An alarming recent trend is seen in commercial music journalists, djs/vjs, etc. calling any music with a dj and mc "hip-hop." In doing this they obfuscate the distinction between rap and hip-hop. Rap is visceral; hip-hop is cerebral.

Rap has its own integrity, equal to that of hip-hop, as was shown in the old school (78 - 83) and Golden Age (84 - 93) years (all dates are approximations).

Rap is currently much more commercially successful and generally popular than hip-hop, and in its current expression has been watered down by the demands of commerce. (see: hip-pop). By contrast, hip-hop is undergoing a bit of a rennaisance, whose crystallisation was marked by the release of such albums Black Star by Mos Def and Talib Kweli in the late nineties.
Rap: Run DMC, Public Enemy, Eric B. and Rakim, Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick, Beastie Boys, N.W.A./Dr. Dre, LL Cool J, Grandmaster Flash, BDP, Big Daddy Kane, Jay-Z, Black Thought (The Roots' mc), EPMD, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Kid and Play, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Cash Money artists, Ludacris, Nelly, Black Eyed Peas (now?).

Hip-Hop: A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Digital Underground, MF Doom, Aesop Rock, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Del the Funky Homosapien, The Roots' musicians, Jurassic 5, 3rd Bass, Black Eyed Peas (then?), RJD2.

Some artists, such as Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes, appear on first notice to be rappers, particularly because of their tendancy towards braggadoccio, etc., and thier somewhat accessible sound, but upon deeper examination prove to be hip-hop artists.

Similarly, The Neptunes, Timbaland, and Kanye West lay down what one might call hip-hop beats, but most often for rap artists.
by respectabiggle August 24, 2005
Top Definition
A name for the 4 elements of the late 70's New York City renaissance which includes break dancing, emceeing, (rapping) graffiti, and turntablism.
Rap is something you do Hip Hop is something you live- KRS One
by Nate Hamer January 15, 2003
A culture and form of ground breaking music and self expression with elements that consisted of the elements of graffiti art, DJing, MCing, and breaking. Today Hip-Hop is considered to be dead in the mainstream because so-called mainstream Hip-Hop doesn't have the elements of hip-hop and have no meaning.
The stuff on MTV and the radio can't be called Hip-Hop because the lyrics don't have any meaning or self expression. Wack artists today just rap about their shopping lists and other bullshit. There are no more DJs making a prescence since artists today think they can manage without them. Without a DJ there are no scratches and cuts. No much graffiti art is being shown in videos. Artists such as 50 Cent, Nelly, Chingy, J-Kwon, P. Diddy, Cash Money Millionaries lack the 4 elements since their lyrics are ridiculous (no MCing skills), they don't have any DJ presence in their tracks (notice that so-called hip-hop today lacks scratches and cuts), and not much graffiti art is being expressed.
The point of this defintion is to show that MTV/Radio mainstream Bling Rappers should be categorized as Hip-Pop artists, not Hip-Hop artists.
Hip-Hop Music is: Run DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Gang Starr, Wu-Tang Clan, Pharcyde, Hieroglyphics, Aceyalone, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Public Enemy, Common, Mobb Deep, Nas, Rakim, and many more old school and underground acts.

Hip-Pop Music is: P. Diddy, Ja Rule, Nelly, 50 Cent, G-Unit, Cash Money Millionaries, and other mainstream money making oriented acts.
by 2nd Dopest Flip Ever to Live February 15, 2005
"Hip means to know
It's a form of intelligence
To be hip is to be up-date and relevant
Hop is a form of movement
You can't just observe a hop
You got to hop up and do it
Hip and Hop is more than music
Hip is the knowledge
Hop is the movement
Hip and Hop is intelligent movement
Or relevant movement
We selling the music."

Hip-Hop: Eazy-E, Big L, Big Pun, Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G, Nas, Eric B. & Rakim, N.W.A., Public Enemy, EPMD, Gang Starr, Guru, Grand Puba, Brand Nubian, Group Home, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, Naughty By Nature, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Mic Geronimo, MC Ren, Ice Cube, Ice T, The Roots, Run-D.M.C., Wu-Tang Clan, Gravediggaz, Mobb Deep, Cypress Hill, A Lighter Shade Of Brown, Delinquent Habits, Warren G, Zion I, MF Doom, MF Grimm, Souls Of Mischief, The Pharcyde, AZ, Big Daddy Kane, Grand Daddy I.U., Canibus, Immortal Technique, R.A. The Rugged Man, LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, DMX, Dr. Dre, Slaughterhouse, Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Royce Da 5'9, Organized Konfusion, Kurious, Onyx, Black Star, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Common, Camp Lo, Brotha Lynch Hung, Boogiemonsters, Masta Ace Inc., People Under The Stairs, Above The Law, Compton's Most Wanted, Redman, Nice & Smooth, Lords Of The Underground, Digital Underground, Dead Prez, One Be Lo, Murs, Kam, The D.O.C., Kool G Rap, Kool Moe Dee, Too Short, The Sound Providers, Digable Planets, Crooklyn Dodgers, Slick Rick, Jedi Mind Tricks, Goodie Mob, Field Mob, Sway & King Tech, Mad Skillz, UGK, The Fugees, Pastor Troy, Scarface, Freddie Foxxx, Andre Nickatina, and Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs.
by ♫ Highway to Hell ♫ February 25, 2010
first off, if it's on mtv it's NOT hip hop (50 cent isn't fucking hip hop), secondly if it's about lots of bling with my bitches riding on my twenty's capin some mofo it's NOT hip hop, thirdly if the song is only two lines repeating over and over it's NOT hip hop, fourth if the verse is all jumbled together and not enunciated it's NOT hip hop, the above mentioned criteria constitute rap.

Hip hop typically has a social message that not just about how fucking awesome I am and how hot my bitches are, enunciated lyrics, a more complex beat, and requires serious talent. If you want to listen to hip hop, you have to seek it out. It's not going to be on MTV or clear channel

And finally if you listen to both and can't discern a single thing and think I'm full of shit go listen to Umi Says by Mos Def (you can even find the lyrics on line), at least you'll understand the differing messages between hip hop and rap
I fucking hate it when people call rap and hip hop the same thing, they're not, go fucking educate yourself
by Paul S.W. November 04, 2006
Hip hop is a culture, or a lifestyle if you wish.
the term '4 elements' was coined when there was still only 4 elements;

bboyin (not break dancing) which could mean break boy or beat boy or bronx boy depending on where you live.

emceeing, which used to be shoutouts and such later evolved into 'rapping' and no thats not what 50 cent does because 50 cent is a sellout loser that sings bout his imagineary 'hoes'.

Djing or turntablism, this started by them just replaying the break bits in funk songs so that bboys could get down, and breakbeats was the first hiphop music ('evolved' from funk music.)

Graffiti, i dont know much about this but its visual art.

The 4 elements was a good concept for a while, but hip hopp grew and became more than 4 elements, making this term invalid.
Hip hop is a lifestyle, its a culture.
by frankie- a funkstylist. November 04, 2005
a music style created in the late seventies.what was once a cool underground movement has now mutated into corporate sexist garbage. the hip hop "artists" are more concerned about making money through image, trendy clothing styles and heavy commercialization. Not all but MOST do not care so much about making good music only to be rich and and fanous. They achieve multi platinum albums through their image and being heaviy promoted and not from musical content. hip hop is nearly dead. It has lost almost all of its aesthetics because people are doing it to be trendy. one day there will be an artist (from rock rap or even reggaeton) that will deystroy this garbage on Mtv.
My thoughts on hip hop: all killer but no filler (great sales but no musical content)
by someone that likes good music November 19, 2005
a cultural movement later bastardized by corporations to give rise to rap
hip hop has substance to it. rap doesn't
by wwwwoooooooo! August 27, 2006

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