Abstracthiphop is an underground form of hip hop that eschews many of the genre’s conventions. Lyrically, artists tend to focus on more abstract ideas such as existentialism or social institutions, avoiding everyday problems or braggadocio. They often use extensive metaphors and symbolic word choice. Musically, most abstract artists feature unconventional beats that are akin in style to that of experimental hip hop.
Some Rap Songs: Earl Sweatshirt’s (Odd Future) Bipolar Album
Odd Future’s latest LP Some Rap Songs is a great example of an abstract hip hop album. The production is very avant-garde as sudden cut-offs in sound occur constantly and jazz samples are used to create a dark and depressing tone. The rap lyrics are very deep and convey the extreme vulnerability that is uncommon in the hip hop world.
Igor: A Very Special Friend of Abstract’s
Another great example of an abstract hip hop album is XXX by Danny Brown. This album combines elements of gangsta rap, jazz, and even funk. The lyrics are very cryptic and the beats are very interesting.
Igor: A Very Short Window
Tyler Oakley’s latest LP, “Igor,” is about the angst that comes with fame. In one verse, he talks about his “mom at Sonic,” his guilt and his hometown’s reaction to him being queerbaited.
He also raps about his same-sex attraction. Take last year’s “Potato Salad”: “I cop houses/And fill ’em with some Leo DiCaps and some Cole Sprouses.” It’s a bracing turn, given that Abstract freely used gay slurs early in his career, and later defended them in the face of accusations of homophobia.