Hip hop, a genre known for its versatility and ability to evolve, is a musical landscape that constantly shapes and reshapes itself. In the world of hip hop, different styles emerge, gain prominence, and influence the sound of the genre. In this article, we'll explore some of the latest hip hop music styles, from the trap beats that dominate the charts to the timeless boom bap rhythms that remain a cornerstone of the genre.
Trap is a subgenre of hip hop that has taken the mainstream by storm in recent years. Originating in the American South, trap music is characterized by its heavy use of 808 drum machines, hi-hats, and dark, atmospheric melodies. Artists like Future, Migos, and Travis Scott have been at the forefront of the trap movement, crafting hits that resonate with audiences worldwide.
Trap lyrics often focus on themes of street life, drug culture, and the pursuit of success, creating a gritty and sometimes controversial narrative. The trap style's infectious beats and catchy hooks have made it a dominant force in contemporary hip hop.
2. Boom Bap
Boom bap is a classic hip hop style that emerged during the genre's formative years in the 1980s and 1990s. The name "boom bap" comes from the characteristic sound of the drum pattern, with a deep kick drum ("boom") and a snappy snare drum ("bap"). This style is known for its emphasis on lyricism and storytelling.
Artists like Nas, Biggie Smalls, and Wu-Tang Clan are synonymous with boom bap. The beats are often sample-based, featuring jazz and soul music, which adds a timeless and nostalgic feel to the music. Boom bap lyrics tend to focus on social commentary, personal experiences, and intricate wordplay.
Drill is a subgenre of hip hop that emerged in the early 2010s, primarily in Chicago. Drill music is characterized by its aggressive beats, dark and ominous melodies, and lyrics that often reflect the harsh realities of urban life, including violence and street crime. Chief Keef and Lil Durk are some of the prominent figures in the drill scene.
The sound of drill has since spread to other regions, including the UK, where artists like Skepta and Stormzy have incorporated drill elements into their music. Drill's raw energy and unfiltered storytelling have earned it a dedicated following.
4. Afrobeat Fusion
In recent years, there has been a surge in hip hop tracks that blend the genre with elements of Afrobeat, a musical style rooted in West African rhythms. Artists like Burna Boy and Wizkid have been at the forefront of this fusion, infusing their music with infectious Afrobeat melodies and rhythms.
These tracks often feature a mix of English and African languages in the lyrics, creating a global and culturally rich sound. Afrobeat fusion celebrates African heritage and showcases the genre's ability to cross cultural boundaries.
5. Cloud Rap
Cloud rap is a subgenre characterized by its dreamy, ethereal beats and often abstract and introspective lyrics. Artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti have embraced this style, creating music that blurs the line between hip hop and other genres like trap and punk.
Cloud rap lyrics can vary widely, ranging from themes of personal struggles and mental health to more hedonistic topics. The emphasis is on creating a hazy and immersive sonic experience.
6. Alternative Hip Hop
Alternative hip hop is a diverse subgenre that challenges traditional hip hop norms and embraces experimentation. Artists like Tyler, the Creator and Kendrick Lamar have pushed the boundaries of the genre, incorporating elements of jazz, funk, and rock into their music.
Lyrically, alternative hip hop often delves into complex themes, including identity, race, and social justice. This style encourages artists to explore new sonic landscapes and storytelling approaches.
The world of hip hop is a dynamic and ever-evolving one, with a multitude of styles and subgenres that cater to diverse tastes and sensibilities. From the trap bangers that dominate the charts to the timeless boom bap beats that harken back to hip hop's roots, each style contributes to the genre's rich tapestry.
As hip hop continues to evolve, artists will undoubtedly experiment with new sounds and push the boundaries of what the genre can be. This constant innovation and willingness to explore different musical styles are what make hip hop one of the most exciting and influential genres in contemporary music. Whether you're into the hard-hitting trap or the classic boom bap, there's a hip hop style for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.