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The 15 Types of Rap Genres that Changed the World of Music

wavmonopoly May 28, 2022

In the world of music, Hip-Hop is King. Hip-Hop has inspired culture, language, and style all over the world. Today we will be exploring all different types of rap styles.

Rappers

Rappers, DJs, and Hip-Hop artists combine poetic verses with Jazz, Funk, Rock, Afro-Latinx rhythms, and Electronic music, creating rap songs and hip-hop subgenres that get us to shake our booties and bounce our heads.

These are fifteen of the most influential hip-hop genres that changed the world of music.

1.    Old School

If we are going to kick it, then we are going to kick it Old School. Old School is the beginning of Hip-Hop. It starts in the seventies with DJ Kool Herc using two record players to keep the beat going while mixing in other records.

DJ Kool Herc and other DJs in the South Bronx started a revolution of rapping, DJ’ing, breakdancing, and street art. All other types of rap music would grow from the roots of Old School.

Old School hip-hop would use the music from funk and R&B to lay the foundation for MCs to rap over.

We recommend listening to DJ Kool Herc, Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five.

 2.    80’s Rap

I know what your saying, doesn’t 80’s rap belong with Old School. The answer is nell. If the Hip-Hop of the ’70s was the beginning, then the ’80s were rap’s angst-driven teenage years.

The ’80s saw an explosion of rappers and DJs in the American popular culture that forever changed the landscape of music.

DJs pushed the rap genres by incorporating drum machines and samplers with vinyl soul, funk, and R&B music genres. The music influenced rappers to express their lyricism profoundly, resulting in new hip-hop subgenres.

80’s Hip-Hop spans from gritty beats to head-bopping songs that made us all want to dance.

Our favorites include Kurtis Blow, LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, & Ice-T.

3.    Women in Rap

Rap in the ’90s forever changed popular music. It was the first renaissance of rap, making Hip-Hop the most listened-to music style in America.

The ’90s also ushered in a new generation of women rappers that took the music scene by lyrical force. Before the ’90s, rap had been dominated by the male perspective.

But with acts like Salt-N-Pepper busted the door open, and the ’90s became a booming era for artists like Missy Elliott, Da Brat, Moni Love, Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, and Lauryn Hill.

 4.    East Coast Rap

In the ’90s, rap genres formed around geographical location and lyrical style. The hip-hop community now had a variety of styles to choose from. One of the most popular styles is East Coast Rap.

East Coast Rap focused on drum machine-generated beats, tight samples, and some of the greatest lyricists of all time. The samples in East Coast Hip-Hop ranged from Jazz and Funk to kung-fu dialogue (we looking at you Wu-Tang).

The lyrics reflected the gritty reality of living in dense urban cities and the people’s struggles that populate these spaces. You can feel the weight of busy city life in the music of this Hip-Hop genre.

Some of the genre’s most significant artists include Fugees, Wu-Tang, Jay Z, The Notorious BIG, Mos Def, and Puff Daddy.

5.    G-Funk (West Coast Rap)

West Coast rap brought the funk beat back with samples from 70’s Funk Gods like James Brown, Parliament Funkadelic, Earth Wind and Fire, and Bootsy Collins.

The beats were layered with catchy hooks and swift lyricism. The feeling of the music is laid back and perfect for cruising.

G-Funk created the anthems that would come to define an era of one of Hip-Hops most beloved genres. G-Funk was more than music. It feels like a state of mind that we can all enjoy.

If you really want to get funky with it, we recommend listening to Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and Cypress Hill.

6.    Dirty South

While the East Coast and the West Coast had their own styles, the South was also brewing up a new sound of southern hip hop.

The Dirty South is a Hip-Hop genre that mixes catchy beats with solid melodies, immaculate lyrics, and an overall dance rhythm that had people bouncing their heads and dancing at the club.

The sound originated in Atlanta, New Orleans, Texas, and Florida. The Dirty South sound also incorporates elements of gospel music that shine through in melodies.

If you want to listen to some good Dirty South, we recommend: Outkast, Goodie Mob, T. I., and Trick Daddy.

 7.    Crunk

Crunk is an evolution of the Dirty South sound. It combines fast hi-hat heavy samples with thick boomy bass kicks. There’s nothing like when a good Crunk song gets played at the club.

The Crunk hip-hop subgenre is made to make your body shake, your head bob, and have you feeling like a boss at the club.

The lyrics often focus on late 90’s and early 2000’s club culture and combine sexual innuendos with wilding out the club.

Whenever you need a pick me up or just want to listen to a club banger, listen to: Lil Jon, Soulja Boy, D4L, Rick Ross, and Ludacris.

8.    Gangsta Rap

Gangsta Rap lyrics deal with the harsh realities of life in underserved communities and highlight the will to survive in volatile environments.

Despite the gritty reality of life on the streets, Gangsta Rap combined Jazz, funk, and orchestral samples with heavy drumbeats, making Gansta Rap’s beats as infectious as the lyrics.

Gangsta Rap bloomed in the late ’80s and continued into the 2000s.

The Gangsta Rap genre created such controversy in the mainstream that they held court hearings about the music, resulting in the now-famous “parental advisory warning.”

Some of the best Gangsta Rap Artists includes: Easy-E, Geto Boyz, Ice-T, and NWA

9.    Chopped and Screwed Hip-Hop

Much like DJ Kool Herc, who had created a new sound and eventually a new style of music, DJ Screw also created a new style of Hip-Hop. Chopped and Screwed music slowed the tempo of the beats down, which gave the music a slow as molasses style that was perfect for the hot, muggy nights of Houston.

In 1996 DJ Screw released his 3’n the Morning album that made him a household name. The music was heavily influenced using codeine mixed with soda to create sizzurp, which gave the user a slowed-down effect that matched Chopped and Screwed music. Eventually, Chopped and Screwed grew in popularity, and other DJs, Rappers, and Producers used Chopped and Screwed music.

Some of the best Chopped and Screwed music includes: DJ Screwed, U.G.K., Paul Wall. Lil Flip and Fat Pat.

 10. Jazz Hip-Hop

Jazz Hip-Hop combines two of America’s original music styles, you guessed it, Hip-Hop and Jazz. The DJs of this genre used Jazz and Soul vinyl to create the beats, while the lyricists used Jazz’s time signatures and progressions to guide their lyrics and rhyme schemes.

The late great J Dilla was the pioneer producer who first introduced this subgenre of rap. Dilla began playing violin at the age of four and started composing music by nine.

One of the beautiful aspects of this genre is that it utilizes live musicians to accompany the MCs, creating one of the most dynamic rap styles. There’s nothing like listening to a live band with MCs.

If you want to listen to some of the best Hip-Hop in this subgenre, check out: J Dilla, MF Doom, Anderson .Paak, The Roots, and Freddy Gibbs.

11. Rap Rock

Love it or hate it, Rap Rock artists dominated the billboard charts in the late ’90s and into the 2000s. It originated when bands like Aerosmith teamed up with Run DMC to create a mash-up of a new rap subgenre. Bands like the Beasty Boys and Rage Against the Machine combined high-energy rock and punk rock elements while giving MC’s high-energy music to perform to.

Rap Rock gained its most notoriety in the early 2000s when bands like Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, and Kid Rock took over the genre. Several collaborations between well-established MCs and Heavy Rock bands occurred during this time. And some MCs opted to make albums with a rock edge.

While it transcended the 90’s and 2000’s, rap rock is still even more prevalent in rap music still in modern day. With artists like Juice wrld, Lil Peep, and XXXtentacion making it a mainstream hip hop genre of today.

If you want to get heavy with it, listen to Beasty Boys, Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park, and POD. Or Modern day artist like Juice wrld, Lil Peep, and XXXtentacion.

12. Backpack Rap

Unlike other types of raps, Backpack rap focuses on Afrocentric and Conscious Rap. Where much of Rap music focuses on flaunting bling and status, Backpack rap opts to expand on ideas of social justice, mundane existence, and the prospect of improving your perspective. More on the conscious hip-hop side of things.

The term Backpacker stems from the idea that Hip-Hop fans would venture into the city with a backpack full of lesser-known Hip-Hop artists.

This Hip-Hop genre started in the ’80s with groups like The Native Tongue Collective, which included Jungle Brother’s, De La Souls, and a Tribe Called Quest, to modern Hip-Hop artists like Run the Jewels, Logic, and Kanye West.

If you want to listen to consciously Hip-Hop music, we recommend Immortal Technique, Dead Prez, Talib Kweli, and Common.

13. Trap

Trap may be the most popular genre of Rap currently in the mainstream. The fast clicking high-hats and booming bass drums from other Hip-Hop subgenres carried over into the Trap. Though Trap contains many Hip-Hop subgenres, the electronic beats link the various types of rap music. In part, Trap music reflects the evolution of music. Trap music can easily be made with any music recording DAW a music recording program for your phone or computer.

Trap lyrics tend to focus on sexuality, bougie lifestyles, and a rebellious attitude.

If you need some music to make you move, check out these Trap Rap artists: Future, Gucci Mane, Megan thee Stallion and T.I.

 14. Mumble Rap

I’m sure we have all seen the videos of Snoop clowning on Mumble rappers or Joe Budden calling out Lil Yachty on Everyday Struggle. But there is no doubt that Mumble Rap has created an impact in the world of music.

Mumble Rap is an offshoot of Trap music and boasts all kinds of rap songs. Mumble rappers use a hook that they constantly repeat throughout a rap song. They also maintain a consistent cadence throughout their music.

If you are in the mood for some Mumble Rap, check out these gems: Migos, Lil Yachty, Desiigner, and Tekashi 69.

 15. Latin Trap

Latin Trap is a mezcla, a mixture of Latinx Rap, Reggaeton, and trap music. Though Latinx Hip-Hop and Latinx rappers have a long history within each of the Rap Genres, none of the other Latinx Hip-Hop genres have been as famous as Latin Trap.

Some of the world’s biggest artists have collaborated with Latin Trap.

Latin Trap relies on Reggaeton beats, Trap style hi-hats, and lyrics sang in Spanish and English.

If you are in the mood for some Latin rhythms with your Hip-Hop, give these artists a listen: Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Ozuna, and Rvssian.

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