Rap metal

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Rap metal is a subgenre of rap rock and alternative metal music which combines hip hop with heavy metal. It usually consists of heavy metal guitar riffs, funk metal elements, rapped vocals and sometimes turntables.

Rap rock is a fusion genre that fuses vocal and instrumental elements of hip hop with various forms of rock. Rap rock's most popular subgenres include rap metal and rapcore, which include heavy metal- and hardcore punk-oriented influences, respectively.

Alternative metal is a rock music fusion genre that infuses heavy metal with influences from alternative rock and other genres not normally associated with metal. Alternative metal bands are often characterized by heavily downtuned, mid-paced guitar riffs, a mixture of accessible melodic vocals and harsh vocals and sometimes unconventional sounds within other heavy metal styles. The term has been in use since the 1980s, although it came into prominence in the 1990s.

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans and Latino Americans in the Bronx borough of New York City in the 1970s. It consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.



Origins and early development (1980s–early 1990s)

With the release of its extended play I'm the Man, Anthrax (pictured) is considered one of the pioneers of rap metal. Anthrax at Wacken Open Air 2013 05.jpg
With the release of its extended play I'm the Man , Anthrax (pictured) is considered one of the pioneers of rap metal.

Rap metal originated from rap rock, a genre fusing vocal and instrumental elements of hip hop with rock. [2] The genre's roots are based both in hip hop acts who sampled heavy metal music, such as Beastie Boys, MC Strecker [3] Cypress Hill, [4] Esham [5] [6] and Run–D.M.C. , [7] and rock bands who fused heavy metal and hip hop influences, such as 24-7 Spyz [8] and Faith No More. [9]

An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics, or singing, although it might include some inarticulate vocals, such as shouted backup vocals in a Big Band setting. Through semantic widening, a broader sense of the word song may refer to instrumentals. The music is primarily or exclusively produced using musical instruments. An instrumental can exist in music notation, after it is written by a composer; in the mind of the composer ; as a piece that is performed live by a single instrumentalist or a musical ensemble, which could range in components from a duo or trio to a large Big Band, concert band or orchestra.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Scott Ian of Anthrax (who helped pioneer the genre) believes Rage Against the Machine invented the genre. [10] However, Urban Dance Squad (formed in 1986), fused rap and metal before Rage Against the Machine, although Rage Against the Machine is considered to have refined the sound, giving rap rock an edginess and grit that would define the genre for years to come. [11]

Scott Ian American musician

Scott Ian is an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist, backing and additional lead vocalist, and the only remaining founding member of the thrash metal band Anthrax. He also writes the lyrics on all their albums. Ian is the guitarist and a founding member of the crossover thrash band Stormtroopers of Death for which he is also the lyricist. He has hosted The Rock Show on VH1 and has appeared on VH1's I Love the... series, Heavy: The Story of Metal, and SuperGroup. Ian is also the rhythm guitarist for the metal band The Damned Things, and will play with experimental band Mr. Bungle for seven scheduled reunion shows in 2020.

Anthrax (American band) American thrash metal band

Anthrax is an American heavy metal band from New York City, formed in 1981 by rhythm guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker. The group is considered one of the leaders of the thrash metal scene from the 1980s and is one of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands with Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer; Anthrax is the only one of the four from the East Coast, and often credited as one of the early thrash metal bands to emerge from there, along with Overkill and Nuclear Assault. The band has released 11 studio albums, several other albums, and 26 singles, including collaborating on a single with American hip hop group Public Enemy. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Anthrax sold 2.5 million records in the United States from 1991 to 2004, with worldwide sales of 10 million.

Rage Against the Machine American rock band

Rage Against the Machine is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1991, the group consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist and backing vocalist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello, and drummer Brad Wilk. Their songs express revolutionary political views. As of 2010, they had sold over 16 million records worldwide.

In 1987, the heavy metal band Anthrax fused hip hop with heavy metal for their extended play I'm the Man , [12] and then were teamed up in 1991 with Public Enemy for a remake of the latter's "Bring the Noise" that fused hip hop with thrash metal. [13] Also in 1991, the thrash metal band Tourniquet featured the hip hop group P.I.D. on the song "Spineless" from their album Psycho Surgery . [14] [15] The next year rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot teamed up with Metal Church for his 1988 single "Iron Man", loosely based upon the Black Sabbath song of the same name. [2] Rap metal can be found in a track from the industrial metal band Ministry in their album The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste (1989) on the track 'test' for which they hired rappers 'The Grand Wizard' (K. Lite) and 'The Slogan God' (Tommie Boyskee) to perform vocals. In 1990, the rapper Ice-T formed a heavy metal band called Body Count, and while performing at the 1991 Lollapalooza tour performed a set that was half rap songs and half metal songs. Stuck Mojo and Clawfinger, both formed in 1989, are considered to be another two pioneers of the genre. [16] [17]

Extended play Musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

<i>Im the Man</i> (EP) 1987 EP by Anthrax

I'm the Man is the second EP by the band Anthrax, released in 1987 by Megaforce Worldwide/Island Records. The band, along with Eddie Kramer and Paul Hammingson, produced the EP, which includes the single "I'm the Man". I'm the Man is considered among the first rap metal songs.

Bring the Noise 1987 single by Public Enemy

"Bring the Noise" is a song by the American hip hop group Public Enemy. It was included on the soundtrack of the 1987 film Less Than Zero and was also released as a single that year. It later became the first song on the group's 1988 album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. The single reached No. 56 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Rise in popularity (1990s–early 2000s)

In the 1990s, rap metal became a popular style of music. For instance, the band Faith No More's song "Epic" was a major success and peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. [18] 1993 saw the release of the Judgment Night soundtrack that featured numerous collaborations between rappers, musicians and rock and metal group of bands. Rage Against the Machine's 1996 album Evil Empire entered the Billboard 200 at number one, and in 1999, their third studio album, The Battle of Los Angeles , also debuted in top spot in the Billboard 200, selling 430,000 copies in its first week. [19] Each of the band's albums became at least platinum hits. [20] Biohazard played on the Ozzfest mainstage alongside Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Danzig, Fear Factory, and Sepultura. In support of the album, Biohazard embarked on a short co-headlining tour of Europe with Suicidal Tendencies.

Faith No More American alternative metal band

Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1979. Before settling on the current name in 1982, the band performed under the names Sharp Young Men and later Faith No Man. Bassist Billy Gould, keyboardist/rhythm guitarist Roddy Bottum and drummer Mike Bordin are the longest-remaining members of the band, having been involved since its inception. The band underwent several early lineup changes, and some major changes later on. The current lineup of Faith No More consists of Gould, Bordin, Bottum, lead guitarist Jon Hudson, and vocalist/lyricist Mike Patton.

Epic (Faith No More song) 1990 song by Faith No More

"Epic" is a song by the American rock band Faith No More. It was released as the second single from their third album The Real Thing in 1990 in US, UK and Europe. The song was the band's breakthrough hit, peaking at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100, number two in New Zealand, and number one in Australia for three weeks. It is among the band's most popular songs and a staple in their concerts.

<i>Billboard</i> Hot 100 Song chart in U.S

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

On August 18, 1998, Atlantic released rap metal musician Kid Rock's Devil Without a Cause behind the single "Welcome 2 the Party (Ode 2 the Old School)" and Kid Rock went on the Vans Warped Tour to support the album. Sales of "Welcome 2 The Party" and Devil Without a Cause were slow, though the 1998 Warped Tour in Northampton, Massachusetts stimulated regional interest in Massachusetts and New England. This led to substantial airplay of the single "I Am The Bullgod" during the summer and fall of 1998 on Massachusetts rock staples WZLX and WAAF. In early December 1998, while DJing at a club, he met and became friends with MTV host Carson Daly. He talked Daly into getting him a performance on MTV and on December 28, 1998, he performed on MTV Fashionably Loud in Miami, Florida, creating a buzz from his performance, even upstaging Jay-Z. In May, his sales began taking off with the third single "Bawitdaba" and by April 1999, Devil Without a Cause had achieved a gold disc. [21] The following month, Devil, as he predicted, went platinum. [21] Kid Rock's first major tour was Limptropolis, where he opened for Limp Bizkit with Staind. He solidified his superstardom with a Woodstock 1999 performance and on July 24 of that year, he was double platinum. [21] The following single "Cowboy", a mix of southern rock, country, and rap, was an even bigger hit, making the Top 40. It even became the theme song of WCW's Jeff Jarrett. Rock's next single, the slow back porch blues ballad "Only God Knows Why", was the biggest hit off the album, charting at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was one of the first songs to use the autotune effect. By the time the final single, "Wasting Time", was released, the album had sold 7 million copies. Devil Without A Cause was certified 11 times platinum by the RIAA on April 17, 2003. [21] According to Nielsen SoundScan, as of 2013, actual sales are 9.3 million. Kid Rock was nominated as Best New Artist at the 2000 Grammy Awards, but lost to Christina Aguilera. He was nominated for "Bawitdaba" for Best Hard Rock Performance, but lost to Metallica's "Whiskey in the Jar". In 1998, Ice Cube released his long-awaited album War & Peace Vol. 1 (The War Disc) which had some elements of nu metal and rap metal on some tracks. [22] The album debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 180,000 copies in the first week. [23]

Kid Rock American musician and rapper

Robert James Ritchie, known professionally as Kid Rock, is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, musician, record producer, and actor. In a career spanning over 20 years, Rock's musical style alternates between rock, hip hop, and country. A multi-instrumentalist, he has overseen his own production on nine of his eleven studio albums.

<i>Devil Without a Cause</i> 1998 studio album by Kid Rock

Devil Without a Cause is the fourth studio album by Kid Rock. Released on August 18, 1998, the album saw Kid Rock continuing to develop his sound, moving away from the predominately hip hop sound of his previous albums to a largely rap metal, hard rock, nu metal, and rap rock sound, and marked the finalization of his stage persona as a redneck pimp. Additionally, the song "Cowboy" is seen as being instrumental in the development of the fusion genre country rap.

Warped Tour music festival

The Vans Warped Tour was a traveling rock tour that had toured the United States annually each summer since 1995. It was the largest traveling music festival in the United States, and is the longest-running touring music festival in North America. The first Warped Tour took place in 1995, and the skateboard shoe manufacturer Vans became the main sponsor of the tour starting with the second tour in 1996, when it became known as "The Vans Warped Tour". Although Vans continued to be the main sponsor and lended its name to the festival, other sponsors also participated with stages or other aspects of the festival sometimes being named after them.

Rap metal band Limp Bizkit Limp Bizkit Baltimore 2013.jpg
Rap metal band Limp Bizkit

It reached the height of its popularity during 1999, [24] with the Port Huron Times-Herald describing the summer of that year as a "bipolar menu of harsh rap-metal and gooey teen pop." [25] Around this time, the style started to attract criticism in the mainstream, particularly after the troubled Woodstock 1999 festival, which featured many artists associated with rap metal and nu/alternative metal, such as Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, Rage Against the Machine and Reveille. [26] Pop punk musician Jeff Brogowski told The Morning Call newspaper in 1999 that "these macho rap-metal bands are just so mean-spirited. Look what happened at Woodstock (last summer). All the violence, looting and the fires. Something strange is going on. Maybe it has something do with all the economic prosperity. It's getting ugly like it was during the '80s, when so many people and bands were so cocky." [27]

The nu/rap metal band Limp Bizkit's 1999 album Significant Other climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 643,874 copies in its first week of release. [28] In its second week of release, the album sold an additional 335,000 copies. [28] The band's follow-up album, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water , set a record for highest week-one sales of a rock album with over one million copies sold in the U.S. in its first week of release, with 400,000 of those sales coming on its first day, making it the fastest-selling rock album ever, breaking the record held for 7 years by Pearl Jam's Vs. [29] That same year, Papa Roach's major label debut Infest became a platinum hit. [30] Cypress Hill incorporated direct heavy metal influences into their 2000 album Skull & Bones , which featured six tracks in which rappers B-Real and Sen Dog were backed by a band including Fear Factory members Christian Olde Wolbers and Dino Cazares and Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk. [31] B-Real also formed a rap metal group, Kush, with Wolbers, Fear Factory drummer Raymond Herrera and Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter. [32] [33] According to B-Real, Kush is more aggressive than other bands in the genre. [33] SX-10, formed in 1996 by Sen Dog, also performs rap rock and rap metal. [34]

In 2000, the rap metal band P.O.D.'s 1999 album The Fundamental Elements of Southtown went platinum [35] and was the 143rd best-selling album of 2000. [36] Late in 2000, Linkin Park released their debut album Hybrid Theory , which remains both the best-selling debut album by any artist in the 21st century, and the best-selling nu metal album of all time. [37] The album was also the best-selling album in all genres in 2001, offsetting sales by prominent pop acts like Backstreet Boys and N'Sync, [38] earning the band a Grammy Award for their second single "Crawling", [39] with the fourth single, "In the End", released late in 2001, becoming one of the most recognized songs in the first decade of the 21st century. [40] [41] The rap rock band Crazy Town also broke into the mainstream success of nu metal with their 1999 album The Gift of Game , especially their number 1 hit single, Butterfly, which peaked at number 1 on many charts including the Billboard Hot 100 during March 2001, remaining on the Hot 100 for 23 weeks. [42] [43] It also peaked at number 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and the Hot Dance Singles chart as well as peaking number 6 on the Rhythmic Top 40, number 2 on the Top 40 Mainstream chart and number 4 on the Top 40 Tracks chart. [44] Their album The Gift of Game peaked at number 9 on the Billboard 200. [44] Worldwide the album sold more than 2.5 million units, [45] with more than 1.5 million in the US alone. [46] Also that year was Saliva's Every Six Seconds which was also a commercial success, debuting at no. 6 on the Billboard 200. In 2001, the band P.O.D.'s Satellite album went triple platinum [47] and peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 chart. [48]


Proyecto Eskhata, a Spanish band which debuted in 2012, has received much press coverage in Spain for its fusion of progressive rock and rap metal, which journalists have described as "progressive rap metal". [49] [50] [51] [52]

Influence on other genres

Nu metal

Nu metal (also known as nü-metal and aggro-metal) is a genre combines elements of heavy metal music with elements of other music genres such as hip hop, alternative rock, funk, industrial and grunge. Nu metal bands have drawn elements and influences from a variety of musical styles, including rap metal and other heavy metal subgenres.

Trap metal

Trap metal (also known as ragecore, hardcore trap, industrial trap and scream trap) [53] is a fusion genre that combines elements of trap music and heavy metal, [54] as well as elements of other genres, like industrial [55] and nu metal. [56] It is characterized by distorted beats, hip hop flows, harsh vocals, and down tuned heavy metal guitars. [57] [58] [59] Bones has been considered by Kerrang! to be one of the earliest practitioners of the genre, performing trap metal tracks beginning around 2014. [60] British rapper Scarlxrd is often associated with the genre and is considered a pioneer of trap metal. [61] [62] [63] [60] WQHT described OG Maco's 2014 eponymous EP as being a part of the genre's early development. [64] Other artists associated with trap metal include Bone Crew, [65] Ghostemane, [60] ZillaKami, [66] Fever 333, [67] Ho99o9, [68] City Morgue, [69] Rico Nasty, [70] Suicideboys [71] and early–XXXTentacion, 6ix9ine [72] and Ski Mask the Slump God. [73]

Some artists such as Ho99o9, ZillaKami and 6ix9ine are also influenced by hardcore punk, [66] [68] whereas Ghostemane's music contains elements of gothic rock and emo. [74]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Limp Bizkit American nu-metal band

Limp Bizkit is an American rap rock band from Jacksonville, Florida. Their lineup consists of Fred Durst, Sam Rivers, John Otto, DJ Lethal (turntables), and Wes Borland. Their music is marked by Durst's angry vocal delivery and Borland's sonic experimentation. Borland's elaborate visual appearance, which includes face and body paint, masks and uniforms, also plays a large role in the band's live shows. The band has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, have sold 40 million records worldwide and won several other awards.

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<i>Results May Vary</i> 2003 studio album by Limp Bizkit

Results May Vary is the fourth studio album by American rap rock band Limp Bizkit, released on September 23, 2003 by Flip and Interscope Records. It was the band's only release under the sole-leadership of vocalist Fred Durst after the temporary departure of guitarist Wes Borland, who left in 2001. Snot guitarist Mike Smith was initially brought in to replace Borland, although the band's falling-out with Smith later led to his departure, with much of the material recorded with him being discarded from the final release. Durst and a number of guests ended up handling the majority of the album's guitar work.

<i>Significant Other</i> 1999 studio album by Limp Bizkit

Significant Other is the second studio album by American rap rock band Limp Bizkit, released on June 22, 1999 by Flip and Interscope Records. It saw the band expanding their sound from that of their 1997 debut Three Dollar Bill, Y'all to incorporate further metal and hip hop influences.

<i>Skull & Bones</i> (album) 2000 studio album by Cypress Hill

Skull & Bones is the fifth studio album by American hip hop group Cypress Hill, released on April 25, 2000 by Columbia Records. The album's genre and style are divided into two discs — a pure hip hop disc ("Skull") and a nu metal/rap metal disc ("Bones"). It also features guest appearances from Everlast, Eminem, N.O.R.E., Christian Olde Wolbers and Dino Cazares of Fear Factory, Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, and Chino Moreno of Deftones.

Rollin (Limp Bizkit song) 2000 single by Limp Bizkit

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Nookie (song) single

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<i>Gold Cobra</i> album by Limp Bizkit

Gold Cobra is the fifth studio album by American rap rock band Limp Bizkit. Released in 2011 by Flip and Interscope Records, it is the band's first studio album since 2003's Results May Vary and its first with the full original lineup since 2000's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, as well as their first since their 2009 reunion. It is also the band's last album to be released on Flip/Interscope and it was also the last album to feature DJ Lethal till he joined back Limp Bizkit in 2018. Gold Cobra features an eclectic and diverse sound, but is also similar in style to the band's earlier albums. The album, which featured the single "Shotgun" and received mixed reviews, sold 27,000 copies during its first week in the United States and peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200.

This article describes trends in popular music in the 2010s. See also: 2010s in the music industry.

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Lil Uzi Vert American rapper, singer and songwriter

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Emo rap is a fusion genre of hip hop and emo that originated in the SoundCloud rap scene in the mid-late 2010s. The genre fuses characteristics of hip hop music, such as beats and rapping, with the lyrical themes and vocals commonly found in emo music. The genre also takes influence from genres of rock such as indie rock, pop punk and nu metal as well as hip hop elements from trap music, cloud rap and alternative hip hop. The term is sometimes conflated with "SoundCloud rap".

Scarlxrd British rapper

Marius Lucas Antonio Listhrop, better known as Scarlxrd, is a British musician. He is known for his unusual musical style combining elements of trap music and heavy metal. Formerly a YouTube personality known as Mazzi Maz, Scarlxrd began a career in music as the lead vocalist for nu metal band Myth City, before debuting as a rapper under his Scarlxrd moniker.


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