Rap And Hip Hop

The difference between rap and hip hop is that rap is one of the expressions of hip hop , while the latter is a whole culture that encompasses other aspects in addition to the musical part.

Rap is a musical genre of American origin characterized by the use of vocal rhymes.

Hip hop is a culture that includes various artistic expressions such as graffiti, dance, rhymes (rap), and music.

Rap is part of a larger cultural expression called hip hop .

RapHip hop
DefinitionMusical genre of American origin based on rhyme and recitation.Cultural movement of American origin.
Characteristic elementsMC.
Lyric or content.
Flow .
B-boys y B-girls.

Most representative artistsThe Sugarhill Gang.
Afrika Bambaataa.
Dr Dree.
Snoop Dogg.
DJ Kool Herc.
Rock Steady Crew 
The Roots.

What is the rap?

Rap music is a musical genre characterized by a melodic recitation with recurring rhymes, which are sung or recited on a basis called beat, which can be generated vocally or with instruments.

Although rap was originally associated with African-American culture, today it is possible to find expressions of the genre in other demographic groups, although its origin is essentially linked to American racial minorities.

About the origin of the word rap, there are many versions. For some, rap is an acronym for Rhythm And Poetry (rhythm and poetry). However, other specialists allege that it actually means Rage Against Police or rage against the police, referring to the police repression against Afro-American and Latino minorities that took place in the 60s and 70s.

On the other hand, it is affirmed that the word rap, more than an acronym, is a term that was used among the Afro-American population as a synonym for “talking”. Later it was adopted to refer to a particular way of reciting accompanied by a beat .

Origins of rap music

Although the first expressions of rap as a commercial musical genre originated in the American Midwest in the 1980s, this form of reciting phrases with vocal rhymes comes from West African cultures. In many of these societies there was a figure called griot , in charge of transmitting oral tradition through recitation.

With the arrival of Africans to the United States as slaves, the tradition expanded, this time in the form of work songs, although in a very discreet way due to the multiple restrictions they had to express themselves.

Centuries later, and in the heat of the effervescence of civil rights, rap (which had already begun to manifest itself in blues and jazz ) evolved in the black and Latino neighborhoods of New York. Two decades later it would begin to become one of the key elements of African American culture.

Elements of rap

Rap has several essential elements:

  • MC : is the “master of ceremonies”, reciter or rapper (rapper). The one in charge of creating and reciting rap lyrics.
  • Content : the message that the rapper wants to convey.
  • Beat : is a rhythmic pattern played by a DJ, a beatboxer (a person who can vocally imitate the sounds of musical instruments) or with percussion instruments.
  • Flow : It is the way in which the rapper or MC adapts to the beat to create rhythmic syllables, words or phrases.
  • Delivery : refers to the rapper’s cadence.

Rap artists

Rap had many representatives who, anonymously or quite discreetly, helped this genre to grow and become a popular phenomenon.

The fact that rap has its origins in the streets makes it difficult to trace a pioneering figure of the genre. However, there are many artists who became key figures for the evolution and expansion of rap as a musical genre around the world. These are just some of the most influential representatives of rap, especially in American culture:

  • The Sugarhill Gang.
  • Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
  • Afrika Bambaataa.
  • LL Cool J.
  • Public Enemy.
  • N.W.A.
  • Ice-T
  • Lady B.
  • Dr Dree.
  • Snoop Dogg.
  • Tupac Shakur.
  • Busta Rhymes , among others.

What is hip hop ?

The hip hop is an urban African – American subculture that integrates different artistic expressions, including rap is. For this reason, for many specialists, hip hop should not be considered as a musical genre, but rather it is a larger movement that includes, yes, rap as its musical expression.

Origins of hip hop

There are multiple versions about the origin of hip hop . One of them is that it is a socio-cultural movement that began to take shape in the poor neighborhoods of New York during the decade of the seventies, as an artistic response to the conditions of poverty and discrimination in which African Americans and Latinos, two population groups traditionally economically and socially marginalized in the United States.

As rap became popular as a musical genre, other elements were incorporated that, finally, would give rise to what is now known as hip hop . And although there is no precise source on the origin of the term, it seems to be due to one of the members of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five , who began to refer to this movement as hip hop .

Hip hop elements

The hip hop has four key elements:


He is the person in charge of the musical mixes and therefore, he is responsible for “creating” the environment for the public to enjoy the session. It is the rhythmic element of hip hop.


He is the “master of ceremony” or rapper. Initially, his role on the scene was much more discreet, since he was only in charge of making announcements and encouraging the audience, but little by little he began to take center stage until he became, together with the DJ, two indisputable elements of hip culture. hop . It is the lyrical element of the movement.

B-boys y B-girls

They are the element that corresponds to movement, in this case, through dance. The term comes from Break Boys or Break Girls , who are those who dance during the break of the musical track. Although the term breakdancer is often used as a synonym, it is actually a word created by the media, so it is not used in the realm of hip hop .


It is the visual expression of hip hop . In the United States, the rise of graffiti began in the 60s with artists such as Cornbread , from Philadelphia and Taki 183 , in New York and due to their affinity with hip hop in terms of expression of disenchantment and social marginalization, little by little It was inserted in the movement until it became one of its characteristic elements.

Artists of hip hop

If you understand as hip hop artists Dj’s, rappers, B-boys, B-girls and graffiti artists who take this cultural movement as a way of life. In that sense, these would be some of the most representative artists:

  • DJ Kool Herc.
  • Rock Steady Crew (B-boy group founded in the seventies).
  • Jay-Z.
  • Outkast.
  • The Roots.
  • 50 Cent.

Difference between reggaeton and trap .

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