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Rap Rock

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Primary Stylistic Influences:

I'm the king of rock, there is none higher
Sucker MC's should call me sire
To burn my kingdom, you must use fire
I won't stop rockin' till I retire
Run–D.M.C., "King of Rock"

The fusion of rap and rock, first sketched out by The Clash with "The Magnificent Seven" and Blondie with "Rapture" back in 1980 and codified as we know it in The '80s by the Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C, although one of the earliest examples (predating even Hip-Hop!) would be Year of the Guru by Eric Burdon And The Animals. Subgenres include Punk Rap and Rap Metal, which is sometimes confused with Nu Metal, resulting in some overlap.

It was at its most popular in The '90s, thanks to the explosion of nu metal. Unfortunately, that genre eventually fell out of favor with the general public, and rap rock fell alongside it by sheer association. The '10s have seen a bit of a revival, but it's nowhere near as close to being as popular as it was back then.

As with Rap Metal, the genre is sometimes mistakenly referred to as "rapcore". That is incorrect; rapcore is a fusion of rap and punk.



  • Cluster F-Bomb: Not as often as Hip-Hop itself, but many bands feature a lot of swearing.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Run–D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys pioneered the genre, and are easily the most respected. In the '90s, Rage Against the Machine was considered to be the best band. Today, Twenty One Pilots fits the bill.
  • Genre Mashup: It's rap and rock mixed together, what more could you want? Well, if you have to know, many different artists bring in a variety of influences in the mix. This can range from funk, reggae, psychedelia, metal, punk, and ska.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: It's not uncommon for rappers working in more conventional hip-hop styles to suddenly drop a rap-rock album as an experiment. Lil Wayne's Rebirth is a clear example of this.
  • Piss-Take Rap: Some vocalists have been accused of this.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Some bands give off this impression, especially if they have turntables.
  • Rated M for Manly: Many bands have a 'tough guy' attitude.
  • Taking You with Me: As mentioned above, the association with nu metal gave this genre a bad image and it died out from the mainstream largely at the same time that nu metal did. As with nu metal, it's seen a partial revival in the '10s, but is nowhere near as popular as it used to be.