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life_after_2012's avatar

Did you know there was a diffrence between 'Rap Music" and "Hip Hop Music"?

Asked by life_after_2012 (1205points) January 22nd, 2010

Alot of people that follow this genre of music dhave no idea there is a diffrence. If you think you know the diffrence between the two, can you give an example of each and explain why they fall under either of these catogories?

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40 Answers

mowens's avatar

They cuss in rap.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I thought rap was the music and hip-hop was everything else, including breaking and style and so on. Huh.

Blackberry's avatar

Yep. Rap is usually that lame club music with no substance, Hip hop is Common, Taleb Kkweli etc.

Steve_A's avatar

I thought rap was more lyrical and speech versus hip-hop is more about the beats,scratches and overall feel of the song.

Not sure where the hook might fall that might be more rap too.

life_after_2012's avatar

Blackberry! you git it buddy!!! glad to see that real hiphop heads are still alive and that fluther atleast is hiding a few for safe keeping…

Steve_A's avatar


What is say Run DMC or Slick Rick considered?

I like Nas’s song One Mic, Everlast I like his stuff and Enimen got certain songs I like.

Blackberry's avatar

Yeah I’m really disappointed in the music being put out in the mainstream, because dumb teens will listen to it and try to be all ‘hard’ when they live in the suburbs lol.

life_after_2012's avatar

theRun DmC is HipHop and Slick Rick, to me is more of a rapper. Everlast was a rapper, but eventullay started to “Emcee” Eminem is the best to ever do it. alot of people would say that im stupid for saying that, but its very true and Eminems music is very Hiohop, but he’s like the Anakin Skywalker of HipHop he uses the “Force” for evil. There will be a Luke Skywalker who will one day bring balance back to that f” Force ”

HGl3ee's avatar

It’s all the same gibberish noise to me…

Steve_A's avatar


Does Beastie boys count in here :P ??

I like the analogies there very cool.

life_after_2012's avatar

of course they do!! they were the first hiphop group to sell 9million records on defjam records

Steve_A's avatar

I love the Beastie boys man, I like Kid Rock too….new and old stuff.

trumi's avatar

Jay Smooth is the man you want to go to for this. He gives a voice to Hip Hop that is both logical and eloquent, something you don’t often find on the internet.

Rapping is music, and it’s part of Hip Hop music, but Hip Hop is a culture. Where that gets mixed up is the stuff on the radio that’s ⅓ R&B, ⅓ Pop, and ⅓ Rap. I call that Hip Hop, but only for lack of a better word.

Hip Hop music contains a lot of different elements including rapping, DJing, MCing, sampling, and so on. That’s why it get’s confusing :)

Eminem is not the greatest rapper, although his style is (or more like was) very well developed. Rap is not just “noise” or “swear words” or “lame club music.” Please listen to some better music than what is on the radio before making up these broad generalizations. It’d be really easy (and stupid) to say that jazz is just pointless notes made up as you go along, and symphony music is just 300 year old Pop.

My Personal List of the Best Rappers:
2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., MF DOOM, Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne, Aesop Rock, and select members of the Wu Tang Clan. These are rappers, so please don’t say otherwise. It’s what they do. Common is wonderful, but his music is better than his rapping so I put him in a different category.

The only real debate is if you have a musical artist, or song, that is melodic, produced, and includes rapping but is more of a pop song, what do you call this? Probably Hip Hop. But it’s difficult to say.

This is a really good topic of conversation to discuss and not inform. Telling people that an entire genre of music is garbage is a pretty lame way to have a conversation. Especially if you don’t even take the time to spell check.

@Steve_A The Beastie Boys are Hip Hop, and they do rap in their music, but it’s more of a hodgepodge. They actually started out as a punk band! I’m just not going to comment on Kid Rock… Ugh…

Please keep up the lively debate, but try to keep an open mind! Thanks all.

Steve_A's avatar

So whats it called when you take hip-hop beats and scratches and mix guitar rock/metal riffs in there?

life_after_2012's avatar

a real ” hiphop head” defines hiphop by four key elements, Djing, Battling, Break dancing and graffiti, thats is hiphop period. it doesnt take a whole page to explain, and thats one of the many reason why the culure is in such turmoil, you either don’t know or try to know too much and think everbody else cares. Remember the 4 Elements that started hiphop then shoot me a holler dunny…

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

Rap music is an oxymoron.

Steve_A's avatar

Oh what about about Rage against the machine I have been getting down some of the scratching Tom Morello does and even got a kill switch on my guitar about 6 months ago. Pretty sweet.

shadling21's avatar

@trumi Love your answer. Jay Smooth is a great reference. Also, thanks for pointing out that this question seems oddly closed-ended.

Rap music involves spoken words rather than singing.
Hip hop music is an umbrella term for many things, including rap.

JLeslie's avatar

It all sounds the same to me. I must be old, I hate going out to a dance club just to find all they are playing is hip-hop.

Siren's avatar

Isn’t rap focussed solely on the lyrics (at the expense of music sometimes) whereas hip-hop isn’t as serious, more fun and definitely danceable? I would have put the old schoolers RunDMC and GrandMaster into the rap category (since they brought it to the spotlight for the rest of us)...Maybe the definitions are changing with the times? Not what they used to be?

jrpowell's avatar

I think of rap as N.W.A, Dr.Dre, Jay-Z, Biggie.

And Hip-Hop as the smarter stuff, like Sage

Civic_Cat's avatar

Isn’t it Rap + Hard Rock Heavy Metal = Hip Hop
or perhaps
(¾) Rap + (¼) Hard Rock Heavy Metal = Hip Hop

ekans's avatar

Hip-hop is more of a culture, encompassing many musical styles, including rap. Thus, rap is more of a sub-genre of hip-hop music.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@Civic_Cat what does Heavy metal have to do anything with rap/hip-hop?

daemonelson's avatar

No, they’re exactly the same. They both incorrectly have the word ‘music’ in them.

YARNLADY's avatar

I thought Rap was the name for rhyming speech sort of like reading lyrics to a beat with some guitar and drums playing in the background, and Hip Hop was the beat that the guitar and drums play.

Steve_A's avatar

I like this question thanks for asking man!

Civic_Cat's avatar

“what does Heavy metal have to do anything with rap/hip-hop?”

Public Enemy & Anthrax – Bring the noise

Anthrax-I’m the man

Ice T Cop Killer and Body Count
Though I’d argue this is far more heavy metal than rap

Skindred – Nobody


Define “music”

daemonelson's avatar

@Civic_Cat Any artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner, which may be listened to without inducing convulsion or vomiting.

Civic_Cat's avatar

Define “art.

“Auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner,”
A lot of rap and hip-hop fits well into this definition—some critcs might argue too well in some cases.

Would Rites of Spring cause convulsions?

Would any of these make you convulse or vomit?

Only you – Portishead
Portishead – Strangers
Tricky – Evolution Revolution Love

or particularly this
Tricky – Hollow

How about the song in my question:
For those who know Spanish, what is this song about? Is it pillow talk?
(I know, it’s self-seving and kinda decently answered)

DominicX's avatar

There’s no difference.

Okay, let me explain. As others have said, hip hop is the entire culture that surrounds it. However, you will often see that worded as hip hop culture. Hip hop music on the other hand is a type of music associated with hip hop culture that includes things like beatboxing, DJing, and most importantly, rapping. Rapping is just the practice of talking over a beat, as opposed to singing.

So basically, there is no difference. The genre is sometimes listed as “hip hop/rap”. “Rap” just refers to the fact that pretty much the vast majority of hip hop music includes rapping in it; it became an alternate name for the genre. Type in “rap music” on Wikipedia and you will be redirected to the “hip hop music” article.

And yes, I listen to hip hop/rap and yes, it is “music”, and yes, I’m also a fan of classical.

So there. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it’s not music.

daemonelson's avatar

@Civic_Cat Just got back from the hospital.

My argument stands.

Civic_Cat's avatar

No music, or sound, ever sent me to the hospital.
My arguement stands.

Listen to Tricky’s Hollow—might make you feel better.

So noted.
There seems to be a debate here in Wikipedia.

In my personal experience, I hear the word “rap” a few years before I heard “hip hop”, and while I associated the former with Sugar Hill Gang (long before I paid attention to the lyrics), I associated the latter with Run DMC—just before that cover of Aerosmith.

The song’s article includes
“This rap-style delivery may explain why the song worked so well as a rap song when it was covered 11 years later.”

daemonelson's avatar

@Civic_Cat Be careful, it can do worse.

Civic_Cat's avatar

Many rap-haters would be hard pressed to come up with a better song.

mxilla's avatar

Hip hop is a lifestyle . Rapping (more properly MCing) is one of hip hop’s four foundational elements. The other three are DJing, Breakdancing, and Grafitti.

daemonelson's avatar

@Civic_Cat Doubtful. As soon as I heard the synth I cringed.

Civic_Cat's avatar

You don’t like synths?

daemonelson's avatar

@Civic_Cat I do not. I don’t mind it so much when it actually sounds like an instrument.

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