Although these days there are few new trip-hop acts, the genre has been very influential upon countless hip-hop and electronica acts, such as DJ Shadow, Gorillaz, Air and pretty much all dubstep artists.
'A blend of electronica and down-tempo hip-hop, urban and ethereal, street and ambience. Thought provoking, sensual, and deep. Often features string section and/or brass section. Can be either instrumental or with female vocals. Occasionally with rap. Trancy and smooth. Often jazzy. Sometimes features turntablism / scratching. It's head nodding music. "Chill-out music".'
Names associated with this genre:
Kid Koala, Dan the Automater, Prince Paul, Del the Funkee Homosapien...etc
Absolute musical ecstasy to the ears.
Also check out Gorillaz, Deltron 3030, Handsome Boy Modeling School, and Goldfrapp.