“Itâ€™s been called â€œpost-rap,â€ itâ€™s been called â€œhip popâ€ and itâ€™s been called â€œhey why wonâ€™t that OutKast guy just shut up and rap?â€ But no matter how you file it at the record store, itâ€™s a relatively new genre of music that finds hip hop artists singing and experimenting with polished pop/soul/rock music, often (though not always) over hip hop beats. Examples include Gnarls Barkley, AndrÃ© 3000, N.E.R.D., k-os, Mos Def, Kanye West, Lyrics Born and more. Though theyâ€™re not rappers, Iâ€™d also lump in Santigold, Janelle MonÃ¡e, Gorillaz and maybe even Nelly Furtado, since the sonic qualities of their work share many elements with the singing rappers.
Though weâ€™ve always had rappers who could also sing (Lauryn Hill immediately comes to mind), the movement in question probably started with the release of AndrÃ© 3000â€™s The Love Below in 2003. Here was a rapper singing, but it wasnâ€™t so much traditional soul music (like Laurynâ€™s) as it was hyper-glossy pop music with hip hop undertones. Songs like â€œHey Yaâ€ and â€œShe Lives in My Lap,â€ werenâ€™t just different, they were extremely catchy, radio-friendly pop jams written with an emceeâ€™s edge and approach to lyricism. The album was also ridiculously successful, which set the stage for other rappersâ€™ projects.”
Kyle “Guante” Myher explores the emerging trend of “Hip Hop Pop” aka rappers who sing (well kinda) over at Culture Bully. If u ask me, I think that Pharrell is personally responsible for T-Pain. A great lunchtime read.
ok ok ok, I just really wanted to publish this picture. Andre’s fur is awesome!
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