Hip hop and rap music have evolved significantly over the years, and today's popular music is quite different from its early origins. Some critics suggest that current hip hop and rap music is merely singing pop music with a trap beat. But is this assertion accurate? In this article, we will examine the elements of hip hop and rap music to determine if today's music is just pop music with a trap beat.
Hip hop music originated in the Bronx, New York, in the late 1970s. It was a product of African American and Latino communities that blended elements of funk, soul, and Jamaican music. Hip hop music became popular in the United States and later worldwide, with artists like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Run-DMC paving the way for the genre's commercial success. Rap music, which is a form of vocal delivery that is performed over hip hop music, also gained popularity in the 1980s, with artists like LL Cool J, Public Enemy, and N.W.A.
Fast forward to the present, and hip hop and rap music have undergone significant changes. Today's hip hop and rap music have a more commercialized sound that has been influenced by pop music. Many contemporary hip hop and rap songs feature catchy choruses, auto-tuned vocals, and upbeat tempos that are reminiscent of pop music. Additionally, many of today's hip hop and rap songs are produced with a trap beat, which is characterized by its heavy use of sub-bass, triplet hi-hats, and layered synths.
However, it would be incorrect to say that today's hip hop and rap music is just singing pop music with a trap beat. While contemporary hip hop and rap music have adopted elements from pop music, the genre remains distinct. One significant difference between hip hop and pop music is the lyrical content. Hip hop music often addresses social and political issues that are relevant to the African American and Latino communities. Additionally, rap music is often a form of storytelling, with artists sharing their personal experiences and struggles with their listeners.
Furthermore, hip hop and rap music are also distinctive in terms of their production techniques. Hip hop and rap music often utilize sampling, which involves taking a portion of an existing recording and incorporating it into a new track. Sampling is a technique that is unique to hip hop and rap music and has been used to create some of the most iconic tracks in the genre's history.
In conclusion, while it is true that today's hip hop and rap music have adopted some elements from pop music and frequently incorporate a trap beat, it would be incorrect to suggest that the genre is merely singing pop music with a trap beat. Hip hop and rap music remain distinct genres that have unique lyrical content and production techniques that set them apart from pop music. Sources:
- Chang, J. (2005). Can't stop won't stop: A history of the hip-hop generation. New York: St. Martin's Press.
- Toop, D. (1991). Rap attack 3: African rap to global hip hop. New York: Serpent's Tail.