In a huge contrast to the times of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, the hip hop scene of today has become quite saturated with mosh pits, leather jackets and new wave self proclaimed “rock star” rappers. Although the exact time when this transition was made is unclear (remember when all of this “rock star” talk was considered “white people stuff”?), with all of the avant garde fashion statements, dark subject matter and glorification of the rockstar lifestyle, hip hop has definitely entered into its “goth” phase and we are totally here for it.
If you know what you’re looking at, its quite easy to see how the hip hop scene has been influenced by rock n roll legends such as Kurt Cobain and Marilyn Manson. Dating as far back as 2010 when Lil Wayne dropped the “Rebirth” album and when thru his rockstar phase, rock n roll culture has been infiltrating hip hop. Rapper Lil Uzi Vert often refers to himself as a rockstar and is heavily inspired by Marilyn Manson, so much so that he got a $100k chain with a pendant of the rock singers face in all diamonds.
Many rappers of today can even be seen sporting T Shirts of popular bands such as Iron Maiden and Slipknot as a fashion stateme
nt. Artists such as Uzi, Playboy Carti (who is a self proclaimed rock star as he states in his song “Wokeuplikethis”) and the late Lil Peep have brought “goth” inspired fashion to hip hop as well by sporting leather jackets, distressed clothes, super skinny pants as well as literal chains on their clothing; this all pulled together in a look that resembles something you’d see at a Nine Inch Nails concert. These fashion trends, although some may see them as something new, are actually classic looks that were once sported back in the 80s and 90s by some of our favorite bands. Fashion in hip hop today is definitely inspired by the rock n roll culture in more ways than one. This, however, is only the beginning of the hip-hop/rock n roll phenomenon.
There have been many changes in the sound of hip hop in recent times, many of which can be attributed to rock n roll culture. We all are familiar with Lil Waynes rock influenced track “On Fire”, which samples Amy Hollands “Shes On Fire” This song was only the beginning of the whole sampling rock music in rap trend. A lighter, more happier version of sampling rock music can be seen from rapper Lil Aaron who has songs entitled “Warped Tour” (which samples “Misery Business” by Paramore)
and “Hot Topic” (which samples Panic! At The Discos “I Write Sins Not Tradgedies”) playing off of the whole “emo” side of rock culture. For a darker version of sampling. rapper Xxxtentacion uses a lot of heavy metal samples in his music, one being on his song “Off The Wall” in which he samples Slipknots “Spit It Out”. Another style that has become prevalent in hip hop is screaming which is represented heavily in rock n roll music from bands like Metallica and Slayer (compare by checking out the links below)
Hip hop has also taken a dark turn as far as subject matter as well. While there is a lot of music that still talks about the stuff we are used to hearing in hip hop such as partying and flashy lifestyles, we are finding that it is now acceptable to touch on darker subject matter in hip hop such as depression and suicidal thoughts as well. Artists such as Lil Peep and Lil Xan discuss depression and drug abuse in their music with a mantra that is similar to the lyrics of doom metal band Black Sabbaths “Solitude”. (Compare at the links below)
More influences of rock culture in hip hop can be found at the actual concerts themselves. Mosh pits have become a common thing at hip hop concerts. If you’re unfamiliar with what moshing is, heres a rundown: picture a huge circle in the middle of a crowd at a concert with a bunch of hot, sweaty, people throwing themselves into eachother in rhythm to music that is playing at extremely high volumes. While some may find this a bit scary, moshing can actually be a fun and relaxing thing if done correctly and safely. This moshing/slam dancing phenomenon was actually something that was done at rock concerts years ago and in recent times the trend made its way to hip hop, adding to the lit factor of seeing artists perform live in concert. (compare at the links below)
The influences of rock music in hip hop culture have resulted in not only a awesome new spin on hip hop but it also has created a way for fans of one genre to potentially become fans of something else they never knew existed. What do you think of how hip hop is being influenced by rock culture? Leave a comment below!