Rap like every other musis style has many different types. Every type talks about somenhing else, politics, hard life or something completely different.
As rap had developed on the poor, crime-ridden streets of the inner city, it only made sense that its creators would reference this reality in their lyrics. Emerging out of hardcore rap in the 1980s, gangsta rap reflected the crime and violence in the inner city. It became the most successful form of hip hop in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The release of the first sociopolitical rap song, “The Message,” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five in 1982 inspired other rap artists to address social issues. Public Enemy, lead by Chuck D and Flava Flav, became the first overtly political rap group, spouting political and strong black nationalist statements in albums like the popular and critically acclaimed “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back.” The non-conformist nature of these artists was eventually eclipsed by the rise of gangsta rap.
The non-constrictive nature of rap has lead some artists to break free of the confines of what has been considered in vogue. Spearheaded by groups like De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Jurassic Five, alternative rap artists introduced innovative wordplay and lyrics, as well unusual samples of other genres like rock, into their music. Artists like Outkast and Kanye West have blurred musical genres and taken the innovation of alternative rap to a mainstream audience.
The earliest rap was party music for people to dance to. After decades of progression in lyrics and beats, crunk stripped rap of pretense and brought the party back. An amalgamation of “crazy” and “drunk,” crunk developed in the southern United States in the 1990s under the wider Dirty South umbrella. Crunk is characterized by heavy looped drum machine, shouted call-and-response vocals and simple party lyrics. Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz popularized crunk in the early 2000s with releases like “Put Yo Hood Up.”