Ask any two artists, fans, or other assorted members of the rap/hip-hop community to explain the precise difference between the two terms, and odds are you'll get different answers. Even so, most would probably agree that rap describes a type of music while hip-hop refers to a cultural phenomenon that includes graffiti, breakdancing, and fashion in addition to music -- or as rapper social theorist KRS-One says, "Rap is something you do, hip-hop is something you live." Musically, the only difference between the two is that rap always contains the vocal element of rhythmically spoken rhymes while hip-hop can be purely instrumental in nature. Rap in its earliest stages consisted of DJs mixing records and juggling beats and breaks for block parties while emcees rhymed over the rhythms. This practice of adapting, dissecting, and transforming pre-recorded music to create new songs could be hip-hop's most significant contribution to modern music.
Rap/Hip-Hop: The Game, Nas, Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Big L, Big Pun, Eazy-E, N.W.A., MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Ice T, Immortal Technique, KRS-One, C-Murder, Public Enemy, EPMD, Mobb Deep, 50 Cent, Kanye West, The D.O.C., The Diplomats Aka Dipset, Jim Jones, Cam'Ron, Juelz Santana, Wu-Tang Clan, MC Eiht, Compton's Most Wanted, Eric B. & Rakim, Common, DMX, Asheru & Blue Black Of The Unspoken Heard, People Under The Stairs, Onyx, Jay-Z, Grand Daddy I.U., Big Daddy Kane, Lil Scrappy, Lil Jon, Lil Wayne, Westside Connection, Mack 10, W.C., Too $hort, Audio Two, One Be Lo, R.A. The Rugged Man, Naughty By Nature, Cypress Hill, B-Real, Delinquent Habits, A Lighter Shade Of Brown, Omar Cruz, JV, Ludacris, Run-D.M.C., Channel Live, Warren G, Kurupt, Kam, King Tee, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Black Star, Jay Rock, Ya Boy, Snoop Dogg, Canibus, Zion I