When we ask you about hip hop music, what comes first in your mind?
Some of you might answer rap or R&B. It is not surprising since these two styles of music are quite famous in the world of hip hop. However, this genre is actually more than that. It has a number of subgenres of which some of them you never heard. And, every one of them are quite diverse from each other like the 5 different types of hip hop musics below.
1. Hip Hop Soul
Hip Hop Soul is the subgenre of contemporary R&B music. It gained its popularity during the early and middle of 1990s. This style evolved directly from New Jack Swing, another well-known R&B subgenre. Meanwhile, its music style is the combination between hip hop and blues/gospel singing style. The famous singer who sings in this subgenre is none other than the Queen of Soul, Mary J. Blige. The other famous artists are Mariah Carey, R. Kelly, and TLC.
Trap is actually originated in the early 1990s. However, it did not get its fame during that time. It was until in the early 2000s when most people began to recognize it as a hip hop subgenre. For those who have listened to this music style, you must have realized how aggressive the lyrics are. It is because the content is mostly about a life around “the trap” (which is the reason behind the name). The trap here refers to the difficult life around drugs, violence, and other harsh experiences. The artists who use this singing style are Young Thug, Future, and Gucci Mane.
3. Gangsta Rap
Gangsta Rap was first pioneered in the middle of 1980s. It started to become bigger in the early 1990s. Similar with hip hop soul, this one is also the evolved form of another subgenre, which is hardcore hip hop. During its period, gangsta rap is very controversial because of the aggressiveness inside the lyrics. The focus of the songs is a gangster lifestyle which is full of conflicts and violence. Some songs in this style also contain misogyny, which makes the subgenre to be under fire. Ice T, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube are a few key artists of this hip hop style.
4. Conscious Rap
Conscious rap is a controversial term to hip hop singer. They do not like to get labeled as such. Yet, that does not change how this subgenre is very important. Most of the songs increase the awareness of cultural, political, and social issues. This is the reason why some people still mistake it as Political Hip Hop. They may seem similar, but they are still different subgenre. The Roots, Kanye West, and Common are several rappers who sing in this style.
5. Freestyle Rap
Freestyle Rap is quite different from the other hip hop subgenres. This one does not involve instrumental beats. Moreover, the artists do not write the lyrics. Instead, they improvise it right away during the performance. They often use this music style in rapping battle. Two rappers will battle on the stage and use improvised lyrics to diss each other. You can see the example in Eminem’s movie, 8 Mile.
Those are the 5 different types of hip hop musics. However, these are only a few subgenres. There are still a bunch of them you can try to learn. Once you have learned them all, you will see how different they are to each other.