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Alternative hip hop
Stylistic origins Hip hop, alternative rock, electronic, psychedelia, jazz, various others
Cultural origins Late 1980s in the United States
Typical instruments Vocalsturntablessamplerkeyboards, guitar, strings
Mainstream popularity High during the early–mid 1990s; low but existent late 1990s to mid 2000s; high since then.
Derivative forms Underground raptrip hopneo-soul - nu metal - avanthop
Subgenres
Jazz rap
(complete list)

Alternative hip hop (also known as alternative rap) is a sub-genre of hip hop music that is defined in greatly varying ways. Allmusic defines it as follows:

Alternative Rap refers to Hip-Hop groups that refuse to conform to any of the traditional stereotypes of rap, such as gangsta, bass, hardcore, and party rap. Instead, they blur genres - drawing equally from funk and pop/rock, as well as jazz, soul, reggae, and even folk.[1]

Contents

History

Origin

Originating in the late-80s, in midst of the Golden age of hip hop, alternative hip hop was headed primarily by East Coast groups such as De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, and Digable Planets in subsidiary conjunction by West Coast acts such as The Pharcyde, Digital Underground, and Jurassic 5 as well as certain Southern acts such as Arrested Development Goodie Mob and OutKast. Similar to the alternative rock movement, alternative hip hop initially began to segue into the mainstream at the dawn of the 1990s. The classic debut albums 3 Feet High and Rising, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, and Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde achieved minor commercial success as they garnered immense acclaim from music critics, who described the records as managing to be both ambitiously innovative but playful masterpieces, hailing the artists as the future of hip hop music as a whole.[2] Christened as "The Sgt. Pepper of hip hop", De La Soul's debut album 3 Feet High and Rising was considered the forefront of the sub-genre. As music critic Jon Bush wrote in retrospect:

The most inventive, assured, and playful debut in hip-hop history, 3 Feet High and Rising not only proved that rappers didn't have to talk about the streets to succeed, but also expanded the palette of sampling material with a kaleidoscope of sounds and references culled from pop, soul, disco, and even country music. Weaving clever wordplay and deft rhymes across two dozen tracks loosely organized around a game-show theme, De La Soul broke down boundaries all over the LP, moving easily from the groovy my-philosophy intro "The Magic Number" to an intelligent, caring inner-city vignette named "Ghetto Thang" to the freewheeling end-of-innocence tale "Jenifa Taught Me (Derwin's Revenge)." Rappers Posdnuos and Trugoy the Dove talked about anything they wanted (up to and including body odor), playing fast and loose on the mic like Biz Markie. Thinly disguised under a layer of humor, their lyrical themes ranged from true love ("Eye Know") to the destructive power of drugs ("Say No Go") to Daisy Age philosophy ("Tread Water") to sex ("Buddy"). Prince Paul (from Stetsasonic) and DJ Pasemaster Mase led the way on the production end, with dozens of samples from all sorts of left-field artists -- including Johnny Cash, the Mad Lads, Steely Dan, Public Enemy, Hall & Oates, and the Turtles. The pair didn't just use those samples as hooks or drumbreaks -- like most hip-hop producers had in the past -- but as split-second fills and in-jokes that made some tracks sound more like DJ records. Even "Potholes on My Lawn," which samples a mouth harp and yodeling (for the chorus, no less), became a big R&B hit. If it was easy to believe the revolution was here from listening to the rapping and production on Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, with De La Soul the Daisy Age seemed to promise a new era of positivity in hip-hop.[3]
Jon Bush

Decline of Alternative rap and rise of Gangsta rap

The revolution did not take place however. Contrary to alternative rock, which went on to become a mainstay in mainstream music and replaced the hard rock of the previous generation as the most popular form of rock music, alternative hip hop's commercial momentum was impeded by the then also newly emerging, significantly harder-edged West Coast Gangsta rap.[2] With its aggressive tone, nihilistic tendencies, violent imagery, gangsta rap was considered to be the more entertaining, more lucrative sub-genre as signified by the high chart placings, radio success and multiplatinum-selling records of gangsta rappers such as Snoop Dogg, Warren G and N.W.A., who were widely embraced by major record labels and produced a legion of imitators.[2] Straight Outta Compton and Doggystyle redefined the direction of hip hop, which resulted in lyricism concerning the gangsta lifestyle becoming the driving force with sales figures.[4] The situation broke way around the mid-90s with the emergence and mainstream popularity of East Coast hardcore rap artists such as Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., and Mobb Deep. Both West Coast gangsta rap and East Coast hardcore and their many derivatives subsequently became more prominent in popular music, to the point where alt-rap became largely relegated to the underground scene. Following this development, many alternative rap acts eventually either disbanded or faded into obscurity.

Due to its emphasis on abstracted artistry, experimental sonancy, and subversive lyricism, alternative hip hop is almost invariably the recipient of critical acclaim but is generally shunned by media outlets and viewed as a financial liability.[2] Rapper-singer Q-Tip, frontman of the highly influential alternative rap group A Tribe Called Quest, had his sophomore solo effort Kamaal/The Abstract shelved for nearly a decade after his record label deemed the genre-bending album as sounding uncommercial.[5] Q-Tip was quoted as saying:

I am really disappointed that Kamaal wasn't released. LA Reid didn't know what to do with it; then, three years later, they release OutKast. What OutKast is doing now, those are the kinds of sounds that are on Kamaal the Abstract. Maybe even a little more out. Kamaal was just me, guerrilla.[6]

Similarly, Black Entertainment Television infamously refused to play "Lovin' It", the lead single of North Carolina-based alt-rap duo Little Brother's socio-politically charged concept album The Minstrel Show, which provided a tongue-in-cheek critique of African-American pop culture, on the grounds that the group's music was "too intelligent" for their target audience.[7][8] The network was subsequently satirized by the animated series The Boondocks–which regularly features underground/alternative rap as background music–in the banned episode The Hunger Strike. The episode, which humorously portrayed BET as an evil organization dedicated to the self-genocidal mission of eradicating black people through violent, overtly sexual programming, was banned by Cartoon Network and has yet to be aired in the United States.[9] As a result these complications and more, most alternative rap groups tended to be embraced primarily by alternative rock and indie music fans, rather than hip-hop or pop audiences.[1] In his 1995 book on the current state of hip hop culture, music critic Stephen Rodrick wrote that at that point, alternative hip-hop had "drawn little more than barely concealed yawns from other rappers and urban audiences" and came to the conclusion that the sub-genre was a complete failure.[10]

Revival and popularization

However, a resurgence came about in the mid/late 1990s, and early-2000s with the rejuvenated interest in indie music by the general public. Arrested Development, along with The Fugees, stand as the some of the first few alternative rap groups to be recognized by mainstream audiences.[1] Rodrick cites Arrested Development, Basehead, and The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy as examples of such "alternative" hip-hop.[10] Since the mid 90's, indie labels such as Rawkus Records, Rhymesayers, Stones Throw and Definitive Jux have experienced lesser mainstream success with alternative rap acts such as MF DOOM, Atmosphere, Black Star, Pharoahe Monch, and Aesop Rock. It was in the 2000s that alternative hip hop finally secured a place within the mainstream, due in part to the declining commercial viability of gangsta rap as well as the crossover success of artists such as OutKast, Kanye West, and Gnarls Barkley.[11] Not only did OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below receive universal acclaim from music critics and manage to appeal listeners of all ages spanning numerous musical genres–including rap, rock, R&B, punk, jazz, indie, country, pop, electronica and gospel–but also spawned two number-one hit singles and has been certified diamond by selling 11 times platinum by the RIAA for shipping more than 11 million units, becoming the best selling rap album of all time.[12] Industry observers view the sales race between Kanye West's Graduation and 50 Cent's Curtis as a turning point for hip hop. West emerged the victor, selling nearly a million copies in the first week alone, proving that innovative rap music could be just as commercially viable as gangsta rap, if not more so.[13] Although he designed it as a melancholic pop rather than rap, Kanye's following 808s & Heartbreak would have a significant effect on hip hop music. While his decision to sing about love, loneliness, and heartache for the entirety of the album was at first heavily criticized by music audiences and the album predicted to be a flop, its subsequent critical acclaim and commercial success encouraged other mainstream rappers to take greater creative risks with their music.[14][15] During the release of The Blueprint 3, New York rap mogul Jay-Z revealed that next studio album would be a an experimental effort, stating, "... it's not gonna be a #1 album. That's where I'm at right now. I wanna make the most experimental album I ever made."[16] Jay-Z elaborated that like Kanye, he was unsatisfied with contemporary hip hop, was being inspired by indie-rockers like Grizzly Bear and asserted his belief that the indie rock movement would play an important role in the continued evolution of hip-hop.[17] The alternative hip hop movement is not limited solely to the United States, as genre-defying rappers such as Somalian poet K'naan, Japanese rapper Shing02, and especially English artist M.I.A. have achieved considerable worldwide recognition. In 2009, TIME magazine placed M.I.A in the Time 100 list of "World's Most Influential people" for having "global influence across many genres."[18][19] Today, due in part to the increasing use of music distribution through the internet, many alternative rap artists are able to find acceptance by far-reaching audiences. Several burgeoning artists such as Kid Cudi, Wale, Asher Roth, The Cool Kids, Charles Hamilton and B.o.B, openly acknowledge being directly influenced by their '90s alt-rap predecessors in addition to alt-rock groups while their music has been noted by critics as expressing eclectic sounds, life experiences and emotions rarely seen in mainstream hip hop.[20]

References

  1. ^ a b c allmusic: alternative rap
  2. ^ a b c d Erlewine, Stephen. "De La Soul". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:wvfyxq85ldke~T1. Retrieved 2007-03-25.  
  3. ^ Bush, Jon. "allmusic ((( 3 Feet High and Rising Overview )))". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:fpftxqy5ldde. Retrieved 2007-03-25.  
  4. ^ Caramanica, Jon. Review: Straight Outta Compton. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
  5. ^ Inventory: 11 Intriguing Lost Albums article on The A.V. Club
  6. ^ OPEN Abstractions
  7. ^ Walker, Verbal (2005-09-07). "Little Brother's "Too Intelligent" for BET". HipHopDX.com. http://hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.3516/. Retrieved 2005-07-14.  
  8. ^ Chery, Carl (2005-09-08). "Little Brother's "Too Intelligent" Says BET, Network Responds To Allegation". SOHH.com. http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/7519. Retrieved 2006-07-14.  
  9. ^ Braxton, Greg (2008-06-04). "'Boondocks' creator Aaron McGruder to BET: %@*$% ^&!". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun/04/entertainment/et-boondocks4. Retrieved 2008-06-04.  
  10. ^ a b Rodrick, Stephen (1995). "Hip-Hop Flop: The Failure of Liberal Rap". in Adam Sexton. Rap on Rap: Straight-up Talk on Hip-Hop Culture. New York: Delta. pp. 115–116.  
  11. ^ Michel, Sia (2006-09-18). "Critics' Choice: New CD's". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9503E7DF1031F93BA2575AC0A9609C8B63. Retrieved 2008-05-10.  
  12. ^ http://www.riaa.com/gp/bestsellers/diamond.asp
  13. ^ Sexton, Paul (2007-09-17). "Kanye Defeats 50 Cent On U.K. Album Chart". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. http://www.billboardmagazine.com/bbcom/esearch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003641886. Retrieved 2007-09-18.  
  14. ^ Reid, Shaheem (2008-10-03). "Common Praises Kanye's Singing; Lupe Fiasco Plays CEO: Mixtape Monday". MTV. MTV Networks. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1596254/20081003/common.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-11-23.  
  15. ^ "Urban Review: Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak". The Observer. Guardian News and Media Ltd. 2008-11-09. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/nov/09/kanye-west-hip-hop-808s-heartbreak. Retrieved 2008-11-24.  
  16. ^ Kash, Tim; Reid, Shaheem; Rodriguez, Jayson (2009-09-03). "Exclusive: Jay-Z's Next LP Will Be 'The Most Experimental I Ever Made'". MTV. MTV Networks. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1620692/20090902/jay_z.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-09-03.  
  17. ^ Kash, Tim; Montgomery, James (2009-09-03). "Jay-Z Hopes Bands Like Grizzly Bear Will 'Push Hip-Hop'". MTV. MTV Networks. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1620444/20090831/jay_z.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-09-03.  
  18. ^ The 2009 - TIME 100
  19. ^ The 2009 TIME 100 Time Magazine
  20. ^ Hoard, Christian (17 September 2009). "Kid Cudi: Hip-Hop's Sensitive Soul". Rolling Stone (1087): 40.  

External links


Alternative hip hop
Stylistic origins Hip hop, jazz, funk, reggae, alternative rock, electronic music, psychedelia
Cultural origins Late 1980s in the United States
Typical instruments Vocalsturntablessamplerkeyboardsguitarstrings
Mainstream popularity High during the early–mid 1990s; low but existent late 1990s to mid 2000s; high since then.
Derivative forms Underground hip hoptrip hopneo-soul
Subgenres
Jazz rap
Hip hop portal

Alternative hip hop (also known as alternative rap) is a sub-genre of hip hop music that is defined in greatly varying ways. Allmusic defines it as follows:

Alternative Rap refers to Hip-Hop groups that refuse to conform to any of the traditional stereotypes of rap, such as gangsta, bass, hardcore, and party rap. Instead, they blur genres - drawing equally from funk and rock, as well as jazz, soul, reggae, and even folk.[1]

Contents

History

Origin

Originating in the late-80s, in midst of the Golden age of hip hop, alternative hip hop was headed primarily by East Coast groups such as De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, and Digable Planets in subsidiary conjunction by West Coast acts such as The Pharcyde, Digital Underground, and Jurassic 5 as well as certain Southern acts such as Arrested Development, Goodie Mob, and OutKast. Similar to the alternative rock movement, alternative hip hop initially began to segue into the mainstream at the dawn of the 1990s. The classic debut albums 3 Feet High and Rising, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, and Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde achieved minor commercial success as they garnered immense acclaim from music critics, who described the records as managing to be both ambitiously innovative but playful masterpieces, hailing the artists as the future of hip hop music as a whole.[2] Christened as "The Sgt. Pepper of hip hop", De La Soul's debut album 3 Feet High and Rising was considered the forefront of the sub-genre. As music critic Jon Bush wrote in retrospect:

The most inventive, assured, and playful debut in hip-hop history, 3 Feet High and Rising not only proved that rappers didn't have to talk about the streets to succeed, but also expanded the palette of sampling material with a kaleidoscope of sounds and references culled from pop, soul, disco, and even country music. Weaving clever wordplay and deft rhymes across two dozen tracks loosely organized around a game-show theme, De La Soul broke down boundaries all over the LP, moving easily from the groovy my-philosophy intro "The Magic Number" to an intelligent, caring inner-city vignette named "Ghetto Thang" to the freewheeling end-of-innocence tale "Jenifa Taught Me (Derwin's Revenge)." Rappers Posdnuos and Trugoy the Dove talked about anything they wanted (up to and including body odor), playing fast and loose on the mic like Biz Markie. Thinly disguised under a layer of humor, their lyrical themes ranged from true love ("Eye Know") to the destructive power of drugs ("Say No Go") to Daisy Age philosophy ("Tread Water") to sex ("Buddy"). Prince Paul (from Stetsasonic) and DJ Pasemaster Mase led the way on the production end, with dozens of samples from all sorts of left-field artists -- including Johnny Cash, the Mad Lads, Steely Dan, Public Enemy, Hall & Oates, and the Turtles. The pair didn't just use those samples as hooks or drumbreaks -- like most hip-hop producers had in the past -- but as split-second fills and in-jokes that made some tracks sound more like DJ records. Even "Potholes on My Lawn," which samples a mouth harp and yodeling (for the chorus, no less), became a big R&B hit. If it was easy to believe the revolution was here from listening to the rapping and production on Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, with De La Soul the Daisy Age seemed to promise a new era of positivity in hip-hop.[3]
—Jon Bush

Decline of Alternative rap and rise of Gangsta rap

The revolution did not take place however. Contrary to alternative rock, which went on to become a mainstay in mainstream music and replaced the glam metal of the previous generation as the most popular form of hard rock, alternative hip hop's commercial momentum was impeded by the then also newly emerging, significantly harder-edged West Coast Gangsta rap.[2] With its aggressive tone, nihilistic tendencies, and violent imagery, gangsta rap was considered to be the more entertaining, more lucrative sub-genre as signified by the high chart placings, radio success and multiplatinum-selling records of gangsta rappers such as Snoop Dogg, Warren G and N.W.A., who were widely embraced by major record labels and produced a legion of imitators.[2] Straight Outta Compton and Doggystyle redefined the direction of hip hop, which resulted in lyricism concerning the gangsta lifestyle becoming the driving force with sales figures.[4] The situation broke way around the mid-90s with the emergence and mainstream popularity of East Coast hardcore rap artists such as Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., and Mobb Deep. Both West Coast gangsta rap and East Coast hardcore and their many derivatives subsequently became more prominent in popular music, whereas alt-rap became largely relegated to the underground scene. Following this development, many alternative rap acts eventually either disbanded or faded into obscurity.

Due to its emphasis on abstracted artistry, experimental sonancy, and subversive lyricism, alternative hip hop is almost invariably the recipient of critical acclaim but is generally shunned by media outlets and viewed as a financial liability.[2] Rapper-singer Q-Tip, frontman of the highly influential alternative rap group A Tribe Called Quest, had his sophomore solo effort Kamaal/The Abstract shelved for nearly a decade after his record label deemed the genre-bending album as sounding uncommercial.[5] Q-Tip was quoted as saying:

I am really disappointed that Kamaal wasn't released. LA Reid didn't know what to do with it; then, three years later, they release OutKast. What OutKast is doing now, those are the kinds of sounds that are on Kamaal the Abstract. Maybe even a little more out. Kamaal was just me, guerrilla.[6]

Similarly, Black Entertainment Television infamously refused to play "Lovin' It", the lead single of North Carolina-based alt-rap duo Little Brother's socio-politically charged concept album The Minstrel Show, which provided a tongue-in-cheek critique of African-American pop culture, on the grounds that the group's music was "too intelligent" for their target audience.[7][8] The network was subsequently satirized by the animated series The Boondocks–which regularly features underground/alternative rap as background music–in the banned episode The Hunger Strike. The episode, which humorously portrayed BET as an evil organization dedicated to the self-genocidal mission of eradicating black people through violent, overtly sexual programming, was banned by Cartoon Network and has yet to be aired in the United States.[9] As a result these complications and more, most alternative rap groups tended to be embraced primarily by alternative rock and indie music fans, rather than hip-hop or pop audiences.[1] In his 1995 book on the current state of hip hop culture, music critic Stephen Rodrick wrote that at that point, alternative hip-hop had "drawn little more than barely concealed yawns from other rappers and urban audiences" and came to the conclusion that the sub-genre was a complete failure.[10]

Revival and popularization

However, a resurgence came about in the mid/late 1990s, and early-2000s with the rejuvenated interest in indie music by the general public. Arrested Development, along with The Fugees, stand as the some of the first few alternative rap groups to be recognized by mainstream audiences.[1] Rodrick cites Arrested Development, Basehead, and The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy as examples of such "alternative" hip-hop.[10] Since the mid 90's, indie labels such as Rawkus Records, Rhymesayers, Stones Throw and Definitive Jux have experienced lesser mainstream success with alternative rap acts such as MF DOOM, Atmosphere, Black Star, Pharoahe Monch, El-P, and Aesop Rock. It was in the 2000s that alternative hip hop finally secured a place within the mainstream, due in part to the declining commercial viability of gangsta rap as well as the crossover success of artists such as OutKast, Kanye West, and Gnarls Barkley.[11] Bands like Gorillaz also experienced mainstream popularization during this period of time, selling over 20 million albums total between the albums Gorillaz and Demon Days. Not only did OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below receive universal acclaim from music critics and manage to appeal listeners of all ages spanning numerous musical genres–including rap, rock, R&B, punk, jazz, indie, country, pop, electronica and gospel–but also spawned two number-one hit singles and has been certified diamond by selling 11 times platinum by the RIAA for shipping more than 11 million units, becoming the best selling rap album of all time.[12] Industry observers view the sales race between Kanye West's Graduation and 50 Cent's Curtis as a turning point for hip hop. West emerged the victor, selling nearly a million copies in the first week alone, proving that innovative rap music could be just as commercially viable as gangsta rap, if not more so.[13] Although he designed it as a melancholic pop rather than rap, Kanye's following 808s & Heartbreak would have a significant effect on hip hop music. While his decision to sing about love, loneliness, and heartache for the entirety of the album was at first heavily criticized by music audiences and the album predicted to be a flop, its subsequent critical acclaim and commercial success encouraged other mainstream rappers to take greater creative risks with their music.[14][15] During the release of The Blueprint 3, New York rap mogul Jay-Z revealed that next studio album would be an experimental effort, stating, "... it's not gonna be a #1 album. That's where I'm at right now. I wanna make the most experimental album I ever made."[16] Jay-Z elaborated that like Kanye, he was unsatisfied with contemporary hip hop, was being inspired by indie-rockers like Grizzly Bear and asserted his belief that the indie rock movement would play an important role in the continued evolution of hip-hop.[17]

The alternative hip hop movement is not limited solely to the United States, as genre-defying rappers such as Somali-Canadian poet K'naan, Japanese rapper Shing02, and especially English artist M.I.A. have achieved considerable worldwide recognition. In 2009, Time magazine placed M.I.A in the Time 100 list of "World's Most Influential people" for having "global influence across many genres."[18][19] Today, due in part to the increasing use of music distribution through the internet, many alternative rap artists are able to find acceptance by far-reaching audiences. Several burgeoning artists such as Kid Cudi, Wale, Lupe Fiasco, Trip Lee, The Cool Kids, Chiddy Bang, Charles Hamilton, B.o.B, and The Knux openly acknowledge being directly influenced by their '90s alt-rap predecessors in addition to alt-rock groups while their music has been noted by critics as expressing eclectic sounds, life experiences and emotions rarely seen in mainstream hip hop.[20]

References

  1. ^ a b c allmusic: alternative rap
  2. ^ a b c d Erlewine, Stephen. "De La Soul". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:wvfyxq85ldke~T1. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  3. ^ Bush, Jon. "allmusic ((( 3 Feet High and Rising Overview )))". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:fpftxqy5ldde. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  4. ^ Caramanica, Jon. Review: Straight Outta Compton. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
  5. ^ Inventory: 11 Intriguing Lost Albums article on The A.V. Club
  6. ^ OPEN Abstractions
  7. ^ Walker, Verbal (2005-09-07). "Little Brother's "Too Intelligent" for BET". HipHopDX.com. http://hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.3516/. Retrieved 2005-07-14. 
  8. ^ Chery, Carl (2005-09-08). "Little Brother's "Too Intelligent" Says BET, Network Responds To Allegation". SOHH.com. http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/7519. Retrieved 2006-07-14. 
  9. ^ Braxton, Greg (2008-06-04). "'Boondocks' creator Aaron McGruder to BET: %@*$% ^&!". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun/04/entertainment/et-boondocks4. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  10. ^ a b Rodrick, Stephen (1995). "Hip-Hop Flop: The Failure of Liberal Rap". In Adam Sexton. Rap on Rap: Straight-up Talk on Hip-Hop Culture. New York: Delta. pp. 115–116. 
  11. ^ Michel, Sia (2006-09-18). "Critics' Choice: New CD's". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9503E7DF1031F93BA2575AC0A9609C8B63. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  12. ^ http://www.riaa.com/gp/bestsellers/diamond.asp
  13. ^ Sexton, Paul (2007-09-17). "Kanye Defeats 50 Cent On U.K. Album Chart". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. http://www.billboardmagazine.com/bbcom/esearch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003641886. Retrieved 2007-09-18. 
  14. ^ Reid, Shaheem (2008-10-03). "Common Praises Kanye's Singing; Lupe Fiasco Plays CEO: Mixtape Monday". MTV. MTV Networks. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1596254/20081003/common.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  15. ^ "Urban Review: Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak". The Observer. Guardian News and Media Ltd. 2008-11-09. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/nov/09/kanye-west-hip-hop-808s-heartbreak. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  16. ^ Kash, Tim; Reid, Shaheem; Rodriguez, Jayson (2009-09-03). "Exclusive: Jay-Z's Next LP Will Be 'The Most Experimental I Ever Made'". MTV. MTV Networks. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1620692/20090902/jay_z.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  17. ^ Kash, Tim; Montgomery, James (2009-09-03). "Jay-Z Hopes Bands Like Grizzly Bear Will 'Push Hip-Hop'". MTV. MTV Networks. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1620444/20090831/jay_z.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  18. ^ The 2009 - TIME 100
  19. ^ The 2009 TIME 100 Time Magazine
  20. ^ Hoard, Christian (17 September 2009). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Kid Cudi: Hip-Hop's Sensitive Soul"]. Rolling Stone (1087): 40. 

External links


Simple English

Alternative hip hop
Stylistic origins Hip hop, various others
Cultural origins Mid-to-late-1990s, United States and, to a lesser extent, United Kingdom
Typical instruments Rapping, electronic instrumentation
Mainstream popularity Fairly low
Subgenres
Conscious hip hop, political hip hop
Other topics
Alternative music

Alternative hip hop is a form of hip hop music that is very different from gangsta rap, crunk, and snap. A way to explain it would be that if "regular hip hop" was on the middle of a number line, gangsta rap, crunk, and snap would be on one side, and alternative hip hop would be on the other. Even though it is a form of hip hop, fans of alternative hip hop tend to also be fans of alternative rock more than "regular hip hop" or especially pop.

Alternative hip hop originally came from the United States, and some artists like Gorillaz sprang up from the United Kingdom. Examples of American alternative hip hop artists are Talib Kweli, Mos Def, (and the band they started together, Black Star), Common, Nas, Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest, Jurassic 5, and Styles of Beyond. It started as a movement-of-sorts from hip hop artists against the "tasteless" hip hop that was popular in the 1990s.








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