HIST R&R Project: Week 6 – Categorizing Artists

Artists’ sound comes in multiple variations, even if they are in the same genre. As we have seen in class discussion, specifically our psychedelic chapter, some artists (bands included) have stretched the limits of their genre, creating abstract sounds to portray their musical vision. Hip Hop is no different. 

Today –  rappers, R&B artists, rap groups, battle rappers, etc. all choose their music voice carefully. While some want to live the rockstar life and portray sex, drugs and money; others choose politics, oppression and culture. But it is rare to see a rapper drastically change sound from album to album these days. 

Hip Hop’s evolution has been monumental since the beginning and continues to break barriers vocally. I believe while there hasn’t been a large experimentation instrumentally, the experimentation of voice keeps the genre alive. 

Below are categories of hip-hop which I find to be most important to the House of Hip Hop and some artists that fall into these categories.

// Click on the artists’ picture below to hear music. // 


I classify Underground artists as those who are either unsigned (whether choicefully or not), or primarily release music through social media (Soundcloud, Youtube, Spotify). 

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Pictured: Chance the Rapper, Qu’ality, 6LACK, Kemba


Battle Rappers have come and go, they have turned into big name artists (like Eminem) but there is a great community of artists who still participate in round mics. 

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Pictured: Chris Rivers, Oswin Benjamin, Cyhi the Prynce


I classify artists under Culture who integrate messages of oppression, politics and race into their music. 

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Pictured: Joey BadA$$, J Cole, Logic, Nas


Trashing hotel rooms, throwing money at strippers, marijuana and fashion. 

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Pictured: Rae Sremmurd, Machine Gun Kelly, Kanye West, MIGOS