Abstract hip hop is a type of hip hop that combines elements of hip hop with experimental and avant-garde sounds. It is characterized by unconventional production techniques, abstract and surrealistic lyrical content, and use of samples from a variety of sources.
Unlike gangsta rap, which typically deals with a range of topics relating to gangs, life in poor urban neighborhoods, and braggadocio, abstract hip hop often addresses themes of existentialism, social critique, and spirituality. The genre focuses on the abstract rather than the concrete, and its lyrics often incorporate extensive metaphors and symbolic word choice.
The genre is a major part of the underground hip hop scene in the 2000s, and its popularity continues to grow. It is not as well known outside the alternative hip hop community, but critics have praised its unique lyrical style and lack of violence and misogyny.
It is also a relatively new sub-genre of hip hop that eschews many of the conventions associated with the mainstream genre. It is considered to be the most experimental of all hip hop sub-genres, and it has a wide range of influences.
The genre is rooted in a deep understanding of jazz, funk, and soul music. Its use of jazz samples and esoteric noise effects creates a distinctive sound that can range from lo-fi to avant-garde, with drum beats ranging anywhere from slow and relaxed to frantic and aggressive. Despite its experimental nature, it is a highly popular genre and can be heard on a wide range of musical platforms.