The 3 Ingredients Hiphop Uses to Rule the Music World.

Here are the key ingredients that have made hiphop successful beyond any musical form in history–far surpassing rock–yet not realized or acknowledged by most of the world because people still generally live in musical silos and don’t listen, naturally, to music in other languages. Here’s my take:
1) Lyrics

Your typical hiphop song has more lyrics in 1 stanza than most rock tunes have in the whole song.  Hiphop has taken poetry to the next level with sophisticated rhyme schemes fit within the confines of the meter.  Hiphop also makes tremendous use of metaphor with incredible connections between ideas. In short, it’s the perfect vehicle for self-expression. 

2) Beat

Back in the late 80′s and early ’90′s, Dr. Dre discovered something that has since sold hundreds of millions of records, yet few have realized and science has been slow to catch on to: he slowed the beat down. About a year ago, there was even a Dr. Pepper commercial featuring Dr. Dre promoting his discovery. But what he tapped into was a switch in the brain that pretty much puts the listener in a trance, between 80-90 beats per minute. And it’s the ear candy that has made hiphop so addictive.  Combine that with the power of sampling–another hiphop invention–and you’ve got a musical form that borrows and remixes potentially everything that has ever been recorded and dresses it up in a highly addictive way. Unlike any prior musical form, everything ever recorded is now part of anymusician’s palette. 

3) Ease of Production

In the not too distant past, in order to express yourself musically, you needed to either learn an instrument or find a band (esp. if you’re a singer). Instruments are expensive and very time-consuming in terms of learning them. Then came rap: the learning curve is relatively small, no expensive instruments required, and recording is also inexpensive. Mix in the computer revolution, and you now have billions of potential rappers. Anyone now can make a beat with a computer and record it. Rap exponentially lowered the barrier to entry for music. 

Mix these ingredients together–lyrically sophisticated and highly addictive and enjoyable music + ease of production + blueprint for originality–and you’ve got the most successful genre the world has ever seen. 


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