Hip hop music

From ArticleWorld

One popular music style is Hip Hop music (also known as Rap or Rap music). Its characteristics can be found in what is considered to be the 4 elements of the genre:

  • Rapping (or MC’ing)
  • DJing (which presents audio mixing and scratches)
  • B-Boying (or breakdancing)
  • Graffiti (sometimes named tagging).

Hip Hop is also known to be a cultural movement that followed the musical genre. It appeared around 1970 in New York City.

Rap and Hip Hop

A problem appeared in the musical genre when the question ’’rap or hip hop” appeared. Although both terms are usually used to describe the same thing there are differences between them. In most cases Rap music does not describe songs that do not present vocals. A common definition of the two appeared. Rap music is now considered the commercial songs and hip hop is a term that relates to the underground scene.


Hip Hop appeared as a cultural movement rather than a musical genre. It created a new fashion and several changes in the way music was thought of at the time. The four elements became popular and needed for the movement to exist.

Several characteristics can be noticed when listening to Hip Hop music. First of all, the beat is one that usually presents a 4/4 time structure. The voice will be sticking to it but a delay is in most cases present. Rappers tend to start the verse before the first beat, with the purpose of catching rhythm. The lyrics being sung by the MC stand out as the most important of the 4 elements. Lyrical content was what drew fans and created the need of a talking style of singing.


Instruments used in hip hop music can be various although some are usually needed. DJing became a needed part in the creation of the music itself. Samples and mixing started to be used excessively with the purpose of creating rap beats that could have been sung over. The most important technique developed came in the usage of two disks that had the same song on it at the same time. The inventor is considered to be Kool DJ Herc and the new element he invented was the break. Early hip hop music saw an instrumentation formed of guitars, vocalists, bass, drums, keyboards and percussion. As time passed the emphasis was put on the beats. Drum machines started to be used and the most important part of the genre was established as the drum loop. The reason behind it can be found in the fact that this was the part of the song that allowed the rapper to sing and was danceable. Digital samplers then came into play and made it possible for the genre to become the style it is known today.