3 Subgenres of Hip-Hop You Should Know

hip-hop subgenres

It’s important to know the difference between these old-school and new-school hip-hop subgenres, especially if you yourself are an artist.

Over the past two decades, hip-hop has blown up to be the internationally-recognized genre that it is today. It has changed the entire music industry as we know it and isn’t stopping anytime soon. With this tremendous growth, many artists have brought their own styles, talents, and vibes into hip-hop. This allows for subgenres to emerge, but all of these different subgenres can get a bit confusing — not only because there are so many, but because of their similarity to each other. It’s important to know the difference between these old-school and new-school hip-hop subgenres, especially if you yourself are an artist. You should know where you fit into hip-hop and which subgenre is geared toward your specific art. Here are just a few of the hundreds of hip-hop subgenres and fusions that exist today.


Trap is listed here first because of its huge influence on contemporary hip-hop. This emerging subgenre is deeply rooted in Southern hip-hop from the early 90s. It’s 808-driven sound and aggressive lyrics have contributed to its quick rise in popularity. The name “trap” comes from this music being centered around trap houses. Some of the originators of trap music include Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy, Manny Fresh, and Three 6 Mafia.


The most important aspect of boom-bap is its story-telling. This subgenre of hip-hop got its start in New York City during the mid-90s. Heavy beats paired with street-conscious rhymes place great importance on the lyrics themselves. The subgenre isn’t as big as it once was, but there is an underground scene in New York that keeps boom-bap alive. Some popular boom-bap artists you know are the Wu Tang Clan, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Mobb Deep, and Joey Bada$$.

Gangsta Rap

Much like boom-bap, gangsta rap is a lyric-centric subgenre of hip-hop. While boom-bap artists’ lyrics can be described as aggressive, gangsta rappers lyrics can be described as straight-up violent. Originating in Compton, California, gangsta rap also emerged in the 1990s, but was not as easily received as some other subgenres. This was mainly to do with explicit lyrics that focused on gang life in and around LA. Some gangster rappers that changed the game were Ice-T, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Schoolboy Q, and Dr. Dre.

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At En La Calle, we lay down tracks that tell the stories of what life is like here in Charm City. All of our artists bring something different to the table. We don’t follow any “formulas” to create our art. So, if you want to listen to some talented artists who keep it real, follow En La Calle. Check out our music here or search on iTunes for En La Calle Records and you’ll see why we’re different. To see more of what we’re up to and listen to more of our tracks, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 6th, 2018 at 2:03 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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