Pop Rap Style Overview
Pop Rap Music Description
Pop-rap is a genre of music fusing the rhythm-based lyricism of hip hop music with pop music's preference for melodious vocals and catchy tunes, which gained mainstream popularity during the 1990s. The lyrics are often lighthearted, with choruses similar to those heard in pop music. The influences and roots of pop rap trace back to late 1980s hip hop artists, such as Run DMC, LL Cool J, and Beastie Boys.
In the 1980s, rap artists including Run DMC, Beastie Boys and LL Cool J set up the blueprints and origins of pop-rap as they suddenly broke into the mainstream. LL Cool J has been described as the very first "pop-rapper" in history, when he rose to prominence on his 1985 debut album Radio. MTV has described LL Cool J's 1987 single "I Need Love," as "one of the first pop-rap crossover hits". Later, rap artists such as Tone Loc, Young MC, and Fresh Prince then made songs with lots of party tunes and storytelling abilities as they became very popular. During the 1990s, pop rap began to expand even more as hip hop music also began to connect strongly with dance music and R&B.
In the early 1990s, MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice broke into the mainstream with songs like "U Can't Touch This" and "Ice Ice Baby", respectively. They caused pop-rap to be "derided (and, occasionally, taken to court) for its willingness to borrow" from well-known hit singles. By the end of the 1990s and early 2000s rappers such as Ja Rule fused gangsta rap themes with 1980s pop and soul elements; pop-rap was dominated by many artists.
During the early 2000s, pop-rap returned with a whole different style. It then went back into the mainstream with the success of The Black Eyed Peas who had smash singles such as "Where Is the Love?" which came off their Elephunk album. During the late 2000s, pop-rap had many artists such as Drake, will.i.am, Nicki Minaj and Wiz Khalifa emerge.
Party Rap is bass-driven, block-rockin' hip-hop that only has one thing on its mind -- to keep the groove going. The lyrics are all inconsequential, with none of the political overtones of hardcore rap and only a fraction of the cleverness of old school hip hop.
Contribute to this style page