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Difference Between Hip Hop and Rock

rock-bandHip Hop vs Rock

Can you imagine a world without music? Pretty disturbing, isn’t it? People use music to express emotions and sentiments through music’s rhythm and melodies. It also entertains, creates, and soothes people’s moods. Just like people, music is diverse and also varies in style ‘“ whether in rhythm, beat, type of instruments used, and melody.

Two of the most popular genres of music in pop culture are Hip Hop and Rock. People are often divided with the genre they prefer and, in terms of music culture, nothing has divided humanity more than Hip Hop and Rock. Stereotypes have emerged based on these two music styles but fortunately, in these day and age, these two types are gradually merging, blurring the lines between subcultures.

Hip Hop is a genre that was developed in the 70s particularly in the Bronx in New York. Just like in any kind of music, Hip Hop music started as a way to express emotions and in this case, more on social and political issues. In the infancy of the music genre, Hip Hop is primarily practiced by African Americans and soon influenced by and with Latino American and Jamaican immigrants.

Hip Hop, in essence, is not just a type of music but also a culture. In fact, the genre is basically a by-product of the culture. People in this Hip Hop subculture were adept in musical practices such as rapping, DJing, beatboxing, freestyling, and looping. These basic elements of Hip Hop have gone to become a genre of their own but, technically speaking, they are all considered as genres from the Hip Hop culture.

Early Hip Hop music initially consisted of man-made beats, turntables, and a mic (vocals). The words or lyrics are often in a rhythmic spoken format, which is considered as Rap. Dance is also an essential part of Hip Hop. It can be said that Hip Hop is a product of poverty — musical instruments are not really necessarily used back then because people in the subculture simply cannot afford it.

In these times, however, that cannot be said of Hip Hop since it has emerged to become one of the most luxurious music genres. It has also embraced technology as crude instruments are replaced by computerized beat machines, synthesizers, and other digital beat and rhythm sources. Hip Hop has also implemented some elements of rock, at least in musical production.

On the other hand, rock has different roots and there are a lot of elements in the genre that is simply its own.

Rock is one of the oldest forms of music in mainstream today. The modern genre roots back to Rock n’ Roll in the 40s. Since then, it evolved in many directions and the rock music genre of today is one of them. Rock is instrument-oriented type of music. It often revolves around guitar’s beat and rhythm as supported by the bass guitar and drums. A keyboard accompaniment is also common. Actually, any kind of instrument applies but guitars are always necessary. In fact, guitar is the symbol of rock.

Rock has many sub-genres ‘“ e.g. blues, jazz, funk, glam, alternative, and etc. Although an individual can represent the genre, rock music is often associated with groups. Today, rock music is often preferred by Caucasians, especially white Americans but it has been changing since fusion of genres is now becoming a trend.


1. Hip Hop is originated to express sentiments in politics, society, and poverty while Rock mainly started to develop with the creation of rhythm and melodies produced by instruments.
2. Rock started earlier than Hip Hop.
3. Hip Hop is a genre that started in poverty. It cannot really be said with Rock.
4. In its early form, Hip Hop is not instrument-oriented while Rock is definitely instrument-oriented.
5. Immigrants, especially African-Americans are the originators and principal practitioners of Hip Hop while Rock is preferred by many Caucasians.
6. Hip Hop is based on rhythmic sounds of speech while Rock revolves around guitar’s rhythms.

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  1. Nice. Very informative. I am nodding in approval as I read!

  2. Great article, but you’re a little bit wrong man, rock also started in poverty (check Elvis’ debuts and those of the first famous rockers) . It just wasn’t the same kind of poverty.

  3. Blues, jazz and funk are not sub-genres of rock they are each completely seperate genres.

  4. Why so much emphasis on Music, Immigrants, Native. They are not related to anyway. Check history, every kind of music form is created by immigrants of that land.

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