The Difference Between Rap & Hip-Hop

Shaka Shaw weighs in on the musical battle between generations

by Shaka Shaw, September 19, 2013


Hip-hop vs. rap. Though the iTunes store mashes the two terms into one convenient label for all of your urban listening needs (“hip-hop/rap”), there’s a difference.

Though the name itself is credited to the late Keith Cowboy of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, it was Afrika Bambaataa who is credited with using “hip-hop” to describe the culture that emceeing belonged within. One common understanding is that hip-hop is a culture and rapping is one of four elements contained therein—the others being breakdancing, DJing and graffiti. Today, with the other elements not appearing as prominently as they once did, it’s been easy to conflate the two.

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