Abstract hip hop is an alternative hip-hop genre that focuses on themes of isolation, social critique, spirituality, and existentialism. The genre is generally characterized by intellectually-minded lyrics, complex rhyme structures, and complex beats.
Abstract rap has been popularized by artists such as MF DOOM, Madlib, Armand Hammer, and Earl Sweatshirt. While the music can be hard to listen to at first, it can open the mind to a world of ideas that are not commonly associated with hip-hop culture.
Abstract rapper cLOUDDEAD has a unique sound that draws inspiration from a variety of sources. From classical music and jazz to esoteric noise effects, their music has a sense of depth that goes beyond the lyrical content of the songs.
The Brooklyn-based artist has always been a strong advocate for the art of esoteric lyricism, and his latest album Aethiopes is no exception. The album takes on a new, more expansive, and conceptual tone than many of the past releases.
Aethiopes is also a departure from the typical non-committal haziness of many abstract records, which can feel a bit too much like an exercise in the experimental. The record has an auteur-like vision and unflinching honesty, making it one of the year’s best hip-hop albums.
MF DOOM is a prolific producer and MC, and his work has helped to establish abstract hip hop as a subgenre. His albums have influenced artists from around the world and he continues to push the genre forward.