Hip Hop vs. Rap: Their Differences In 10 Quick Facts

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The too very popular music genres are often mistaken for being one and the same. When it comes down to listening to your favorite tunes on iTunes or heading to the local store for some new albums, more often than not these too are placed under the same category or label: hip-hop/rap. Ask any two artists or rappers and you’ll most probably get very different answers. In its simplest form, hip-hop is often understood as the culture that encapsulates the fashion, breakdancing, street art, and music. Rap on the other hand is the part that you hear throughout the entire hip-hop performance. The vocals, if you will. To get a better understanding on the differences between the two, here are 10 quick facts about their differences:

Fact 1: All of your favorite rappers are or must have been poets at one point, because rapping is an art in which the rapper sings or speaks rhyming words with an accompanying beat. If they haven’t got any poems up their sleeves? They improvise on the lyrics of another song spontaneously.

Fact 2: Developed in the early 1970s, Hip-hop music was named after the same culture which originated from the Bronx, New York. Hip-hop has been very popular among the African American and Latin American communities until this very day.

Fact 3: Rap has been said to have stuck around far longer than hip-hop has. Rap songs and rap music dates back to old times where elders would tell stories to the younger generation through the use of rhythmic words and the occasional accompaniment of the drums. Rap was around way before hip-hop became popular.

Fact 4: Rap music is defined as the combination of rhyming and poetry to a beat while hip-hop is a genre in which involves lyrics paired with fast-paced music and beats.

Fact 5: Hip-hop is greatly considered as a way of life and a subculture. On the other hand, rap is merely a specific genre of music. The practice of adapting and evolving pre-recorded music to produce new songs could very well be hip-hop’s most significant contribution to the history of modern music.

Fact 6: Hip-hop includes Dj-ing, MC-ing, breakdancing, graffiti, R&B, beatboxing, and has even spilled over to clothing and lifestyle. On the other hand, Rap’s elements are limited to rhyming, poetry, and fast paced music.

Fact 7: Hip-hop offers a more danceable, R&B infused feel to it, while Rap has an edgier, hard core, and fast paced approach. While breakdancing is a good way to dance to hip – hop, it would be a lot harder to dance to a rap verse because of its more serious tone.

Fact 8: Popular hip-hop artists include: Wiz Khalifa, Kanye West, Common, A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious B.I.G., Mos Def, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kid Cudi, Mac Miller, and Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, to name a few.

Fact 9: On the other side of the fence, Eminem, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, Tupac, Brother Ali, T.I, Tech N9ne, KRS-one, DMX, Three 6 Mafia, Lil Jon, Ludacris, Young Jeezy, Drake, and Jay-Z make up part of the prominent rapper population.

Fact 10: Music-wise, the only significant difference that is worth noticing between Hip-Hop and Rap is that while rap always contains the verbal element of spoken rhymes and rhythm, hip-hop on the other hand can just be completely instrumental in nature. Rap, in its earliest form, comprised of DJs mixing records while juggling beats and breaks for parties, during which the emcees would rhyme over the rhythms.

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