I've played a video game Need for Speed Most Wanted, and I came across a weird trend it's it's soundtrack: there were many songs that had hip-hop/rap style, but were backed up by heavy (distorted, industrial rock) guitar chords, something we usually see in rock songs. Mind that there is no real structure of the "rock" part of the song, as there is no solo parts, and guitar almost never gets into focus, so I could be wrong when I label simple power chords as a defining characteristic of a rock song.

Songs like Nine Thou (Styles Of Beyond), I Am Rock (Rock), Skinnyman (Static-X) all have those rock elements, while generally being rap-ish.

Is such rock influence a result of the time of the making, and the culture that was dominant that time (putting rock chords may have been the trend now), or was it a completely new genre that developed on it's own?

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    Nu metal. Commented May 10, 2015 at 11:57
  • Would Gorillaz be in the same class as this? I mean, they did mix hip-hop with a rock flavour... Commented May 11, 2015 at 12:26

4 Answers 4


Mixing rap and rock is about as old as rap. Take Run-DMC's version of Aerosmith's "Walk this Way", or the early Beastie Boys, or Public Enemy recording with Anthrax, or Ice-T's Body Count project.

I think some people would put the groups you list in different categories. There's Rap rock and Nu Metal, and some alternative metal has rap/hip-hop components. I'm not enough of a fan to be able to make authoritative genre calls, but it seems to come down to gradations of rhythm and vocal style. Google will tell you that Static-X is nu metal and Styles of Beyond is rap rock.


The term "Crossover" generally denotes music mixing two or more genres, but was used more specifically in the nineties for bands combining (hard) rock and hip-hop elements - like Rage Against The Machine, Urban Dance Squad, Such A Surge etc.

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    Before that crossover was used to describe a blend of hardcore and thrash metal. That's what I would think about when someone talked about a crossover band. Commented May 12, 2015 at 10:15

What you're describing (and the little I know by Static-X) is nu metal. It typically incorporates elements of hip hop and metal (Korn or Linkin Park) but the instrumentals tend to be a bit simpler than traditional rock.

I don't really know the distinction of rap rock or rap metal but I tend to associate Rage Against the Machine in this category - more technical instrumentals and rapping.


Nu Metal is more similar to Alternative Metal than to Rap-Rock, but they all have distinct characteristics. To me rap-rock was rap music that was played by metal musicians, Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish.. album for example. Nu metal incorporated certain rhythmic elements of hip hop and rap, but didn't necessarily vocally "rap" in the traditional sense. Static X and Mudvayne is nu metal. It is metal music based on rhythm and hooks more than melody or complex riffs and compositions.

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