Abstracthiphop is a growing genre that defies all the stereotypes of modern day rap. It’s a new and exciting genre that is coming out of the NY Lo scene, where a new generation of social activists are speaking their truth through their homegrown music. The sound is a mixture of jazzy, sample heavy, drum-less DIY beats.
Unlike other genres of hip-hop, abstract hip-hop doesn’t use drum patterns and samples, but focuses on looping melodies and rhythms to create their beats. The genre mainly consists of young, creative artists that reject all the materialistic stereotypes associated with a’modern day rapper’ and are more concerned about making a positive difference in the world by speaking their truth through their own homegrown genre.
The five core doctrines of the abstracthiphop ethos are: productive consumption, hype production, a committed politics of action and loyalty, individual and communal entrepreneurship, and flow, layering and rupture.
Embracing the principle of productive consumption (Schumacher 1995)–the productive and creative use of scarce resources to improve the social value of goods and services–hip hop celebrates borrowing, sharing, and creative renovation. A notable example of this ethos is the practice of sampling, which aims to transform past music commodities into new musical futures.
In addition to sampling and graffiti, which evoke public-assess culture in their own right, hype is produced within the music recording studio through the production of supplementary adlib vocal tracks that replicate the live performance role of “hype men.” Adlibs involve one or more voices punctuating certain words or phrases in the main track by repeating them on-beat, typically including end rhymes and the chorus or “hook” of a song.