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Alternative. Rock. Hip-Hop. &. Alternative. Alternative :

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Alternative music is mainly a variation on regular genres of music. Alternative sticks to one genre but borrows elements of other genres to make a hybrid new sound and a new hybrid genre. The two main types of alternative music are alternative Hip-Hop and Rock.


Alternative Hip-Hop is a combination of Gangster rap, Rock, Reggae, Jazz and Soul. It originated in the late 80’s.


Alternative Rock is a combination Punk rock. Hardcore rock, Rap, New wave and Folk rock. Alternative Rock originated in the late 80’s and became much more common in the 90’s.



Origin of Hip Hop:

Hip Hop originated in New York city during the 1970’s. Hip Hop was originally known s disco rap then evolved into the term hip hop. The phrase hip hop was considered a derogatory term used to describe the subculture in which the music belonged to. Before hip hop was used in clubs and block parties it was originally created in African folk music; travelling African Americans would use poetry in their music and this is arguably the true origin of hip hop and by extension rap music.

Hip Hop became a much more common in the 1970’s, they were mainly used in block parties which were becoming increasingly popular in New York city or more accurately in the Bronx. Block parties usually consisted of a DJ who mainly played soul and funk music. As the songs became more popular DJ’s such as DJ Kool Herc began to isolate certain parts of the music (percussion breaks), this then evolved in to other forms of altering or defining music e.g. MC, dub music and rhythm & blues.


Alt. Hip-Hop

Origin of Alternative Hip Hop:

Alternative Hip Hop first originated in the late 1980’s when hip hop was at its peak in popularity however Alternative hip hop did not receive its mainstream popularity until the mid 1990’s. Alt. Hip hop was first heard in rappers such as De la Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, OutKast and Spoonie Gee. The Alternative hip hop and Alternative rock movement started roughly the same time. Alternative hip hop was a commercial success and was critically acclaimed. It was considered to be the next step in the evolution of hip hop. However while Alternative rock flourished and became more mainstream Alternative hip hop began to see a decline. This was partly due to the sudden rise and popularity of Gangsta rap. Major Gangsta rappers such as Dr Dre, Snoop dog and Ice-T contributed to making Gangsta rap mainstream.

Alternative hip hop did not resurface as mainstream until the early 2000’s. The revival of Alternative hip hop was mainly due to the reintroduction of indie music and its rise in popularity. Groups and bands that focused on alternate music such as Gorillaz and Gnarls Barkly saw an increase in popularity during the mid 2000’s, this influenced hip hop and rap artists such as Karnye West and Jay z to adopt Alt. Hip hop and rock into their music as they saw they grew bored with conventional hip hop and sought out a change.


Alt. Hip-Hop

The fans:

Contrary to popular belief the majority of fans who listened to Alternative hip hop were not people who were mainly fans of hip hop, it was in fact fans of various forms of rock music who favoured alternative hip hop. This could arguably be due to alternative hip hop borrowing heavenly from the rock genre. Another reason could be that alternative hip hop was not accepted by the hip hop community due to its fusion which strayed far from what original hip hop was and was this adopted by a different demographic entirely, one different from its original intended target audience.


Alt. Hip-Hop

Notable artists:


The link

Rap Rock:

Rap rock is a cross genre of the vocals and instrumentals of Hip Hop combined with many different forms of Rock music. Rap rock was created when rock artists in the late 1980;s started to experiment with different forms of rock music. Rap rock became mainstream in the late 1990’s Although rap rock never fully evolved beyond the late 90’s it served as one of the factors in inspiring other forms of music such as Alternative hip hop and alternative rock.

Both Rock and Rap artists used rap rock as the inspiration for some of their singles or the overall theme of their album, such as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers who’s overall style of music revolved around the fusion of rock and hip hop. It even changed the entire music genre of some artists and groups such as the Beastie boys; a group who primarily started off as hardcore punk rock.


Alt. Rock

Origin of Alternative Rock:

Alternative rock had been around since the late 1980’s however it was never officially called rock until the 1990’s where it gained its popularity and became mainstream. It was seen more as a punk rock sub genre due to the punk culture having a huge impact on alternative rock and making up the bulk of the fans. Alternative music was the term originally used to describe alternate rock and hip hop due to it just being in its experimental phase. Alternative music became increasingly popular within university and college students in both the United Kingdom and the United States, this led to small record labels emerging however they were not a complete commercial success. In order to help these small record labels, magazines such as ‘Sounds’ created alternate rock charts in order to help promote these labels in small record stores.

Alternate rock in the late 1980’s was an underground phenomenon, it started shortly after the hardcore punk rock era and although punk rock was a big influence it was a stark contrast to the futuristic more Faster paced rhythm.


Alt. Rock

Origin of Alternative Rock2:

Although Alternative rock started in America it made a big influence in British music however there was a slight difference between alternate in America and Alternate rock in Britain; in Britain Alternative rock was considered to be more pop orientated, this resulted in most British alternative rock groups achieving little commercial success outside of the country.

Alternative rock finally became mainstream in the 1990’s however as the music industry changed in order to follow changes in society alternative rock refused to change its demographic and thus Grunge was created. Grunge was considered a sun genre of rock that lightly borrowed off the style of punk/hardcore punk rock. Alternative rock saw a decline in its popularity during the late 1990’s however it has since been revived thanks to bands like ‘White Stripes’, ‘Interpol’ and ‘The Rapture’.


Alt. Rock

Fan base:

It took a while for Alternative rock to build up a fan base, this was partly due to alternative rock not really having a specific target audience. When alternative rock finally became mainstream it was accepted by a wide audience that did not belong to a specific genre, however it can be argued that fans of traditional rock an roll were the majority of fans who listened to alternative rock.


Alt. Rock

Notable artists: