Political rap (also political hip hop) is a sub-genre of hip hop music that developed in the 1980s. Inspired by 1970s political preachers such as The Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five released the first well-known sociopolitical rap song in 1982 called "The Message", which inspired numerous rappers to address social and political subjects.
Explicitly political hip hop is related to but distinct from Conscious Hip Hop because it refers to artists who have strong and overt political affiliations and agendas, as opposed to the more generalized social commentary typical of conscious hip hop. It can also be used to include political artists of all ideological stripes, whereas the term conscious hip hop generally implies a broadly leftist affiliation or outlook. Interestingly enough political rap has also drawn criticism and controversy just like the gangsta rap sub genre. Usually due to controversial, and polarizing political statements.
Sub-trope of Protest Song.
- The Last Poets
- Gil Scott-Heron
- Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
- The Message (1982)
- Public Enemy
- The Coup
- Immortal Technique
- Tupac Shakur (especially pre-Death Row era, specifically his first two albums)
- Ice Cube' solo material is this mixed with Gangsta Rap
- Geto Boys show heavy shades of this.
- Da Lench Mob
- Insane Poetry mixes this with Horrorcore
- Rage Against the Machine, while they are also Rap Metal
- Perhaps following their example, we have Linkin Park delving into this occasionally
- Hed PE mixes this with Punk Rap
- Dead Prez
- Mos Def
- Sage Francis
- Lupe Fiasco
- The Roots on their later albums.