Abstracthiphop is a genre of music that combines elements of hip hop with experimental and avant-garde sounds. It is characterized by unconventional production techniques, abstract and often surrealistic lyrical content, and use of samples from a wide range of sources.
Abstract rap can be described as “lyrical poetry with beats” (Edwards, 2013). It is usually influenced by the Bristol ‘Trip Hop’ scene and incorporates elements of jazz, soul, funk, electronic music, and spoken word into its compositions.
The genre can be very difficult to master, both lyrically and sonically, but it is incredibly rewarding when it is learned. Many of the best abstract rap artists have their own unique style that stands out from the mainstream.
Several Abstract rap artists have experimented with creating pitched rhythmic layers in their lyrics, which create the sensation of two rhythmic patterns progressing simultaneously and dependently on their vocal pitch. Using this technique allows rappers to create a sense of tension or resolution in their lyrics.
Examples include rappers like Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q, who use speech-like pitches to resolve phrases at the end of rhymed lines. Others, such as Snow Tha Product, have used an exaggerated declamatory style to produce the same effect.
Tech N9ne is another example of a rapper who has employed this method in his work. He demonstrates this technique in his track “Drinkkin'” (2017) by creating a series of two-syllable rhymes with a “high-low” precedent.
This technique allows a rapper to establish a “high-low” precedent for the first phrase of a rhymed line, then gradually progressively increases the pitch of their voice from phrase to phrase. This technique allows them to create a sense of quickly mounting tension in their songs.