Difference Between Hip Hop and Electro

The art of arranging sounds is called music. It contains certain elements like melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.


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Music plays an important role in human societies culturally. Music is derived from a Greek word that means Muses.

It can be performed using various types of instruments, and it also includes various types of vocals techniques as well. In every era, there is an emergence of a different kind of music that creates history like jazz, string quartet, hardcore punk etc.

Hip hop and electro are also the two types of music that emerged at the end of the 20th century and became popular.

Hip Hop vs Electro

The difference between Hip Hop and Electro is that Hip Hop originated in the 1970s in New York City. Electro music originated a decade later than hip hop, i.e. 1980 in Japan and Europe. Hip Hop music consisted of a rhythm that was chanted called rap. In Electro music, the defining characteristic was that the drum machines were used in it. Hip Hop music became a cultural movement, a musical genre that found its way into the parties. Electro music became popular when there was a decrease in the rate of disco music. Electro music was inspired by funk music played by various funk artists.

Hip Hop vs Electro

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Hip Hop music is popularly called rap music because rhythmic, rhyming speech is involved and chanting is done known as rap. Hip Hop became one of the most popular genres in music in the 1970s.

It was developed by African Americans, Jamaicans, Puertorican in the United States. Hip Hop was first played in the block parties or street parties by African Americans who were residing in the Bronx.

DJ mixer, percussive instrument, beatmatching, scratching, rapping, toasting etc., are some of the elements of hip Hop. Hip Hop didn’t come on television or radio till 1979 because it was considered as the music of the poor.

Electro music is also one of the types of music. Electro music is inspired by funk and hip hop music.

In electronic music, heavy electrical sounds and drum machines are involved. There is no vocal present in the electro.

This feature makes it distinct from disco music. Electro music became popular after there was a decrease in disco music.

In the 1980s, electro music was at its peak. Some of the famous electro-music records are Nunk, Planet Rock etc.

The second wave of electro-music came in the 1990s. The third wave of electro music came in 2007.

It also has further branches like electro core and skweee.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHip HopElectro
OriginBronx in the early 1970sUSA, Japan, Europe in the early 1980s.
InstrumentsMusic sequencer, Rapping, keyboard, DJ mixer, drum machine, turntables, synthesizer.Drum machines, Bass Drum, Synthesizers, Heavy electronic sounds etc.
SubtypesAlternative hip hop, Hipster hop, Bounce, British hip hop, Cloud rap, Road rap, Chopped and screwed, Boom bap etc.Electrocore, skweee
PopularisedIn the Block partiesWhen there was a decline in Disco music.
Famous Tracks“Rapper’s Delight”, “I Used to Love H.E.R.”, “Dear Mama” etc.House, Nunk, Planet rock, Al-Naafiysh (The Soul), Rockit etc.

What is Hip Hop?

Hip Hop is a cultural genre, a notion that became extremely popular at street parties in New York City. It was made popular by the people living in the Bronx, i.e. African Americans.

Hip Hop was earlier used with a variety of instruments like percussion, DJ mixer, drum machines were used. In the early stage, it was very affordable.

Techniques like beatmatching, scratching, Jamaican toasting, rapping were developed and chanted along in a synthesized beat. Hip Hop music was not played on radio and television because it was not accepted outside the ghetto neighbourhoods.

Because of its genre, it was considered poor music. “Old School Hip Hop” became the first hip hop album to be recorded and become one of the mainstream music as it contained party lyrics and disco influence.

In the 1980s, Hip Hop became more diversified. Different styles of hip hop emerged from the world.

When the album “New School Hip Hop” came, it brought the second wave of Hip Hop music in which electro sound was also used. This led to the Golden era of Hip Hop.

It was very innovative, i.e. from the 80s to 90s. Subgenres of Hip Hop included Gangsta Rap, West Coast Hip hop, East Coast Hip hop, Alternative Hip hop, Hardcore rap, Southern Rap, Atlanta Hip hop etc.

Hip Hop became so popular that it broke all the records in the musical genre because of its selling music in the 1990s. The term Hip Hop was given by Keith Cowboy, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

What is Electro?

Electro is a type of funk music and comes under the genre of electronic music. Electro is said to be influenced by Hip Hop.

Drum machine, funk, heavy electronic sounds are used. No vocals are used in electro, and distortion like talk boxing and vocoding is used.

Electro differs from disco because of the electronic sounds used in it. Electro is different from its predecessor, Boogie, because of the less vocal used and electronic beats are used.

When there was a decline in disco music, electro emerged as one of the fusions of funk music. Electro music was influenced by a lot of music like pop from Japan and Germany, hip hop and boogie from New York etc.

It was created by musicians like Afrika Bambaataa, Warp 9, Arthur Baker, and Hashim. The peak of electro music came in the early 1980s.

Electro soul was created in 1980 that consisted of electro breakbeat, bassline and soulful male vocals. When the third wave of electro music came in 2007.

Contemporary electro marked its entry once again in the club nights in Florida and Europe. New branches of electro have emerged since then.

Main Differences Between Hip Hop and Electro

  1. Hip Hop originated in Bronx, New York, in the early 1970s. Electro originated in various countries like the USA, Japan, Germany and parts of Europe in the early 1980s.
  2. Instruments used in hip Hop are Rapping, singing, music sequencer, synthesizer, turntables, DJ mixer, drum machine, keyboard. Instruments used in Electro are Drum machines, Bass Drum, Synthesizers, Heavy electronic sounds etc.
  3. Subtypes of hip Hop are Alternative hip hop, Hipster hop, Bounce, British hip hop, Cloud rap, Road rap, Chopped and screwed, Boom bap etc. Subtypes of Electro are Electrocore and skweee.
  4. Hip Hop was popularised in the street parties by African Americans. Electro became popular when there was a decrease in disco music.
  5. Famous Tracks of Hip hop include “Rapper’s Delight”, “I Used to Love H.E.R.”, “Dear Mama”, etc. Famous Tracks of Electro includes House, Nunk, Planet rock, Al-Naafiysh (The Soul), Rockit etc.
Difference Between Hip Hop and Electro
  1. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/culture-2018-0012/html
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=XkCncJ7j744C&oi=fnd&pg=PA225&dq=Hip+Hop+and+Electro&ots=r9KGFgPDjA&sig=3uxcgxHA_pFt4Vn5FReuPmIUNqs
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