Abstract hip hop is a genre of music that combines elements of hip hop with experimental and avant-garde sounds. Its unconventional production techniques, surrealistic lyrical content, and use of samples from a wide range of sources make it distinctive and unique.
Artists who have worked in this genre include Travis Scott, Lil Nas X, Nicki Minaj, Future, Juice WRLD, Cardi B, 6ix9ine, 21 Savage, Iggy Azelea, XXXTentacion and Drake.
This genre is mainly based on a Roland TR 808 drum machine, with heavy kicks and bass as drum pieces, which are used to create the beats. The sounds of the drum machine can be processed with electronic or digital equipment to create special effects on the beats produced.
The best way to make this type of music is to have a good selection of different kinds of drums and samplers. You can either chop them from records or get kits where other people have cut their drums, or process the samples with compression and other sound processing tools to creatively degrade the signal (tracks).
Another key element for making abstract hip hop is a good understanding of how to handle different types of samplers and drum machines. This includes using the right kind of EQ, and avoiding too much compression or processing in general.
Abstract Mindstate, a Chicago duo comprised of Olskool Ice-Gre and Ebony Poetess (EP) Da Hellcat, are one of the many artists that have found success in this genre. Having recently signed with Kanye West’s YZY SND label, their new album “Dreams Still Inspire” drops August 6.