The hip-hop and rap feud deciphered

Vanessa A. Munoz, Opinions Editor

What is the difference between rap and hip-hop? Well, that would depend on who you ask. If you ask an adult over the age of 50, you will get a lot of negativity toward what is considered real music in general.

For the younger generation, most of them think the old stuff is lame and feel that rap music now is more diverse or that it’s even better. What some don’t differentiate in rap and hip-hop are the lyrics.

Yeah, some may say that hip-hop and rap have different beats and melodies to it, which is true in some cases. The fact is, musicians are now incorporating hip-hop rhythm with gangster rap. So the only thing that’s left is the lyrics.

Hip-hop has long been a way to rhythmically say words together that will tell a story that the musician is sharing. Artists use it as a way to express themselves artistically without a paint brush or canvas being used. Take that and put it with a crazy beat from a skilled beat-boxer and you’ll have a cool hip-hop track. Gangster rap took that concept and put a twist on self-expression by including the anger and frustration that was being dealt with by the musician at the time.

Where some people think this all went a little wrong was the message that was being said by these musicians. Hip-hop and early gangster rap went from a release of everyday life and problems to expressions of egotistical, hypocritical, obnoxious, superficial, and callous people who tell of how great it is to be a murderer, drug addict, alcoholic, and gangster. Not all, but the majority of rap today is this negative and angry.

All this is why we should be happy there still is hip-hop. It’s the one rap form of music that never fails. Even with music transitioning into what it is today, hip-hop remains a lyrical surrender of the rapper that usually uplifts its audience and connects with its listeners. There isn’t a need to praise the gangster life or drug addicts and hoes. Simple statements of frustration and crazy upbringings are something almost every person in the world can relate to. Even crazy ex’s, parties and friends are relatable but expressing psychotic thoughts and actions are best left at the psych-ward.

At times, you can catch a good beef between rappers. The most famous are coast-to-coast but the majority are within their own community. These types of rap battles can be taken in the wrong context and blown way out of proportion, giving all rap a bad name.

Media and crazed fans don’t help, either. They can turn a simple “diss” into a life-threatening situation that affects the rappers and their fans. This type of attention is what makes rappers today famous. Whether the rapper is even talented or not is not even a factor, if they can make a track that can bring in more money, then that’s all that matters. Rap and hip-hop have come a long way, and the change in it is sometimes unbearable.

With technology as high-tech as it is today, almost anyone can be a skilled beat-boxer. Being a lyrical genius with either a positive message or a good story is hard to come across in rap these days. So the big difference between rap and hip-hop: the message.