What is the difference between 'hip hop' and 'rap' genres?

  • 1
    Origin of Hip Hop: a tale from Hollis, Queens: medium.com/the-nib/…
    – 9dan
    Feb 25, 2015 at 12:27
  • 1
    Some opinions here from Chuck D and other notables in the industry: ebony.com/entertainment-culture/… (My take away: while there are differences, what they are is highly debatable and mostly opinion based disagreements on semantics)
    – DA.
    Mar 26, 2015 at 17:21

7 Answers 7


From my understanding Rap Music and Hip Hop music are the same, however Hip Hip music and Rapping are different.

Hip hop music:

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music, or hip-hop music, is a music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted.


Rapping is often associated with and a primary ingredient of hip hop music, but the origins of the phenomenon can be said to predate hip hop culture by centuries.

So Rap would be a Speech and Hip Hop a Genre. Also, Rap is more about the poetry of words and word styles and Hip Hop is more about the music(beats).

Additional Info:

What is the Difference between Rap and Hip Hop?

  • 1
    Totally what I would've answered. Rap is associated with Hip-Hop often, but notice that nowadays Rap is used progressively on Trap beats.
    – Alex
    Feb 25, 2015 at 7:46

Hip Hop is not a musical genre (although many people consider it to be so). It is a cultural movement characterized by four elements, all of which represent the different manifestations of the culture:

So basically, when someone refers to Hip Hop this is encompassing the whole culture in which rap is just one of all elements.

  • 3
    In this post you are referring to Hip Hop as not a musical genre, yet I thought it was both a culture and a music genre/ style.
    – Pobrecita
    Feb 25, 2015 at 22:38
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    But it is a musical genre as well. So in the context of this site, it probably makes sense to focus on the music side. Based on that, one could say that Rap is a genre that falls under the broader Hip Hop genre (both musically and culturally).
    – DA.
    Mar 26, 2015 at 17:16
  • 1
    The link to B-boying needs an update. Mar 29, 2021 at 6:25

Rapping is a style of long-form narrative poetry recitation with a strong and regular rhythmic beat, typically spoken, but occasionally delivered in a sing-song fashion (Nelly, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony). Rap is most closely associated with the hip-hop musical genre, which often includes sampling, vinyl scratching, rapping, a distinctive beat, a deconstructionist aesthetic, and an urban sensibility. Rap can be included in any genre, however, and has been featured in rock, heavy metal and country, among others. (Many modern pop songs include a rapped verse or bridge as a way of adding a bit of "edge.")

Likewise, the hip-hop genre is not exclusively associated with rapping. The music of singers such as Mary J. Blige and Frank Ocean is generally considered in the realm of hip-hop despite not always including rapping, and rappers such as Lauryn Hill and Li'l Wayne have occasionally released hip-hop songs that are sung, not rapped.

Both terms, and the linkage between the two, were popularized by the Sugarhill Gang's pioneering hip-hop rap song Rapper's Delight which featured the famous hook "I said a hip, hop, the hippie the hippie dibby hip hop hop and you don't stop to rock it to the bang bang boogie..."


To my understanding, rap music is usually all about the lyrics, while hip-hop can simply be a 'street' style of house beats or other genres.


Rap music is the combination of rhyming and poetry to a beat. It is part of the Hip-Hop genre, which involves lyrics over fast-paced music. Some people have described Hip-Hop as a way of life and a subculture, while rap is a specific genre of music. The Grammys for the Hip-Hop category include R&B and Rap subcategories.

From Diffen.


I think hip hop is more like an entertainment industry that is part of the history and culture of African civilization. This includes Dances, Clothes, Music, Singing, and so on. All this is summed up in one - Hip Hop Culture.

rap on the other hand is the voice of the street, the voice of the poor man who recruits to seek an opinion against someone or against the regime in which he lives, from here comes the rapping

That is only main opinion. Martin WC from Million Rap Views


I agree Hip Hop has rap in it but a pure rap song does not have hip hop in it. There are not many pure rap songs out there. So hip hop may be the better more evolved form. Drake is a great Hip hop artist but I would never call him a rapper. Nas has the song One Mic great rap...it is hard to make a rap song that is radio friendly cause they need a hook.

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