Abstracthiphop is the genre of music 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 often uses samples from a wide range of sources.
The term abstract hip hop is used to distinguish this subgenre from mainstream hip hop and experimental rap, which both use unconventional beats but musically fall within different categories. However, the terms are often used interchangeably in the industry.
To make an effective abstract hip hop track, you need to be very particular about the drums and the samples. Ideally, they should not sound too contemporary or be processed. You can do this by chopping the drums or kits, processing them with effects and applying low compression.
This is especially true for more classic, vintage or dirty sounds that don’t sound like they were originally recorded for hip hop application.
Another aspect of this style of music that can be hard to get right is the sound of the snare and claps. This can be difficult to achieve if you haven’t mastered the art of making them sound like they were sampled directly from vinyl or other older music sources.
Despite the challenges, these artists often use their creativity to explore issues of social and political relevance in a way that is not necessarily aligned with mainstream music industry norms. They also do so while negotiating a range of cultural and social constraints, including stereotypes of authenticity (Grazian, 2003), race and space (Forman, 2000) and gendered expectations of masculinity in the industry.