featured2 - 11 Most Common Hip Hop Sub-Genres and Fusions
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Over the years, hip hop music has evolved. Downloading and streaming services are the new source for people to listen to music. There have been different sub-genres, fusions, and versions from certain states and regions. As a matter of fact, hip hop is a musical celebration of diversity. Despite differences, music binds their understanding. In this article, we list the 11 most common hip hop sub-genres and fusions:


Alternative Hip hop

Also known as “conscious hip hop”, alternative hip hop skips musical styles, hooks, or moves. Their main goal is to explore unique concepts. Key artists include Lupe Fiasco and The Roots.


Battle Rap

Battle rap involves bragging, boasting, and insulting. It is usually used in live battles where rappers rap in freestyle. It is a battle between two or more MCs and their rap verses. Battle rap has been showcased in TV contests and even in professional leagues.


Boom Bap

Boom-Bap originated in New York and gained popularity in the mid-1990s. It was coined by rapper KRS-ONE which he actually derived from drum sounds. Storytelling is a strong feature of Boom Bap. Some of the most notable boom bap artists are Pete Rock and Kendrick Lamar.


Conscious Rap

Their primary goal of conscious rap is to deliver a certain message of awareness and knowledge regarding various social issues. Conscious rappers promote positive and radical ideas, although they do not want to be classified as “rappers”. Key artists include Kanye West, TalibKweli, and Lauryn Hill,



Crunk is a sub-genre of southern hip hop. According to music accounts, famous producer Lil John was the one who created this dance move in the 1990s. Club beats and high-energy chants are among its major elements. Apart from Lil John, key artists include Lil Scrappy and The Eastside Boyz.

East Coast Hip hop

East coast hip hop originated in New York in the 1970s. It became dominant in the golden age of hip hop. It follows simple old school rap pattern with lyrical dexterity. Famous rappers include Big Daddy Kane, Hay-Z, and Rakim.


Gangsta Rap

Gangsta rap is a reflection of the gangster life, especially the youth of the early 1980s. Ice-T was credited as the pioneer of Gangsta rap. Basically, it features hard-hitting beats and aggressive lyrics. Some artists criticize Gangsta rap for its violent theme. Famous Gangsta rappers include 50 Cent, 2Pac, Snoop Dog, and Ice Cube.



Hyphyhip hop has been around for a few years. It is a musical import from the West Coast that incorporates upbeat tempo and high-energy style. It also features rugged beats and witty lyrics. Famous hyphy rappers include E-40, Mac Dre, and The Team.


Melodic Rap

Melodic rap has been influential over the past years. It plays a prominent role in the independent hip hop world. It even dominated the popular hip hop scene with rappers like Bryson Tiller and Drake.


Rap Rock

Basically, rap rock is a combination of hip hop and rock musical genres. Rap-rock has also evolved into different fusions including rap metal and rapcore.


Trap Music

Trap music flourished in the 1990s. It originated in Atlanta where Ghetto Mafia and Dungeon Family started entering the music science. Trap music generally refers to music about drugs and narcotics.