination of rhyme and poetry to a musical beat. It has a background in improvisational poetry. It can be part of a hip-hop lifestyle.
Hip-hop is an upbeat music style. It pairs lyrics with fast-paced music and discusses common relationship issues.
Rap focuses more on the “here-and-now,” discussing issues such as popular culture and politics.
Derivatives of hip-hop music include electro, breakbeat, hardcore, club R&B, funk breaks and abstract hip hop.
Derivatives of rap music include grime. Rapping is also used in a wide variety of other genres, include jazz, disco, funk and even Japanese dance music.
Video explaining the differences
In this video, Ice-T, the legendary rapper and director of "The Art of Rap," explains the difference between rap and hip-hop.
Hip-hop winners of the 2012 Grammys included Kanye West, Jay-Z, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, Bon Iver and Nicki Minaj, among others. Popular hip-hop groups include Sugarhill Gang, Fab 5 Freddy, Kurtis Blow and Watch the Throne. Rap rarely features groups. Famous solo artists include Eminem and 50 Cent.
Popular on Amazon
Here are the Hip-Hop bestsellers on Amazon.com.