Hip-hop vs Pop: Difference and Comparison

The terms hip hop and pop are two different genres of music. Currently, the two are most famous among youngsters.

Nowadays, both genres are commonly used in movies to catch the eye. These two genres have very distinct stylistic elements and social impact too.

Key Takeaways

  1. Hip-hop is a music genre that originated in African American and Latino communities, characterized by rap lyrics and beats.
  2. On the other hand, it is a genre of popular music that features catchy melodies and lyrics that appeal to a broad audience.
  3. The major difference between the two is the style of music, as hip hop focuses on rap and beats, while pop focuses on catchy melodies and lyrics.

Hip-hop vs Pop

The main difference between hip-hop and pop is that hip-hop is more of a cultural and artistic movement, whereas pop is mostly associated with commercial music.

Pop is an older genre compared to hip-hop. Older recordings are upgraded in hip hop while not in the other.

Hip hop vs Pop

Hip-hop was coined by Ronald Bee-stinger Savage, the son of the hip-hop movement, in 1990. It consists of rap and R&B, now two different genres.

Hip-hop has five stylistic elements- rapping, DJing, break dancing, beatboxing, and graffiti writing. 

On the contrary, pop is an abbreviation for popular music. It means concerts that appeal to a broad audience. It consists of a repeated chorus and hooks.

Here the stylistic elements are inspired by urban, rock, and country. Pop music has a tempo like that of dance music, making the song more prone to stay on the listener’s lips.

Comparison Table

Musical OriginRapping and MCingFolk music
Parent genreVarious genres inspire it, but the main ones are Rap and R&B.Disco and also contemporary
ToneIt has African- American tone with a slight touch of Latino.It has classical European touch.
Important elementsThere are four important elements: Rapping, DJing, beatboxing, and break dancing.Here it is, the repeated chorus.
Values and PhilosophyEssentialism and authenticityMateriality

What is Hip hop?

Hip-hop is a genre of music that consists mainly of rap along with rhythmic and rhyming speech. It was a cultural and art movement started by African-Americans.

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It originated in the Bronx, New York City, in the early 1970s. It gained the attention of youngsters in the 1980s and was adopted in the 1990s. It was later developed in subsequent years.

In the 2000s, the discovery of hip-hop music increased due to online platforms. It emphasizes the importance of sampling tracks and beats from older records. This has now led to flipping (upgrading older recordings).

The hip-hop movement in 1990 covered six elements: Consciousness awareness, justice, Political awareness, activism awareness, community awareness, and civil rights awareness.

During the slavery period, black people used to practice similar kinds of music as reading, writing, and other forms of entertainment were prohibited; this eventually led to the birth of Hip hop music.

It had a voice against the violence and discrimination faced by the slaves- mainly the black people.

African – American and Latino genres mostly inspire hip-hop. These genres include the blues, jazz, disco, salsa, etc.

Its broad social impact includes language, censorship, product and endorsements, media, magazines, fashion, diversification, and education.

Hip-hop Da

What is Pop?

It is a genre of music that includes a chorus and hooks.

This genre of music produces the most songs/ albums. Pop music originated in the 1950s in Britain, though it originated in the United Kingdom; it is also widespread in the United States.

Popular music and pop music is used interchangeably. But all popular music/ songs can be pop music but not all pop music can be popular.

It is a more fleeting and accessible type of music. It is produced so that it sticks to the listener’s ears.

This is because it contains repetitive choruses. It doesn’t appeal to a particular culture or ideology. It neither emphasizes craftsmanship; instead, it emphasises the recording, production, and technological aspects.

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Technological development played a key role in creating, producing, and elaborating pop music.

Initially, it was dominated by the Americans and the British, but later, due to improvements in digital facilities, it spread to various other continents.

European music later influenced it, and a new genre was created- Europop. Now various artists worldwide give pop music a local touch to reach a broader audience more easily.


Main Differences Between Hip Hop and Pop

  1. The Geographical origin of Hip hop is Bronx, New York City, while that of pop is in Britain, United Kingdom.
  2. The Musical origin of hip-hop is MCing or rapping. On the other side, the origin of pop is folk music.
  3. Pop contains elements from various genres that linger on the listener’s mind; at the other end, hip hop has more stylistic elements which make the social message rhythmic.
  4. Pop music is more off-pleasing the audience. On the contrary, Hip hop has more social and philosophical values faced by the people, black people.
  5. Hip-hop emphasizes communal, political, human, and civil rights, whereas pop music emphasizes technicalities only.
Difference Between Hip hop and Pop
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Q84TiHcqDqcC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=hip+hop&ots=bWeEdi_MtZ&sig=kHPuCi7NL83T65NwoEwbGoMdl6E
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=0etNdRiHWBcC&oi=fnd&pg=PP2&dq=pop+music&ots=8k527PPGeG&sig=lm3sjKsrCR0goeEYEqopKksiT6s

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Hip-hop vs Pop: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article presents a detailed look at the origins and characteristics of hip hop and pop. A well-researched piece of writing.

  2. The social and historical context of hip hop, particularly its roots in the African-American and Latino communities, is explained very effectively here.

  3. This article provides a comprehensive difference between hip hop and pop, and the origins of both genres are clearly mentioned. It is very informative and well-written.

  4. I’m not entirely satisfied with the explanation of the stylistic elements of hip hop and pop. It feels a bit lacking in detail.

  5. The historical and cultural context of both genres is very well articulated here. A great reference for music enthusiasts.

  6. The historical and philosophical underpinnings of hip hop and pop music are well-explored here. A thought-provoking read!

  7. The comparison table is very helpful in understanding the key differences between hip hop and pop music. Great addition to the article!


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