Rock and Roll and Hip Hop — Two Music Genres In a Battle

WHS Lions Pride Original Story:

Mills Custom Wood Floors

by Darryl Warren

In 3…2….1…There’s always been this ongoing feud between two rivals; a game of cat and mouse if you will. Over the last decade, two of the most popular genres of music been fighting to the death.

In this corner, originating from the Bronx since during 1970s, we have hip hop. In the other corner, originating from Memphis, Tennessee during the 1940s, there’s rock. Let the games begin.

Two of the greatest forms of art are taking this battle of stage into the mainstream media. In the genre of rock and roll, most of the melodies and hooks are created from instruments such as the electric guitar, drums, bass guitar, piano, etc.

With pioneers such as B.B. King, Miles Davis, Chuck Berry, Louis Jordan, and Elvis Presley, the genre of rock and roll became a cultural staple to the world, resulting in several subgenres such as heavy metal, hardcore punk, etc. In the origins of rock and roll, most of the lyrical content explored topics of love, lust, greed, and loneliness.

Most importantly, many fans have found the lyrical content to be emotional and passionate in many ways. Freshman Mikayla Purdum said “Rock is more intense.” Most rock shows display a performance of high energy and an emotional and intimate connection with their fans.

When asked about the environment of rock festivals such as Vans Warped Tour and Mayhem Fest, junior Sarah Strausbough stated that “Concerts are awesome and the fan base is nice.”

During the early 70s in the Bronx, New York, hip hop was emerging from the late night block parties. Unlike its instrumental counterpart, most hip hop songs were composed from beats and rhythms created by turntables and drum machines. Some musicians have considered hip hop not a real genre of music due to its lack of instrumentation. Although this opinion is popular amongst the rock community, many disagree.

Band director Windy Schmidt said “Rock only has four chords. Hip hop is usually more relatable.”

Freshman Eikavia Boyer stated that “The only rap I like is Eminem because he’s a motivational rapper that comes from a rough background.” A lot people have found solace and relatability in the lyrical content which is usually about struggles and fighting through a dangerous environment. Since the early movements by DJ Kool Herc, The Sugarhill Gang, and Slick Rick, hip hop has ignited a cult following and trends such as break dancing and freestyle rap. Rappers such as Nas, Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Scarface, and Queen Latifah were considered some of the greatest hip hop artists of all time during the early ‘90s.

It’s agreed that both genres of music have their great moments and a constant disagreement on which is better. Both are in my opinion two legendary forms of art and as a musician myself, I appreciate both.

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