I remember a friend of mine (who studied music) told me once:

Jazz and hip hop are not really genres. But they are actually approaches to music.

Have any famous jazz or hip hop artists held this viewpoint? May I have the resource to the interview, recording or writing where they have expressed this view, along with their reasons?

  • Google searching didn't seem to give any relevant result: google.co.in/…\ . Maybe I could change "elaborate" to "justify"? May 14, 2020 at 15:40
  • The premise of the original statement is wrong. The fact that Hip-Hop might be both a culture and an approach to music doesn't in any way stop it from also being a genre. I don't know of any famous musician who has made a similar claim about Jazz.
    – PiedPiper
    May 20, 2020 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


A common answer you'll get is that hip-hop is a culture with 4 pillars: breakdancing, graffiti, MCing, and DJing. The musical side of things is only one part of the entire culture. Afrika Bambaataa, an influencial early hip-hop artist has spoken about hip-hop as a cultural movement and mental approach instead of a particular musical genre: https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2012/11/afrika-bambaataa-raps-early-hip-hop-history

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