When you log into certain music apps and websites, Hip-hop is categorized into 1 major group, which is hip-hop, but how do you define it? What are the standards for a song to be considered hip-hop? Can there be subcategories/branches of hip-hop? Before I go into this, I will say that everything in this blog is strictly opinionated and I am not throwing shots at any artist or genre of music. You can, however, comment how you feel about this blog or hip-hop in general.
What is hip hop? Trying to define what hip-hop is; it’s just like trying to define beauty. There isn’t a clear definition, it is in the ear of the beholder. The term has been around since the 70’s and music has changed drastically over the course of time, and obviously so, things must evolve and change for the better or for the worst. Music then is not the same as the music we all hear today. The rhythm, flow, style, content, even the wardrobe has changed. Nothing is the same but on thing remains consistent, the vibe of music. No matter what happens to music in the next 30 years, the one thing that will remain consistent is the vibe that music will forever give. When I mean vibe, I mean the feeling of the song, that thing that will get an individual to dance or nod their head to beat, that’s what I mean by vibe. When it comes to vibes, hip-hop has done an awesome job with having the audience move their bodies, no matter what they are saying. Hip-hop will continue to do this for years to come.
What standards are there that will make a song hip-hop? This question is kind of direct in answer, but it always seems to boil down to what the artist is saying. When it comes to the instrumental, the things that will for sure make a song hip-hop is a strong kick bass, creative hi-hats, snares, and a melody, more can most certainly be added but for the sake of this blog, I will keep it simple. With everything mentioned with the beat, the only thing that remains is the content, what will the song be about? This is the thing that will either have the audience on their feet dancing or listening closely to the story line. The argument from there is that today’s artist isn’t hip-hop, because their content isn’t on a conscious level of thinking. If you ask me, they are still considered hip-hop, I just think that the 70’s babies and 80’s babies like the way things were in their time. When Public Enemy were out, they were on their “F” the government movement, the same thing with N.W.A. Whether the artist is talking about guns, drugs, money, life, death, politics, racism, or stereotypes, in my opinion, if they have a nice flow, if it matches the vibe of the instrumental, if they have a great hook, the song is deemed worthy of being considered hip-hop. I believe that it will be better if hip-hop was split into branches to relieve some of the confusion and stress.
Is it possible to split hip-hop into subcategories/branches? Rock has many categories of music within itself, Metal, Screamo, Hard Rock, Soft Rock, etc. Can hip-hop do the same? I believe it is possible. Trap is the category of music that isn’t properly documented, but publicly understood between the masses of what it is. Anything with drug use, selling drugs, and gun violence, on top of a hard bass and melody is considered trap, like I said in the beginning, this is an opinion. I believe that hip-hop is capable of more than just trap music, plus it hides a lot of the other music that are categorized the same way. If you split hip-hop into categories, then you give every other artist/tracks the chance to shine in their lane instead of being behind other tracks with a completely different vibe than them. I wouldn’t know what to name each category, but I can say that it can be good for the culture if you have a conscious rap category, or a Vibe Rap category. Whatever you want to call it, splitting hip-hop can be a win for everyone.
Like I said before, Hip-hop has changed since the 70’s and many people are stuck in the “good ole days.” There isn’t anything wrong with that, because music will continue to evolve for the better or for the worst. The “millennials” of today will dislike the hip-hop evolution in the next 20-30 years, it just comes with the territory. Make sure you follow us below on ig @deejaytakeover and stay up-to-date with the deejaytakeover movement.