Home / Q: Rap vs. Hip-Hop – What’s the Difference?

Q: Rap vs. Hip-Hop – What’s the Difference?

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A: This is one of the trickier questions we’ve tried to answer. It seems every time we’re about to arrive at an easy explanation someone throws in a different opinion. Some maintain that rap is a kind of music, whereas hip-hop is a lifestyle — one that includes rap, break dancing, DJing, and graffiti art. Rap pioneer and sage KRS-One says simply, “Rap is something you do, but hip-hop is something you live.”

Others, however, insist that hip-hop is a musical style distinct from rap, for very specific reasons: mainly hip-hop has a particular beat and uses scratching and “breaks” (samples). They claim rapping over a soul or heavy metal track could never be hip-hop. In other words, these folks say all hip-hop is rap, but not all rap is hip-hop.

Unfortunately for us label-hungry knowledge junkies looking for a quick fix, we’ll never arrive at a firm answer. Designations such as “rap” and “hip-hop” are never set in stone, but are free to flow and evolve, kind of like the songs themselves. Of course, some hip-hoppers just enjoy the scene and leave it at that. In the words of the ever-eloquent Biggie Smalls: “Birthdays was the worst days. Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ay.”

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About Mental_Floss

  • I believe the difference between rap and hiphop is inversely related to the freshness of the beats. So I’m told.

  • That was deep, Michael. Very deep.

  • Hip Hop is the original culture that is the foundation for its numerous expressions: DJing, MCing, B-boying, Writing(Graff), etc.

    Rap is the act of rhyming to a beat.

    Hip Hop Culture and Rap Industry are not the same. The industry is run by those who care nothing about the culture or its practitioners except that they can get paid from exploiting talent.

  • Thanks A-tone.

  • gotta go along with the Answer…

    Rap is somethign you do

    Hip-Hop is something you are

    full disclosure: yer gonzo is more the punk/metal type..olde skewl, but watched the birth of rap/hip-hop up close and personal

    nuff said…


  • MandOe

    Rappers rhyme about gold jewelry, loose women, and gang-banging on machine-produced beats. (Rap)

    MC’s rhyme about real life, everday life, on beats produced by DJ’s. (Hip-Hop)

  • FACT

    A Rapper represents the commercialized,Streotypic and Degrading aspect of Hip Hop while an MC represnts the concrete brack ground and history of hip hop.

  • Edgar

    What would guys consider Tupac way to be?
    This will help me have a clearer picture.

  • okay im an emcee.. the difference between rap and hip hop is.. hip hop is the life style.. and the music has a message.. hip hop educates.. rap on the other hand has no message theres lil to no depth in the lyrics.. rappers rap to exploit the business.. emcees are lyricist and do it for the love of the music..



  • Lalo

    Hip Hop is the teacher. Rap is the show-off. Hip Hop talks about everything negative and makin it positive, including the gangsta lifestyle. It teaches lessons that anyone can learn from. They do it for the love of the music. Rap, unfortunatley, talks about ice (jewelry), shoes, fallin “in love” with a stripper, the collar in your shirt, and anything random that doesnt make sense but somehow gets popular (crank that robocop). The people in that industry don’t really care about the history nor the true meaning of hip hop. You can also tell the difference by hearing the beats and lyrics. If that still doesn’t answer your question people, just listen closely to the beats and lyrics of a well-known artist, (Lil’ Wayne, T.I., DJ Kaled, Rick Ross,) and a relatively unknown artist, (Immortal Technique, R.A. the Rugged Man, Afu-Ra, Black Star,) and you will find the answer. And most of the best beats and lyrics come from the unknown. But it’s all commercial now and people are buying into it. Like The Roots said in the song “What They Do”:

    “The principles of true hip-hop have been forsaken. It’s all contractual and about money making.”

  • Old skool teacher

    There have been no true hip hop artists or rap artists since 2000. The last people to drop half good lyrics include Eminem and Mos Def and Blackstar. Since then, there have been nothing new.
    You guys talk about rap like it s bad, N.W.A and Mobb Deep are rap, and they were gangsta, and their lyrics were deep and have meaning. The music you listen to these days is called PARTY MUSIC!!! Not hip hop, not rap, PARTY MUSIC.

  • Swift Styles

    As a HIP HOP Emcee, i feel that mainstream rap sucks. it doesnt deserve the spotlight. guns, drugs, B*****, rims, disrespecting women? how can this be seen as good music??? or even reltivly good?
    rap artists get rich off the image, while Emcees like me construct divine lyricism, spit with immaculate delivery and actually make dope tracks.
    It takes 10 mins to write the best mainstream rap to hit the market, it involves no talent at all. my cousin could write one (He’s 5!) and it could be sung by 50 and go double plat.
    ya put the best Emcee, and the best rapper in a contest where your only judged by talents and see who comes on top.

    or better yet, look up the lyrics to the best song Uncle Murda, Lil Wayne, or Soulja Boy
    and compare it to the lyrics of Immortal technique, Jedi Mind Tricks, or Binary Star.
    Sadly but true, “rappers” are in the spotlight, poisoning the minds of the youth, giving socity bad influences to look up to?

  • division da emcee

    fuck rap.Hip hop is the only music that real people must listen to.50 cents,lil wayne,ja-rule and the list goes on but compare them with the likes of talib,pharoah monch,KRS-One,the last emperor and see who comes out the winner

  • Cannonshop

    Hip-Hop: a distinct creative musical form employing poetry spoken to a beat pattern woven with careful and meaningful sampling techniques. Hip Hop is not manufactured.

    Rap: Obscene Nursery Rhymes to a canned beat with samples ripped off from serious artists, this form is to hip-hop what Green Day is to Punk-a manufactured synthetic designed to appeal to the shallow minded and vain.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Hip-Hop: a distinct creative musical form employing poetry spoken to a beat pattern woven with careful and meaningful sampling techniques. Hip Hop is not manufactured.

    Sadly enough I can honestly say,by this definition,that I have never heard a “Hip-Hop” album then. I think that Arrested Development was the last band that I could easily reference…

    Can someone point me in the right direction?

  • I’ve been a music artist for YEARS, and I just have to say that I both agree AND disagree with alot of you.

    I agree that hip-hop is a lifestyle, and rap is an image. Commercial rap that you hear on the radio, is wannabe hip-hop.

    BUT, I also believe there can be different “types” of hip-hop. I mix hip-hop with many different genres.. punk rock, heavy metal, etc..

    Sure, you may consider that “rap”, but I get political in alot of my music. I “teach” in my music. So it could be a heavy metal track with me rapping in it. I consider it “Heavy Hip-Hop”.

    I think hip-hop is a superior creation, and has witnessed MANY levels of evolution. So mixing hip-hop with different elements of sounds, isn’t disrespecting it’s roots. It’s expanding it’s genius ability.

  • Inspectah

    You guys got it all backwards.

    Real MC’s rap.

    This fake Hip-pop shit like lil(insert homo), 50cent, the game, fergie….. Is hip-hop. Real rap, is deep, and intellectual: mos def, gangstarr, wu-tang, ect..

  • edstirling

    I’m more confused than ever. It sounds like this rap/hip-hop community is just like any other community, where the individuals that rise to the top and get famous do so because the squeaky wheels get the grease. The gangsta rappers making all the money are just the ones with the most agressive message. They are the rabble rousers who know how to make a fuss and get noticed, but whether the fuss is righteous is purely coincidental. All the while, the community is filled with a great many genuine artists striving to reach some classical, even divine, artistic expression of the human experience. The most talented among these often become ironically mired in their own talent, succumbing to pretension and egotism. They sit back and scoff at less-talented but more successful hacks. And some even preclude their own fame, tempering their arrogance by nobly insisting that their art speak for itself. What you call it doesn’t matter, the rap/hip-hop world is merely a microcosm of human society.

  • emceeba

    you guys got it ALL wrong.
    high quality lyrics that make sense, rhyme, have good flow, and go with the beat.
    e.g. Eminem, 2pac, etc
    stupid mainstream music crap you hear on the radio nowadays. Usually talks about doing women and having lots of cash.
    e.g. 50, Soulja Boy

  • Evident

    yea..rapping is the art of rhyming.

    hip-hop is just the culture, and apparently hip-hop artists are exploiting it’s expanding market to produce shit that hits our airwaves everyday. tupac RAPS, eminem RAPS, vinnie p RAPS, immortal tech RAPS…lil wayne doesn’t RAP, he speaks and flows but his lyrics are not poetry, they have no meaning.

  • H

    I am not a fan of Hip Hop which I feel is a subculture of Rap. Problem is Hip Hop is mainstream. People just say Hip Hop because thats all they know.

    As said above Rap is the art of rhyming… Hip Hop evolved (or de-evolved) from that. There are people that dont even rhyme now if you listen or use the same word twice to try and rhyme. Its really subjective from that point.

    There are fewer true rappers than Hip Hop artists because the money is in Hip Hop and thats whats selling as well as what gets airplay. I personally enjoyed the days when it was political or funny. The same reasons I liked Hardcore Punk. That was a time in music where it made you think. Now its all just bull ish… Rims, Girls, Bling, smoking, more girls, or nothing at all, ect…

    I drink Chrys, You drink Piss! Im OUT!!!

  • M!Li

    “Hip Hop” is a culture or life style, “Rap” is music

    “Hip Hop” është kulturë ose stil i jetes, “Rap” është muzika

    Hip Hop = Culture
    Rap = Music

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “Hip Hop” is a culture or life style…”

    Sounds to me like even rabbits got ripped off by the rap community…*Smirk*

  • Sun Light

    fajala rap asht shkurtes e ktyne fjalve

    “Rythm And Poem”

  • Matt J

    Old skool teacher, you haven’t been looking hard enough. Ever heard of Aesop Rock? Ever heard of the label Definitive Jux? It’s just silly to say that there hasn’t been anything new since 2000.

  • musability

    The difference between rap and hip hop is like the difference between shiite and sunni muslims.

  • musability

    The difference between rap and hip hop is like the difference between shiite and sunni muslims.

  • loryz

    u got some goood info kinda

  • loryz

    hip hop is goood

  • Duncan

    hip hop is really a way of life that came aboout bse a black man wanted his voice heard.more to this a black man lost track and begun talking about violence, sex, drugs coz that was all he could do.therefor hip hop is bad but rapping id good-hate it or love it!

  • Dj slim

    As for the difference is simple between rap and hip-hop,i call rap those kind of niggas who said cursed words direspecting other specially women and killinkg each others but hip-hop is like poetry,meaningful words thatmake people feel comfortable between one another.

  • Salideen Theory

    Hip hop is the culture, Rap is one of the arts in the culture. comparing the two is like comparing kungfu to side kicks.

    In the art of rap (which is from the culture of hip hop) you have to factions the MC’s and Rappers.

    The MC takes it upon himself to represent the hiphop community by a display of excellent skills incorperating, the principles of rapping which include originality/sharp wordplay/knowlege of current slang/ and most importantly a message that applies to the culture of hiphop, the state of the people, conditions of the world. The MC is an esoteric artist of hiphop who follows the inner ways of rapping (renamed emceeing) to an occult level.

    The rapper is a representative of his neigbor hood who represents hiphop from the perspective of the “Ghetto” superstar. His main focus is to put his neighborhood/city/squad on the map. The rapper is focused on popularity and money (not really focused on the cultural side of rapping like the MC). The rapper focuses on creating catchy slang and setting the new fad of dressing.
    the rapper does not feel the need to be obligated to the laws of hiphop and tent to even lean on the pop side.

    in truth the MC and the Rapper are both representative of the Black experience, which a lot of Hiphop head try to forget is the origin of this culture called hip hop and this art called rapping. As the art of MCing has started to spread through out the world, the focus on the african american people has been neglected by the MC. As a result of this neglect, the rapper has been representing the african american people and have recieve popularity fame and wealth for it.

    I am a MC(jedi) but hiphop is my culture, rap is my art African americans are my people. The rapper is not my enemy, he is the yin force that will dominate whenever the MC is sleeping.


  • Salideen Theory

    What kills me is the so called MCs have not created anything inovating since the mid 90s.
    truth is what it is, The MCs have become so
    stiff in concept of rapping that he can not move
    into the 21st century.

    The reason that “soldier boy” is so hot is that he represents a “posible” future for the african american youth. He is presenting his image of the 21st century slave who is happy working for his owner, dancing and singing like a happy slave. Though most of us in the hiphop community are sickened by this, at least it is a possible future.
    Most MC are so ingulfed in the past that the young people can not even identify them.
    1.the “Black panther” MC – The constitution is Dead so is your whole revolution, so how do you expect the kids to get online with a lost cause.

    2. The “poetic” MC – beautifully written but so far from the african american cause or the hiphop culture that nobody wants to hear it but you.

    3. the “teacher” MC -(i am stuck in this catagory) guess what, the kids today don’t read! they are failing out of school like its the new style. You think that they are going to read the books that you reference.

    4. The “copy cat” MC – stop byting! yo, this is a fundamental rule of rapping. these are the MCs who copy the style of there favorite MC as if they can be RAkim better than rakim. when the last time you seen rakim getting shine? IF he can’t do it with his style than your doomed.

    Yo, My fellow Jedi, lets step into the future and make rapping the Art of the MC again! stop tripping about titles and words and start making inspiring music.

  • nathan

    actually when you look at the development of both rap and hip hop you can clearly tell that hip hop is a cultural movement while rap, or rapping is something you do-a verb

  • from what i read on these forums rap is just a subgenre of the hip hop culture Hip hop Is a culture supported by breakin,graffin,Turntablism,mcin and in my opinion 5th element beat boxing Now with regards to rap i don’t believe this should be a subgenre of hip hop it should be it’s own genre cuz all the rap i hear of nowadays is little babies scratching their voices over the beat singing screaming rapping about their girls jewelery cars money houses clubs type of drinks guns getting shot all that crap is way over rated and should not be supported by any industry where hip hop the realest emcees create lyrical wisdom and backs their tracks up with a meaningful message
    a sweet boom bap beat with breaks, and scratches by the Dj is the only real music i can backup for example J dilla, Mf doom, People under the stairs, Immortal technique, Madlib, Big L,Gangstar,Jeru tha damaja, Jedi mind (Violent by design) Oldschool wutang and way more are the emcees that stay real to the music and just do it for the love of music not the money!!! don’t wanna show off or nothing just make beautiful music for everybody to nod there head 2

  • Marcia Neil

    ‘Rap’ is when a person has something original to say; ‘hip-hop’ is where a person is trying to go. If many people have the same rap to express, then a music-theme can be created; if many people have the same place to go, then a music-theme can be created.

  • soun bwoy killa

    hip hop the father and rap is the son

  • elvia

    man dats a dumb question because to me they’re hand in hand if u like rap u like hip hop or am I wrong I love both 2pac n cris brown they both know wats up and how 2 get down if u know what i mean pimpin aint ez to everyone posting comments let me know if I am wrong I may be!!!!! I love all types of music exept for country and opera!

  • teelah

    rap is where its at

  • nancy

    I read all of the comments. Sad, but seems like another topic designed to seaparate our Black people. Why can’t we as human beings take a thing for what it is? Maybe rap IS bad as far as message and meaning are concerned. But you must have some form of measurement to determine where the bottom is. Right? Hip-hop seems to be the artistic way of expressing a feeling, where rap is raw and non-poetic. We as a people are NOT STUPID! We don’t need to dis each other if we DISagree! Shallow vs deep…decide what you prefer and move along.

  • Rap is something you do, Hip Hop is something you LIVE. In my opinion Hip Hop is very close to EXTINCTION, but we still have the REAL MC’s like Immortal Technique, and Nas. Someone like Soulja Boy and Lil Wayne is simply something ELSE, not Hip Hop. They are simply hungry for cash, feeding the Record Companies at the same time.

  • sam

    gets sum aus hip hop into ya

  • James

    I don’t think, I know, HIP HOP and rap are different because rappers are full of shit and Hip Hoppers tell whats going on. And yes some have to protect them self’s by getting out of line with what they say. Rap:: lil wane, 50 cent, Bone, Snoop, Dre, and so on. Hip Hop:: Gangstar, Tribe, The Roots, Mos Def, Black Sheep, Out Kast, The Fugees, Common Sense, And Many more.


  • Kubes

    All this discussion is getting away from the original question. The question is not which is better, but simply what are the differences in musical elements between hip hop music and rap music. Can someone PLEASE tell me how the musical elements, rhythm, chords, meter, harmonies, tones, etc. differ between hip hop music and rap music. If there is no sonic difference between rap and hip hop, then why claim there is a musical difference between the styles?

  • MC Dictionary

    rapport n. Relationship, especially one of mutual trust or emotional affinity.

    hip adj. Keenly aware of or knowledgeable about the latest trends or developments.

    hop n. An informal dance

  • D.Maine

    I see it like this; Hip hop is the culture with rap being a part of it, so all rap is hip hop but not all hip hop is rap, because hip hop also includes the fashions, graffiti, and dances or w.e
    Then under rap their are MCs who rap about society and are like a sign of the times because they comment on current real world stuf then their are jus rappers who rap bout girls n money n ice n w.e with no tru meaning behind em

  • Rap and Hip Hop both suck so bad its not even funny. They require no skill what so ever. Get a life and go listen to some REAL music

  • blankityblank0

    hey old school teacher that is a completely incorrect statement that no good hip hop has come out since before 2000 it just may be hard to find. and some good hip hop got big for example gym class heroes.

  • Marcia Neil

    They’re both ‘discovery’ modes of tonal expostulation.

  • MuthaTrukcas

    Hey Your Mom, if you tell other people to get a life; why did you specifically search for hip hop to insult people in your spare time. You get a life! I came here because I like hip hop more than rap. It is music, music is an art, and art is anything one makes from his or her creativity. Dont troll please.

  • Empty Space

    Is a beat with no vocals considered rap or hip hop??? I ask this because there is no difference 2 me. The vocals are just another melodic instrument, so anyone with a voice can “rap”. The thing is there’s always been heavy opinion about a rap song being GOOD or BAD within HIP HOP. Just like religion, science, or whatever, it ALL links back to a way of thinking or proven techniqe. You have so many faiths and sciences just like rap songs!!! Personally, I like AND dislike rap songs ranging from the cypher/message type to the poppin bottles/bling/club type, but its all HIP HOP LOVE… (Now I’m bout to go smoke, drink, party, and try 2 make the world better at the same time, a true hip hopper, peace!!!)

  • whatever they say(obscenities),we gon keep it real.issues affecting society is prioty coz the future lies in respect of humanity

  • mith

    since there is so much controversy about what the difference is…you can make a difference between the artist….

    HIP HOP: NAS, Jadakiss, 2pac, Biggie, etc

    RAP: lil wayne, T-pain, 50 cent, etc

    get the idea…

  • me

    if your on a mic rhyming to a beat, your rapping, not hip hopping lol

    if your dancing to the rap music your usually hip hop dancing, or you can dress hip hop.

    BTW i like lil wayne hes a cool person but he cant rap, not trying to pick a fight its just my opinion

  • Well, get ready because now that dance music is making it’s way back into the mainstream, this “new” electro-pop and dance sound will be the type of stuff people will once again be rapping over. To all the younger generation kids born 1988 and later, this whole dance trend will be the “new futuristic sound”, similar to what the late 90’s Timbaland and Missy beat style was to my (or our) generation when we were in our late teen years. Now we have now become the parents of this new generation of kids who are currently 15-24. By the time today’s 15 year olds turn 28 or 29, hip hop would have evolved into a new sound, and who knows what kind of beats people would be rapping on by then. Just keep in mind that by that time, there will probably be more or about the same amount of classic hip hop stations as there are regular hip hop stations, just like we have classic rock and oldies today for genres that were once the “next big thing”. Hip hop has already passed its peak and is currently in a state of decline as the next generation sound slowly takes over. Remember, we are now the parents, so it’s no longer as “cool” to the kids as it used to be. 2010 – 2020 will breed an entirely different sound. Just wait and see what old school will sound like in 2020 as that generation too, becomes the parents, and we the…… yes, grandparents!!
    By then, there’ll probably be a completely new genre of music, and hip hop will sound like what 60’s and 70’s and some early 80’s music sounds to us (25-30 year olds) now.

    I just wonder what the game will be like when most of our (or my) generation of superstars get old and no longer rap or are all gone? Dr Dre and Snoop are getting up there… Madonna is pretty much done…. Eminem is already in his 30’s… It all shows you how short life really is…

    I remember almost being Soulja Boy’s age and listening to Bone Thugs & Harmony or Coolio. I remember when Lil Bow Wow was just a little kid! I remember back in 3rd and 4th grade when everyone was trying to figure out what the last P in OPP stood for and the teachers sending us to the restroom to put our clothes on the right way instead of backwards like Kriss Kross… I remember back when Salt & Peppa and MC Hammer were the times for when my parents were transitioning from being “young and hip” to becoming “the older people”, as we 10- 14 year old kids were preparing for Dr Dre and Snoop to pop up and be the ones who kicked things off for us! Now look at what 10 – 14 year olds are being introduced to!!! Completely different…

    So, lets see how this evolution in rap and hip hop unfolds throughout the years, as people begin to rap in various genre styles and hip hop changes. Would the answer to this question regarding the difference between rap and hip hop remain the same
    in 10 to 20 years? Or would the definitions have been changed to adapt with the modernized sound?

    Notice how the recent Eminem and Dr Dre stuff now seem a bit out dated! Times are already changing…

  • Dj KDM,

    Would you like a cane to go with the false teeth and rug on your head, maybe?

  • ojijo virus

    for real its been a great debate where every one gives an opinion.to my opinion,WITHOUT hiphop there would be no rap.

    HIPHOP:GRave diggers,mcren,j dilla

    rap/crank:lilwayne,rickross,50 snitch,soulja boy.

    that is the reason why ice T told hurricane cris that hiphop is old than THE numbers on his hair n thats real sence.peace

  • Scott

    Technically rap is the music and hip hop is the lifestyle/culture. Nowadays however I believe that they are considered largely within the music industry as separate styles within the same genre. Whilst technically incorrect if someone asked what was the difference between rap and hip hop, I would feel that rap is the heavier stuff like 50 cent, 2pac, eminem anything that seems “gangster rap” hip hop is more laid back like de la soul, binary star, kanye west. In my opinion both have good and bad artists, Its the beat and what they rap about to me. A lot of peoples definition on here it would seem is “rap stuff I don’t like, Hip hop stuff I like” spose every1 has a different opinion

  • Uzi


    There IS NO difference! They are one and the same. Every post I’ve seen on this site has tried to categorize the two based upon a personal aesthetic preference. Some have claimed that it’s not even the style of music but rather, it’s simply what the artist is talking about. The failure to distinguish one from the other is usually due to attempts at elevating one above the other. One is “real” while the other is “fake”. One is “idealistic” while the other is “materialistic”. In addition to that, no one can seem to agree which termonolgy refers to the commercial, materialistic, mainstream variety. Some have called it hip hop, while others have called it rap. I agree with those who’ve said that hip hop is the culture, incorporating the elements of b-boying, djing, graffiti, beatboxing, and yes, rapping. As far as rap music is concerned, “rap” refers to the vocal approach utilized which is basically just rhyming over a beat. Irregardless of what the rapper/mc (they ARE one and the same) speaks about, it is still rap. Since rap is an element of hip hop, ALL RAP, whether underground or mainsteam, whether good or bad, whether positive or negative, whether enlightened or ignorant, whether idealistic or materialistic, whether produced on a Triton keyboard or with an MPC, whether or not it incorporates a DJ, whether or not it utilizes a live band, IS hip hop. Think about it and you’ll see that I’m right.

    Considering that few emcees consistently promote the same imagery from song to son and that some have enjoyed both underground and commercial success (Outkast, Black Eyed Peas), the overlap between underground and mainstream music is much too entangled to classify rappers into separate categories. All rappers rap about women. Most rap about money. J Dilla has to be the smoking gun in all of this. J Dilla is almost universally refered to as a “true” hip hop artist as a way to detract from his mainstream counterparts. But Dilla rhymes are as materialistic and gun-toting as anyone’s.

    With Slum Village he had a sone entitled “Get dis Money”. Just look at his lyrics from his song “The $” off of his Ruff Draft album.

    -Yo, I’m thinkin of a master plan
    I’m blingin with the cash in hand
    I got a muh’fuckin right to shine nigga
    I paid my dues, I earned this cake I abuse
    I burn the paper the way I choose
    I gotta, handle my B.I., and I do
    And hold the T-I-N-Y tool
    With a mind of its own, no tellin what it might do
    Mess with my loot and it might pop
    It might lock, it might not, it might SHOOT~!
    And it’s not the chance to take, just like it’s not the answer
    Who out for the paper? Hands UP
    Lay back and pay that dancer
    Holla if you ever been placed in handcuffs
    Survival the name of the game, you wanna play?
    You wanna race don’t wait for the bang!

    Compare 2Pac’s “Ambitionz az a Ridah” with “Benda’s Got a Baby”. Compare Biggie’s “Juicy” with “Me and my Bitch”. Compare OutKast’s “Crumblin’ Erb” with “Return of the ‘G'”.

    In conclusion, there is no difference between hip hop music and rap music just as there is no difference between a movie and a film. They are in fact synonyms.

  • Seanster

    People are getting confused about what is hip hop and what is rap. the interpretation between the two doesnt matter. what really matters is being able to distinguish who produces quality music.

    Now my personal interpretation is that hip hip, is the quality music, while rap, is just run and produced by a bunch of sell out ignorant ass people.

    I could say a lot more on this issue, but i wont. so as long as people are still able to distinguish what is good music vs bad music, then i’m fine.

  • Hip Hop is silly:money, hoes, wiggers. Rap is serious: theft, murder, rough childhood.

  • Dolly Diddit

    I’ve tried.. REALLY tried to understand what people find so inspiring about rap or hiphop but I’ve never heard a single creation of either worth listening to. There’s no difference between them if it all comes out as raucous word noise, spat down the microphone of some obese black dude or some skinny white virgin wannabe. There’s no obvious point to it other than to brag and challenge. There’s no talent at all in that. Everyone just copies everyone else and it’s meaningless noise.

  • artist

    A hip hop performance therefore, may or may not include a rap song while a rap song may be performed without the hip hop dance and music. Rap is just the vocal part of an entire hip hop performance.

    From Difference Between Hiphop and Rap

  • YounG

    Hip Hop is all tha bullshit they play on tha radio (New Boyz,SouljaBoy,GS Boys, all tha otha lames) Rap is tha REAL music over beats such as 2pac’s music or BiGGie’s music…jus my opinion…oh an GUCCI MANE is tha WORST rapper 2 eva live…he’s killn HIP HOP by himself…nt hatn but its tha truth

  • RC

    From what I read here, It just seems like rap is a part of the hip hop culture. So when a rap artist makes a bad song, hes not just ruining rap but hip hop as well… It’s like hip hop is the tree and rap is a branch. At least that’s how I understand it.

  • Tha Trump

    Ok this is what I’m getting:

    RAP is ending! All the best rappers (Tupac, Biggie, etc.) are gone. The only rapper left alive is the Old Skool rappers still alive. And not all of them are good. Ludacris is a RAPPER!

    Hip Hop is what you hear today! One thing that i noticed is that hip hop always changes. It changes to fit the generation and the style. And by the way lil wayne is not stupid he just has really good wordplay.

    Personally I like both of em

    I was able to get this from all the comments i just read but i still dont know the difference.

  • Tamiqa

    Rappers just like to mouth off and showcase their illiteracy. The hip hop culture-lifestyle serves only to highlight all the negative stereotypes.

  • Tyrell

    Finally, the right answer. It is all offensive.

  • Rasputin

    They are both dead, just like punk. However, there is a slight difference, as the hip-hop culture was smothered by the attentions of “underground” rappers, art-school taggers, and the like, who then proceeded to dress its corpse up in a rainbow-colored dashiki, while rap was knocked senseless by a mob of Wal-Mart shoppers, then shanked repeatedly and dressed up in a pimp costume by BET executives.

    Another difference is that rap is kept “alive” by the chosen few in order to help raise money for child support payments and Escalades, while those who pretend hip-hop is still alive mainly do so to justify lame Dj-ing, garishly colored shoes, backpacks in clubs, and the occasional stupid hat.

  • poopymcpoopinstein

    rap is evolved from hip hop

  • ujguyjguyjg

    Well to be honest the answer is right cause um lil wayne yes is rap but aton of his songs are labeled as hip hop why because hip hop is rap with a softer message than the rest of rap it’s a way of being politically correct

  • ujguyjguyjg

    and if you honestly go back rap was first and came from the prisons and african American soldiers writing poems back to there families where they began to be sung by the families and friends

  • shut the f’up

    Rap is everythin, its deep and its very original.
    Hip Hop has more of dancing beats even if it doesnot make sense.

    Rap is the soul and hip-hop is just culture.

  • shut the f’up

    if yo ol lookin for a difference bw rap and hip hop then leme telya ol rap is very meaningful and deep.
    The main differnece is hip hop makes yo dance caz it got beats and rythem in it but rap is a rhyme combined with a lot of meaning and emotions.
    Rap olways tells bout someone’s life, motive of anything inspirational.

    Hip Hop is a complete culture and rap is compelte music.

  • fashionlover

    Im just annoyed that some ppl are forgetting hip hop like I watched 106 n park today and couldn’t believe the audience honestly thought lil wayne was a better legend than tupac like wtf is wrong wit this generation..tupac was a lyricist and eduactional..wayne raps about money sex n weed whoopdee doo! He hasn’t done anything to earn that honor…there really isn’t a #1 rapper no one has made an impact on me.. rap sucks hip hop is better..its intellectual, its mos def, black thought, common, lauryn hill and so on…that’s what hip hop is to me.

  • fashionlover

    And how the hell did hip hop become rap and rap become hip hop? You guys r twisting the article lol

  • Flaming Embryo

    Hip/Hop is the lifestyle: clothes, slang, drugs, alcohol, bitches, etc.

    Rap is someone spitting rhymes.

    The difference between the two is that hip/hop is always made up of people rhyming or rapping, but not all of rap is strong enough to portray the true hip/hop lifestyle, and make rap sound better. That’s why not all rap is hip/hop. For example, fake rappers dressing up thinking they are in a fashion show or rhyming about a candyshop are too weak to portray the true lifestyle. However, rappers like 2pac and Wu-Tang are activists in the sense that they helped hip/hop evolve into something greater than it originally was.

  • TiTUS

    My two cents, I think hip-hop is a sub genre of rap. Like you’ve got rock and you have say, grunge or metal. Grunge and metal are types rock, but similar to the author’s point, rock can’t be types of grunge or metal. When I think of hip hop I think of the it like “Pop-Rap”. Rap is hardcore and dirty, dirty means has a tinge to it not cranked out in droves from some studio somewhere. Rap lyrics are intricate or plainly simple. Where as hip hop is commercialized rap, it’s rap you can listen to with your parents or playing in a mall somewhere. They where nice clothes, and talk about money, cars, and other material trivialness. However until there’s an agreement amongst the majority of people there is no difference between the two words. Right now as it stands to the masses “rap” and “hip hop” are interchangeable like “lawn” and “yard”. Guess we’ll all just have to wait.

  • zingzing

    that’s crazy, mr. andronicus, because hip hop was around a long time before “rap” was even mentioned. hip hop is a cultural movement, including fashion, dance, tagging, music, language, etc, etc, and rap is the musical end of it. all rap is hip hop, but not all hip hop is rap.

  • Kurt

    Rapper- 50, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Ludacris, LLoyd Banks, Young Jeezy

    Hip Hop Artist- KRS, Slick Rick, Getto Boys, Kurtis Blow, I think its safe to say Kid Cudi now too.

    Would you also consider Eminem as Hip Hop Artist too i cant decide.

    Well anyway notice how the real Artists are hip hop ARTISTS, not rappers.

  • lupejames24

    lupe fiasco and eminem are the best rappers alive

  • lupejames24

    rap is better then hip hop all the way

  • jiggamynigga

    Absolutely no difference between the two. Only diff. is artist with positive messages, cant get money, so they assimilate with the times. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a total decay of the genre all together.

  • Buzzer1018

    alright heres an easy way to tll the difference between rap and hip hop. listen to tupac/biggie/andre 3000/slick rick/method man/old snoop dog/old eminem. and then listen to t-pain/lil wayne/drake and all those other pussies

  • Hip hop, when it’s most alive, is a cultural expression of community (“street”) feeling, and I’d be tempted to agree with Old skool teacher that “There have been no true hip hop artists … since 2000” if I hadn’t experienced its artistic eruptions in other cultures, most famously Brazilian, most remarkably Québecois. For my money, Amour Oral by Montreal’s Loco Locass is the Sgt. Pepper of hip hop, a hugely appealing, barrier-busting breakthrough that engages all of the emotions in sociopolitical intensity with witty verbal virtuosity. Try the hit Libérez-nous des Libéraux (“Save us from Liberals!”) More accessible for Anglos is the bilingual Acadian crew that calls itself Radio Radio; hear their new Belmundo Regal on myspace.com/laradioradio

  • ashboogie

    a caucasian girl asked me this in high school, she asked me if hip-hop was more songy (her exact words). I guess she means is Hip-Hop when you make a song integrating R&B artists or the rapper himself/herself is singing (ex: 50 Cent, Drake, Dirty Money). I said yeah because that was always my differentiation from Hip-Hop and Rap. On Music Choice they have two categories, Rap and then Hip-Hop. The Rap channel generally plays Hardcore Rap like Tupac, Biggie, Dre, Ice Cube, Nas..basically the more lyrical artists. Now the Hip-Hop channel plays more commercial music that you would hear on the radio or in the clubs sooo I always felt that Hip-Hop was more commercial and Rap was the more lyrical side of it all. IDK!

  • jayhovaaintova

    jay z iz da best there eva was

  • SpeakYourMind

    Hip-Hop is a form of music and like any genre of music it is still music so it dosent matter wut u do with it. hip hop includes kicks snares a bassline and occasionally a sample or original synths/percs and at least one verse or hook/break that is RAPPED… i hate to admit it but even souljah boy is hip-hop… lil wayne is hip-hop. and immortal technique is hip hop… lil cuete mr criminal kid frost. eminem vanilla ice drake. niki minaj. atmosphere.. cannibus. biggie tupac 50 cent the game common even kanye west make hip hop. u dont have to break dance or even know wut break dancing is to make hiphop music. its all irrelivent if u graf u graf it dosent mean ur a hip hop artist. the only way to make a hip hop song is to well… make a hip hop song.. part of making music is creative and being original so are rap lyrics on a heavy metal beat hip-hop? yes! like cop killer from ice t u cant look me in the eye and say thats not hip hop. and souljah boy gets people dancing right? break dancing went out of style years ago so of course a new form of dancing took its place and its the kind of dances souljah boy and the new boyz do.. there are alot of great and inspirational artists that get people off there feet and get them to think (tupac and biggie for example) then theres artists that are about material things n status (mike jones paul wall) then theres artist that do both (drake lil wayne) theres artists that talk bout love sex and partying (anything on the radio) theres artists that are strictly gangster (nwa nipsey hussle) about race (roots kid frost) theres an artist for every possible aspect of life.. all u have to do is look for it.. some people party more then others so they listen to souljah boy. some people are concerned with the world so they listen to immortal technique. and some people just like the wierd and crazy and some times intelligent things lil wayne and eminem rap about.. so they listen to that. its all hip hop. thats all there is too it. the kind of music i like is tech n9ne lil cuete kid frost niki minaj lil wayne drake immortal technique beast 1333 project pat three six mafia the game krizz calico and local artists in my city.. but u might like common kanye west the roots and nas. someone else likes jay z and eminem. the next guy might like souljah boy and yuk mouth. people like weird combinations of artists or even weird combinations of music itself. so basically the point im making is rap is an instrument used in making a hip hop song. a rapper is someone who raps. and hip hop is the music genre. remember there are sub genres and many people like many different things/// theres underground and mainstream.

  • sanjaimt

    hey fellows go ahead n chek out fizz de bottles in youtube….looking fo people who appreciate rap….san jaimt(WOLFAM)

  • jfasldjf

    rap = the good shit. biggie, tupac, ghetto boyz, eazy, nwa

    hiphop = lil wayne, eminem, birdman, 50

  • Jayto

    The Rap Industry hardly exploits talent. They take talent-less fools and let them rhyme over a bass line. Throw an autotuned chorus and make millions.

    Mainstream rap sickens me, and it is a complete disgrace to hip hop.

  • Jayto

    #90…Lil Wayne, Birdman, 50 = HIP HOP?????

    You couldn’t be further from the truth

    Hip Hop = ATQC, Q-Tip, Hieroglyphics, The Pharcyde, Jurassic 5, Rhymesayers, Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def

    (c)Rap = lil wayne, birdman, 50

  • Sifu Chuck

    So, how would you classify The New Poets?

  • and we can say, hip hop is modern version of rap and beginning of 2000s hip hop became a lifestyle and music style… rap is something like 80s and oldies version of hip hop, and there is no significant difference between them.

  • rap is a branch of hip hop. it is poetry spoken in a beat/percussion. it started from youths could not afford music programs traditional instruments so they started recording their own works on tapes(black people which were excluded by the dominant race).

    correct me if im wrong. ive been researching from books and the net last week for my humanities report. thanx

  • The_Heat_Cooler

    Hip Hop Died and turned into Rap:

    Hip Hop is rythem of words which makes sense like Nas’ “undying love (full story)”. while Rap is lil wayne’s “lollipop” makes no sense but it rhymes…DO NOT mistake rhyme with rythem

  • Another great post!!

  • Co’cane

    have you ever considered the work of a painter? or of a poet? how about a sculpter? these are not extremely well-paying professions, because not many people care about, nor can they appreciate, someone sharing their soul. the above mentioned people are called ARTISTS, and they can make whatever they want so long as it whole-heartedly encomasses the element of “self” in it. and such a restriction can only come from within the artist, since the “fans” don’t demand it of them. the tie up is that hip hop music is no different from any of these afore mentioned forms of artistry. Rap music is solely based on “appealing to buyers” whereas hip hop simply appeals to those who can either relate to, or appreciate the artist’s view. so, in essence, hip hop can very well be about guns, drugs, hoes, rims and whatever else, but that’s only if the creator of such artwork doesn’t step outside the boundaries of “self” in doing so. I am a hip hop artist, and that’s because I live hip hop lifestyle and proceed to make music that reflects my life, my views on various topics, and the consequences of being engulfed in such a lifestyle. if you ever get a chance to do so, listen to a REAL thug telling a personal war story, then listen to him turn it into a rap.. then, in contrast, listen to a relatively non-violent person rapping about a war story they’ve made up.. the difference between the sounds of these two songs is the difference between hip hop and rap. no matter how much better the second guy may sound on the mic, the first guy is always going to qualify as a hip hop artist while the second guy will always remain just a rapper, until he starts focusing his musical efforts on his own interpersonal experiences. real recognizes real, and we real emcees can tell who’s being real, from who’s not, EVERY TIME. thanks for reading.

    [personal contact info deleted]

    -Co’cane White

  • Co’cane

    On another note, I’m kinda surprised to see that so many passionate “hip hop heads” actually exist.. if you all are anything like me, you know how rare we are.. but here’s something to think about.. why can’t we get others to see it our way? well, it’s because that’s not a battle we can win. we can’t change the minds of the “party music” lovers.. we can only try to make real hip hop popular. which means it would be by a totally seperate base of supporters. as it stands, there’s like 1 hip hop supporter for every 100 “bullshit” supporters. our force doesn’t stand a chance against those kind of numbers. a deeper underlying problem is this: of those few people who are hip hop supporters, the ones who are overly fed up with the bullshit become artists themselves to try to rectify matters (at least this was the case for me). but that ultimately weakens the support platform, as I’m now one less person available to purely be supportive. does this remind anyone of slavery? it should. hip hop needs a revolution, as did those african americans of that time period. the beliefs of too many made it nearly impossible for slaves to be seen as equal, much less “greater” than their masters. obviously, overcoming that circumstance wasn’t COMPLETELY impossible, right? well, luckily, this battle isn’t about race or skin color.. but we do need some present-day versions of those that we studied during black history month every year growing up to come forth in hip hop and put it back in it’s rightful place. and I’m goin in.. I’m goin into the music game as an artist to try to appeal to our hip hop siblings that like to LISTEN to words and personal stories, that like creativity and originality. I know I can’t be about a dollar if I’m gonna do this, and I’m not about a dollar, cause I won’t be financially successful in this effort.. correct me if I’m wrong, if we’d stop payin people to make music, we’d finally reaveal those who do it solely for the love of hip hop, right? and it’s THOSE people I want to make an opprtunity for. but, since they’re going to keep paying the bullshit-makers, because people are inevitably going to keep dancing, the only thing I can do is create a seperate base of fans.. fans formed out of people of our own mindset, a fan base as large as possible, capable of supporting the TRULY talented individuals. then, the “dancing” society won’t have to support us in order for hip hop to thrive, but they will have to respect us.. then there will be no such category as “rap/hip hop” there will be hip hop, and seperately, there will be rap, which will be all the music that doesn’t qualify as hip hop. some of today’s artists will fit in the hip hop category, most will not. but in the manifestation of what I described, it will be REAL hip hop heads that decide who fits and who doesn’t. this will ULTIMATELY distinguish who’s real from who’s fake.. and what rapper wants to be known as fake? so imagine what provisions they might have to make to be able to crossover from “rap” to “hip hop” at that point.. I have a dream.. am I alone?

    thanks again..
    [Personal contact info deleted]

    -Co’cane White

  • Co’cane

    oops, my bad about the contact info.. won’t happen again.

  • Dwayne

    Rap is a different kind of way to express words vocally in a song similar to singing but not really singing. You can apply it(rap) to any genre of music. you can sing and you can rap. Just like how you apply singing to different genre of music. You can rap about anything just like how you can sing anything. you either rapping or you singing. If you rapping it’s a rap song. If you singing it’s just a song. It is of Black American Culture normally applied to short beats and normally rhymes to help the flow cause you really just talking creatively. Similar to how Jamaicans do there thing on their own short beats and call themselves DJs. Americans call themselves MCs. That’s how it all started. From Jamaica to the states with Yellow Man. These terms came up because of its association with talking on the microphone to an audience. Disc Jockey and Masters of Ceremonies. Over time these short beats evolved . some suttle to the ear and some more hard. Then came hip -hop. Just a kind of beat however the artist would have more concious lyrics, more message and more creative poetry in the rap songs. Because of that it’s considered or is of a higher class and worth your while to listen to. Also, you are able to deferenciate it from regular rap or other kind of rapping for different entertaining purpose. People have the same problem differenciating soca from calypso in the caribean. The short beats are constantly evolving and blending with other genres. So you may have “Hip Hop”, “Party rap”, “Hardcore Rap”(like battling)and some crap “Bullshit Rap” The whole new lifestyle or culture in terms of dressing and the grafity and everything else just came at around the same time the beats were changing and that new lifestyle was also called hip hop. Thats basically it.

  • Dwayne

    Original rap beats you can’t really move. With a bit more flavour added to those beats you can put your hip in it and hop all over the place and have fun. Hip hop dancing to hip hop sounds. So hip hop is a hybrid mixed genre. You apply straight singing to those sounds you may just call it R&B. Now artist get so creative you can apply rap to rock music like JZ did with Linking Park. but that wouldn’t be hip hop.

  • DFwf

    This is, of course, completely wrong.

    Rap is the wordwork going over top. Hip-hop is the music composed of samples in the background.

    What a sham.

  • life(fla)

    hip hop is rap and rap is hip hop alota people say lil waynes is not hip hop hes a rapper but hes both he talked about the good and the bad the religion etc there for he’s far dust far the best rapper alive but his hip hop is no where near biggie smalls if he wanted to focus fully on hip hop he could but hes doing what no one eles has done but im not leaving out other rappers nore hip hop artist or what they want to be called(preachers)

  • alln

    let me just put it like dis

    big l-



  • songo

    Im sticking with the RZA and KRS ONE rap is sth you do hip hop is sth you live and and that talking about the bits the knowledge the teaching is just fucked up, you are to fucking dumb to understand that all that talking aint shit, you better listen to the people who have been part of creating that culture – hip hop culture – and I aint talking about this rnb bitches like eminem kaney west 50 cent lil bitch and the rest pussies who singin about money – what tha fuck this got to do with my fucking lifestyle? and if they are using this plastic beats is that making them rappers ? no fucking way that got nothing to do with beats, you gettin me now? lets face it rap music have the best times behind, now are the times of bling bling pussies and all we can do about it is stick to the high times when it was about introduce the hip hop culture to the world, peace

  • shape

    there’s a lot of assumptions here about what the terms rap & hip-hop mean that are totally inaccurate, and are obviously meanings created by one’s own lack of factual knowledge. A-tone is correct above.

    sure, hip-hop refers to the entire culture, but when talking about the music specifically, rap refers to only the rhyming. rapping = MCing. a rapper = an MC, plain and simple. hip hop is the music – the whole package when you put the beats with the rap. therefore, you can have instrumental hip hop (just beats, no rapping), but you can’t have instrumental rap. hip hop, referring to the beats, is the foundation of hip hop. it started with the beats and then freestyle (live & spontaneous) rapping was added over them.

    whether someone writes conscious lyrics or not doesnt change their status from a rapper to an MC. they are by definition the same thing.

    see here: Rapping

    “rap” was a term that existed way before hip hop was created – several centuries before!!

  • shape

    to clarify on the above, the rapping/MCing was more in response to some of the comments than explaining it from scratch. an MC can do more than just rap, as it means ‘master of ceremonies’, host, entertainer. you have to have respect/skills to be an MC, but an MC does rap. when people use the term MCing/emceeing they really mean rapping – either term meaning the rhyming of lyrics. a beginner or wack mainstream rapper is not technically an MC but an MC could do a hip-pop/pop-rap track if he wanted to and a rapper could do an old school monotone flow or alternative hip hop track.

  • Ok Im new to this. I manage an artist and I was wondering if someone here can take a listen and let me know what you would classify this as. It is a hip hop/rap? Please listen to When you come home. Its a tribute to the soldiers who put their lives on the line for us. Check us out and please rate it and tell what you think.
    I will be putting more songs up there as well in the next few days..

    [personal contact info deleted]

  • Looktothelord

    As written at the top “Rap is something you do, but hip-hop is something you live.” and as KRS One have also said it a ‘religion!’ Please people don’t fouled….there is more to hip-hop than you may think, true evil is at work!!

    Visit youtube and search ‘The truth behind hiphop’ G Craig Lewis

  • The RAP is revolution and protest or revolution and people this genre with the REGGAE were created in Jamaika by sounds GRIOT and FUNK, etc but the HIP HOP is the union of RAP with MIDI sounds from genres such as Funk, Disco, Dub, R & B , among others later went evolucionanado and creates the CRUNK, HARD CORE ELECTRO, DIRTY SOUTH, among others.

  • Jay-B

    Its been Hip Hop from the start!!! get it right. Mainstream aint no where near HIP HOP. Expand your knowledge people. Rakim, Erick B, Run Dmc ect. were around in the 80’s when hip hop was actually done right. When hip hop was brought up. Now and days they dont do it for the music, hip hop is a culture and should only be done if you love it. Mainstream aint doing that. They do it for the fame and money now. Thats why you dont hear the lyrical skills anymore. Hip Hop turned fake because of the mainstream. Thats why you could only hear real hip hop in the underground now like Cannibus, Talib kweli, Immortal Technique, Big L, Tech Nine. So for all you tryna call mainstream hip hop, you obviously dont know hip hop like us hip hop artist do. Put an artist like Big L and Lil wayne in a freestyle battle and you’ll notice the difference in skill within the first bars. Hip Hops not played on the radio or mtv. Its fake bullshit. Keep real hip hop alive and support the music thats done properly. NOT MAINSTREAM RAP!

  • Fresh and dope

    Rap is the part of the hiphop culture, Hiphop is the mother of four elements that are graffiti, breakdancing, dj’ing and rapping so Hiphop=the culture
    Rap=the music of hiphop simple as that

  • capperr

    i think we can all agree that there is the music with substance, and then there is the mainstream music that lacks that very substance.

    what you decide to call it is for you to decide, just know the difference between the two.

  • wtf?

    emceeba, really?

  • southernbellechick

    i liked the to think rapping over a beat is saying something over a beat that has nothing to do with the song e.g. ODB’s verse on mariah carey’s fantasy remix. Hip hop has no restrictions, consists of logical verses, has purpose, and it’s informative. I’m 20 and i dont consider wayne, waka flaka, etc to even be my generation considering in my opinion the wordplay is not that impressive, and seems like these rappers aren’t putting much thought into making music (lyric wise)not just in rap but in other genres of music. it kinda seems like they are half-assing it because they know people we go out and buy it. Besides that no one wants to hear a complex rhyme anymore they want the fast catchy in your face punch lines and now that rap is mixing more with techno. Im definitely not feeling it. dont get me wrong i love techno but to me pop beats and recycling dumb metaphors about groupies, money, and constant reminders of “we the best” dont cut it for me. For me, rap & hip hop died in the mid 2000s.

  • radu

    Rap means rythm and poetry
    hip hop it more underground

  • We Funk

    Listen guys, these names are just NAMES. I ask you, what is the 1ST RAP album? 1ST hip Hop album?

    This is important. Punk rock, most people would say “..Uh, SEX PISTOLS” – Nah, look back at what the FACES or ROLLING STONES were doing.

    Let’s compare that to Punk rock:

    Stones musically the same as punk. Similar attitude, DIFFERENT TIME.

  • jennifer p

    i love listen to hip hop…i have a friend that raps i listen to all type of music..but my main one is hip hop!!!one luv ya

  • Nate

    KRS-One explained it perfectly, almost everyone else was dead far on this one.

  • Hardcore

    I completely agree with nefarious. I like mixing genres too.

  • 2pacLove

    I think a lot of yall got it mixed up. Rap is the root, the truth, the pain, the feeling… Hip hop is the sell out.

  • Fabian L

    You guys have it all backwards… Hip Hop came first and was the ancestor of what people call rap. Yes they began “rapping” after a while, but it is a fact that it started off as Hip Hop. Gangsta rap, which originated from the West Coast in the late 80’s early 90’s was the first Rap music to be created. The good music that came from that era (Rap) has been replaced by this garbage now-a-days. Hip Hop is a culture that involves many different aspects. It is also for the most part attacked intelligently and is completely different from Rap in terms of lyrics, messages, idealology, etc.

  • Fabian L

    Again… I know people that grew up when this music evolved, it STARTED OFF AS HIP HOP, Rap came afterwards

  • I think rap is rhyming and making sense at the same time. I think hip hop is the culture that goes along with rap. Some people see this viewpoint in reverse, but If you really think about it rapping is a verb and hip hop is a noun.

  • Chris A

    In my opinion Rap is an artist that rhyme about money, hoes and clothes. They don’t try to elevate themselves or their music. They make music just to sell.

    Hip-hop is an artist that can do both with consciousness. For example, one of the great rap groups Wu-Tang Clan rapped about money, hoes and clothes but still had a message in their music.

  • D33Ks

    There’s been good rap since 2000. Hiero still strong.

  • safwagate

    I say like gonzo marx

    Rap is something you do

    Hip-Hop is something you are

  • Eazy the hustla

    Rap sucks!…i luv hip hop.itz a culture u live with,its inborn.tupac,biggie,nas,the outlawz,ja,game rep hiphop..suckers like soulja boy,ym crew,mike jones luk rap.

  • RL Shokane

    @Lalo- what you are saying is shit…….hip aint the teacher….rap came beofre hip hop and hip hop arose from rap ,created by people who failed to do rap

    Rap is a poetry and tell a life story and how you feel inside, while hip hop is just a show off ,trying to show people what you have ,like money and girls

    Rap is real while hip hop is fake

  • Any mouse

    Hip-hop= people like e-dubble and macklemore
    Rap= lil Wayne and tyga and wiz kahlifa

  • Pinnacle

    Okay here’s what I think: Hip Hop is a lifestyle, all about MCing/rapping, B-boying, DJing/scratching and graf. I believe that all rapping is hip hop, regardless if it lives up to the standard or not. Just because some artists took the rhythmic conversational singing style in rap and used it with other themes doesn’t make it ‘not’ hip hop. Its just bad rap that’s all.

  • Solomon

    Serious..? From all the differentiated opinions, it’s all subjective, and from what I’ve read in the comments, most everyone agrees that Rap is music/sounds you don’t like & hip hop is what personally do like.

    Not much of a technical difference though, and who cares how a genre’s music/sound is “technically constructed”; it still belongs to that genre. Not all music in any genre is note worthy so leave it at that and hip hop, rap, or even hip rap to your hearts content.

    Oh, and use a little logic with reasoning so I ain’t gotta school on all ya’ll!

  • Mika S.

    Mr. Smiles may be ever-eloquent, but a biology lesson is in order. Alcohol suppresses ADH…in the end making you more dehydrated than you were to start with.

  • Potential

    Hip Hop is real. Hip Hop actually means ‘intelligence movement’.

  • Liam

    I’m fascinated by how many definitions exist that seem to create strong distinctions between rap and hip-hop. Nitty Scott MC who seems to be an artist concerned with poetry, ideas, and old school quality rhyming that has meaning says in ‘H.O.T’ “This is hip hop, sir/I am hip hop her/Callin me a rapper that’s a hip hop slur.” Even though she’s an MC, what many would call a “rapper,” she seems to distance herself from the word rap and to embrace the term hip hop for what she does. It’s so interesting how many artists themselves have conflicting visions of what these two terms mean.

  • StopArguing -_-

    Hip Hop is a culture.
    Rap is part of that culture.
    Neither is better than the other and both can have deep meaning. The image of both considers which artists/songs you listen to.

  • Lyricist7

    I agree with -Stop Arguing- as an emcee myself i personally write songs either just for fun or to actually portray meaning. No matter how you look at it it’s all about the music.

  • Anthony

    I’d say I agree with both perspective identified here. I believe hip hop, unlike rap, is more than just music but a lifestyle like KRS-One says. In fact, it is for this very reason hip hop is also a distinct music style from rap. How could it not be if the artist is living it? This is, of course, unlike rap where the lyrics are usually fabricated and less often emotional and real life influenced. Also, hip hop songs must be made using scratching and breaks as that is the other musical element of hip hop besides MCing, With only the MCing the song is sort of a “half hip hop” song. However, I will conclude like you Mental_Floss by agreeing that these terms are quite hard to define as both rap and hip hop are forever changing.

    • Master wiked

      tell that to run DMC hip hop doesnt HAVE to have scratches

      • zid

        While it doesn’t have to I don’t know why you’d tell that to Run-DMC. Are you forgetting about JMJ or the fact that they broke up before he died, and haven’t made a record together since?

  • Stb Hernández

    No a single answer was given that day.

  • SchwarzReiter

    Well, for me Hip-Hop represents peace, unity and respect of everyone (black,white, asian, gay, lesbians,…) and several ways of expressing yourself (Dj-ing, rapping, dancing, graffiting,…), while rap is merely another way of singing and not necessarily about peace, or anything. Oh, and this is just my opinion, no a truth, or a rule about hip-hop and rap…

    • fsdfa

      yea hip hop and rap were always about peace and unity and respect wtf are u talkin about hipster !? DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT IS GHETTO ??? (im not talkin about guetta !!!!)

      • zid

        Actually when hip-hop (and rap) started out they were originally about partying. Later on socially conscious hip-hop/rap became a thing (Afrika BamBaata w/peace, unity, love & havin’ fun). Sure there were battles but it was all meant to be in fun. While artists might have beefs, and might have started static with each other it was never about glorifying violence. That only came about because of gangsta rap, and a LOT of that kind of thing was the fault of labels who felt the violence made artists (and thus the labels) more money.

  • fulu

    shit explain

  • arkle

    I think of rap as just a sub-genre of hip hop. Rap has to be hip hop, but hip hop doesnt have to be rap.

  • Leslie Morgan

    The difference is… Hip Hop is cool and rap is not. 😛

  • Hip hop is softer more jazz like.
    Rap is street sh*t

    I think that’s basically it.

    I say smart sh*t on the daily: http://tlbeats.com/blog