A certain administration which I won't call by name took the arts out of the schools, and that left the brothers out on the street with nothing, so they went to the turntables and started rhyming. Then they had a way to express themselves, and that's the birth of hip-hop.
Old school hip hop was comprised of four ingredients—graffiti
, DJ-ing, MC-ing, and beat boxing (Breakdancing is another staple, but not within the context of hip hop music, just hip hop culture). Nowaways, it is viewed as 'another name for rap'
Back in the days of old school rap, hip hop was often used as part of someone who is Totally Radical
. With the rise of popularity of the far more aggressive
gangsta rap, and hardcore Hip-hop rap is now used as a motif for anything related to the darker aspects of street life. If you hear hip hop in the soundtrack, you can be sure that everything is taking place on the wrong side of the law.
Note that there are many different scenes, subgenres, and cultures within hip hop besides
gangsta rap. Even gangsta rap has several sub-forms like Horrorcore, and Mafioso rap. Unfortunately, they rarely receive anywhere near the attention in other media (or anywhere near the record sales).
'Conscious' hip hop artists such as Mos Def, A Tribe Called Quest, or even Common, may be used in a soundtrack to give an urban yet indie feel.
- The Fast and the Furious series runneth over with this kind of motif. Even the third movie which takes place in Japan (I WONDAA IF YOO KNO HOW THEY RIIBU IN TO-KY-O!!! IF YOO SIIN IT AND YOU FEERIIT DEN YOO KNO YOO HABU TOO GO! FAST AND FURIUUUUUS!!!)
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas also plays this one; although you can listen to any kind of music in the radio (although you a busta if you do,) most of the music featured in the cutscenes is gangsta rap.
- The delinquent hotrods in Cars are introduced blasting hip-hop from their speakers.
- The Wire doesn't have any actual soundtrack, but gangster characters are often introduced by a steady hip-hop beat coming from their car stereo.
- Samurai Champloo:Hip Hop::Cowboy Bebop:Jazz
- Pretty much completely averted in Skins when Cassie's kindly middle-aged driver starts blasting "Move, Bitch" by Ludacris.
- The background character Posh Kenneth pretty much exists solely to take the piss out of this trope.
- And referenced in a crazy Crowning Moment of Funny in JJ's S4 episode when he and his equally nice mum are in a ludicrously cute 2CV singing along to "Vicks", "My Hooker" and "White Ladies" (written for the show by Fat Segal and Daniel Kaluuya - the bloke who played Posh Kenneth - but you can probably guess what they sound like from the titles).
- Unsurprisingly all over the Def Jam Series since it was licensed by the record company of the same name and featured many Hip Hop and Rap artists as fighters.
- The announcement that MadWorld would have an entirely hip-hop/rap soundtrack surprised the hell out of many people. Then the game came out.
- Gurren Lagann uses rap as a general motif of sticking it to the man in some of its songs, most notably the aptly titled "Rap is a Man's Soul", better known as "Raw Raw Fight The Power". It may also contain the only example of a song combining rap and opera.
Tropes covered within Hip Hop & the industry itself:
- A Wild Rapper Appears: Crossovers with other genres have been around from the start, but have been growing in popularity since the 2000's.
- Abusive Parents
- Anvilicious/Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped
- Angry Black Man
- Big Apple Sauce
- Black Sheep Hit
- Boastful Rap
- Broken Base: And how! Read the entry for details.
- Comics Rule Everything Around Me
- Confirmation Bias / Don't Shoot the Message: A lot of people, casual listeners and purists alike, tend to love or hate hip hop (and its subgenres) based on its messages, imagery, and other factors moreso than the actual music itself.
- Cool Car
- Cool People Rebel Against Authority
- Conspiracy Theorist
- Controversy Proof Image: Exceptions being Ice-T's cop killer controversy, which for all intents and purposes ruined his mainstream career as a rappernote and Nelly, due to the tip drill controversy. Possibly Public Enemy as well thanks to Professor Grif's comments about Jews.
- Crapsack World
- Darker and Edgier: Arguably the Golden Age era, even the alternative movement.
- The genre as a whole has gone through this: compare the clean-cut Fresh Prince with Lil Wayne.
- Of course there's no agreement on whether or not this generation is darker, as some have the exact OPPOSITE opinion.
- Deader than Disco/Genre Killer: Censorship, Executive Meddling, Lighter and Softer, and Misaimed Marketing of Hip Hop is what arguably killed the Gangsta Rap, Hardcore Hip Hop, Conscious Hip Hop, Alternative Rap, and Political Rap sub-genres in the mainstream. Specific reasons are;
- Stronger radio and video censorship towards Hardcore Hip Hop, Gangsta Rap, and Political Rap. MTV even refused to play a certain Public Enemy video because of a political statement. This become an extreme wall banger when you realized how the sexually explicit videos were rarely if ever banned, but violence and political statements were apparently where they drew the line.
- Some even say West Coast hip-hop specifically was blacklisted because of the East Coast/West Coast rivalries, and because of this it never recovered. Then there was the death of 2pac and the collapse of Death Row Records and its rival Ruthless Records thanks to Executive Meddling (according to Bone Thugs N Harmony). After that West Coast rap in general, gangsta or otherwise, was persona non grata.
- There was a BET memo that said they wouldn't play Political Rap because it's too intelligent for its audiences.
- Conscious Hip Hop, likely due to the Afrocentric overtones not being broadly appealing. The beginning of the end was probably when the mainstream ignored Digable Planets's more Afrocentric album Blowout Comb, and Arrested Development's follow up album Zingalamaduni.
- Alternative Rap was killed due to the same reasons as Conscious Hip Hop, exceptions being that it has a mainstream-friendly package like Black Eyed Peas and Kanye West.
- Alternatively the above genres just weren't popular enough outside of hip-hop's core audience. So basically Money, Dear Boy...
- Deep South: Quite a few rappers are from Atlanta and other Southern areas.
- Domestic Abuse
- Enemies Equals Greatness: A lot of rap songs are all over this trope, especially songs from the Glam Rap and Swag Rap sub-genres. Just about every rapper loves to talk about their "haters" in their lyrics.
- Executive Meddling: Especially after it became profitable.
- Fandom Rivalry: Whoo boy!...
- Follow the Leader: Oh yes, also a huge cause of Hip-Hop beef and Fandom Rivalry
- For the Evulz
- Genre Turning Point: Circa 1988, where hip hop broke into the mainstream, and the beginning of the Golden Age.
- Gun Porn
- Hotter and Sexier: Specifically the music videos around the turn of the century. Which ironically makes the old 2 Live Crew videos tame by today's standards..
- I Am Song
- Inherent in the System: Some rap songs cover this.
- Intercourse with You
- It's Popular, Now It Sucks
- Justified Criminal
- Lighter and Softer: Current form of hop-hop is accused of this. Not just for specific artists but the genre as a whole, according to some.
- List Song
- Malcolm Xerox: A none Strawman version.
- Magazine Decay: Some feel this way about hip-hop magazines, And not just The Source either.
- Mob War
- Murder Ballad
- Murder Simulators: Rap music has been a popular scapegoat for almost 20 years. The media frenzy died down around the mid 90's, then in '99, Eminem made his debut and the controversy went right back into full swing. People often blame it (and video games) for teens' insensitivity to violence and for promoting stereotypes about women.
- Music Is Politics: Discussed and invoked.
- Pop Culture Isolation
- Protest Song
- Public Medium Ignorance: Sometimes almost to a racist degree.
- Rape as Drama
- Sassy Black Woman
- Screwed by the Network: See Deader than Disco above.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
- Soapbox Sadie
- Token Minority: Female and/or non-black rappers, at least in North America. In countries where Africans are non-existent or a tiny minority, the majority of rappers will be whatever is most prevalent.
- Interestingly enough for most of The Nineties female emcees was quite common. So much so that arguably they wouldn't count as a Token Minority. But after the turn of the millennium all that changed. This has been brought up in a lot of Hip Hop mags and blogs.
- In Australia, talents like Diafrix and 1/6 head the very small number of African-Australian emcees. Indigenous hip-hop is another significant minority subculture.
- Villain Protagonist: The viewpoint adopted in several songs.
- Voice Of The Resistance: Some see the genre as this, or is capable of being this.
- Wolverine Publicity: Rappers tend to promote themselves by guest-starring in other artists' songs.