Difference between Hip Hop and Pop

Key Difference: Hip Hop music genre consists of a stylized rhythmic music that is accompanied by rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech. The term ‘Pop’ is a shortened for ‘Popular’, and as a music genre it covers a wide range of music that is popular in today’s culture. Pop genre has a faster beat and more relatable lyrics.

Music has evolved from just relaxing noise and has become a way of life and for a person to express themselves. Today’s generation has many subcultures such as Hip hop, Emo, Punk, Rock, and Pop, which all have evolved from similar musical genres. Two of the popular music genres are Hip Hop and Pop; telling these genres apart is fairly easy once you listen to it.

Hip Hop music that has evolved into a Hip Hop subculture is also associated with rap and R&B, though now they are considered as different genres in themselves. This genre consists of a stylized rhythmic music that is accompanied by rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech. It is considered to have key stylistic elements such as, MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching, break dancing, beat boxing and graffiti writing.

The culture hip hop started in 1970s, when block parties started taking place in the streets of Bronx, New York. These parties included loud music with a heavy Jamaican influence. It set the stage for the development of Graffiti, raping, DJ-ing, scratching and B-boying. It is believed that hip hop was born to counter the constant clash between various gangs in New York.

Creation of term ‘hip hop’ is commonly credited to Keith Cowboy, a rapper with the Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. It is believed that the term was created when Cowboy was teasing his friend who had just joined the U.S. Army, by repeating the words hip/hop in a musical tone mimicking the sound made by the soldiers’ boots during marching. Cowboy later worked the "hip hop" cadence into a part of his stage performance.

The music hip-hop has a heavy influence of instruments such as drums, synthesizers, base and turntables in a 4/4 time signature and is usually accompanied by a rapping or artists speaking in rhymes. Rappers, usually write, memorize or improvise their lyrics and sign it to either a cappella or to a beat. Hip hop lyrics are usually related to a certain issue that is currently present in the society or the singer’s standpoint on political or social problems. Hip hop lyricists incorporate meaningful lyrics into their hip hop songs as ‘a capella’ free verse with certain rhymes, or as powerful phrases with accompanying beats. Hip hop in dance form includes styles such as freestyle, break dancing and locking and popping.

The term ‘Pop’ is a shortened for ‘Popular’, and as a music genre it covers a wide range of music that is popular in today’s culture. The term originated in 1950s and is believed to be derived from Rock and Roll. The term popular music and pop music is most commonly interchanged, though the former describes music in any genre, while the latter describes music that is more appealing to the masses.

The term ‘pop song’ was first used in 1926, in order to categorize music “having popular appeal.” Pop is considered as melting pot for all genres, as it accommodates a wide scope of musical influences. Pop music is influenced from genres such as soft rock, alternative, classical, jazz and rock. This type of music is created to gain the most commercial success and to be popular with the general public, more commonly the younger generation.

Pop song lyrics are lighter and have more of fun beat and is really short compared to hip hop songs.  It is generally written to target a younger audience and incorporates popular rhythm and faster beats. The lyrics usually speak about love, life and dance, which are written in a short and uncomplicated form to allow the public to relate to it. Pop music includes instruments such as Drums, base, electric guitars, keyboards, piano, violins, etc. Dance in pop culture varies, though it is most commonly known as Dance-pop. It can include any styles as long as it fits in rhythm with the beats.


Hip Hop



Hip hop is a music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted.

Pop is a genre of popular music


The term "pop song" is first recorded as being used in 1926, to describle songs that "having popular appeal.”

Hip hop as music and culture formed during the 1970s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, particularly among African American youth residing in the Bronx.



It is influenced by a variety of music. From sentimental ballad, gospel, soul, jazz, country, rock music, classical music, dance music, electronic music, hip-hop and rap.

Popular artists

Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Mos Def, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Common, Busta Rhymes, Wu-Tang Clan, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Kid Cudi, Mac Miller,etc

Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Beyonce, etc


Anywhere between fast-paced and swingin' to slow and bangin', mayne

Is usually fast paced, though some songs could be slow

Musical themes

Generally involves witty, poetic wordplay with assonance and rhyming stanzas. Deals with social matters such as wealth, drug use, promiscuity, poverty, luxury, politics, etc

Generally more lively, fun and created for the purpose of dancing. Lyrical content includes love, life and anything that can be easily related with

Typical instruments

Mic, turntable, synthesizer, drums, bass

Drums, base, electric guitars, keyboards

Image Courtesy: behindtheartist.blogspot.com, hotarabicmusic.blogspot.com

Most Searched in Pregnancy and Parenting Most Searched in Games and Recreation
Most Searched in Environment Most Searched in Food and Drink
Professor vs Lecturer
Roku Stick vs Amazon Fire Stick
Jeans vs Chinos
Gopher vs Mole

Add new comment

Plain text

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.