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April 14, 2021

The idea that hip hop and rap are synonymous is a common misconception. After all, the themes behind the two are the same, so they must be the same—right? Not entirely. Even though they’re both popular styles, they differ from one another. Let’s unpack the two and identify the main difference between rap and hip hop.

What’s Hip Hop?

Believe it or not, hip hop isn’t technically a music genre. When we think about hip hop, it’s more cultural—it’s a way of living your life. Hip hop encompasses many things, including dance, DJing, graffiti, and MCing. Some believe that hip hop music does have a distinctive style as well, as it can feature sampling, vinyl scratching, and beatboxing.

What’s Rap?

Broadly speaking, rap is about poetry. It focuses on spoken word, as well as word patterns and styles. Often, rap songs incorporate rhymes and are set to a specific beat. What’s interesting about rap is that, if you think about it, rapping is an action. So, in theory, it can be present in any genre of music.

Which Artists Are in What Category?

Now that you’re more familiar with the larger definitions of hip hop and rap, let’s talk about the types of artists you’d find in both genres. In the music industry, R&B can fall under the hip hop category. So, for instance, we can think of Lil Nas X as a hip hop artist and Wu-Tang Clan as a hip hop group. Funny enough, rap also falls under hip hop. We can think of artists like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole as rappers. On the other hand, we wouldn’t consider artists like Frank Ocean and Miguel to be rappers.

Comparing and Celebrating Hip Hop and Rap

The key here is that rap came from hip hop culture. Additionally, hip hop music’s beats usually go with rapping—in fact, rapping is an essential component for hip hop tracks. However, hip hop tracks don’t always have to include rapping.

We hope this explanation has helped. The main difference between rap and hip hop may not seem like a huge deal but distinguishing between the two is very important. Essentially, hip hop and rap differ, but they’re not polar opposites. The two exist because of each other.

You can show your love for both hip hop and rap with jewelry inspired by your favorite lyrics. Gold Presidents provides you with the opportunity to create a custom gold name pendant that’s unique to what speaks to you most. We use the finest materials to craft all our products, so you can trust that this original piece will last. Simply select the material, length, and style you like, then add your desired word or phrase—we’ll handle the rest.


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