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Differences Between Rock and Hip Hop, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 576

Essay

Rock and Hip Hop are two music genres that enjoy great popularity both among youngsters and the adult population. They share their origin within the American culture and they have both controversial natures because of the inappropriate language in their lyrics and the illicit lifestyles they promote. However, Hip Hop and Rock are complex music genres which evolved in time and continue to change and to produce effects both in art and in the society.  Rock gave birth in time to different sub-genres and Hip Hop inspired new dancing styles. However, Hip Hop and Rock-n-Roll are extremely distinct music genres and there are fundamental differences between them. The present paper will undertake a point-by-point analysis of the differences between Rock and Hip-Hop.

The first important difference between Rock and Hip Hop is their age. Rock is older than Hip Hop and appeared as Rock-n-Roll in the 1950s. It was primarily used as a tool to show opposition against the country’s politics and discontent regarding social issues. Hip Hop appeared twenty years later, in the 19070s, on the streets of New York.  However, it was only starting with 1980 that Hip Hop became popular. Soon, it transformed into culture and became a lifestyle as much as a music genre.  Thus, Hip Hop is a much more recent phenomenon and the two musical genres are results of different cultural contexts.

Their different focuses concerning musical styles are another difference between the two genres.  In Rock music, the voice of the lead singer is the most important feature of a song. While lyrics also matter, singer’s tone and singing style are crucial. In rock, the singer is aggressive and his voice is the one that matters. Also important however are the singers’ instrumental skills. Moreover, Rock is not meant for dancing. Hip Hop on the other hand focuses on the rhythm. Hip Hop is concerned with two things, the message it promotes and the rhythms it produces. The message usually has to do with social issues, such as poverty, racism, discrimination and unemployment and resembles a poem. The beat is created to support the lyrics and they are usually simple and straightforward. However, the rhythm is appropriate for dance and has actually produced sever dance styles.

Finally, the two music styles differ in their origins. Thus, rock emerged as a music style of the white Americans. The iconic figure of Rock-n-Roll was Elvis Presley, and his audience was entirely composed of white youth.  The segregation that existed in America at the time when Rock emerged kept the African Americans away from Rock-n-Roll. This tradition was maintained and today, most Rock listeners are still white. On contrary, Hip Hop is said to have been emerged as music of the African American Slaves. However, when it first appeared officially as a music genre in the 1970s, Hip Hop was enjoyed by African Americans exclusively. Since then, the entire world discovered Hip Hop and the listeners are not represented anymore by the African American community exclusively, though Black Hip Hop singers continue to be the most successful.

As shown throughout the present paper, there are three main differences between Rock and Hip Hop, namely their age, their sound and their origin. How one chooses one genre over the other is a matter of personality and taste. While true Rock fans generally do not enjoy hip Hop and the other way around, generally, people do enjoy songs from both genres and appreciate them for their different characteristics.

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