Rap metal

Rap metal
Rap metal
Stylistic origins Rap rock, heavy metal, hip hop
Cultural origins Mid-to-late 1980s, United States
Typical instruments Rapping - Vocals - Electric guitar - Bass guitar - Drums - Turntables - Sampler - Keyboard
Mainstream popularity Underground in 1980s, moderate in early 1990s, gained much mainstream success in the mid-90s.
Fusion genres
Nu metal
Other topics
Rap rock

Rap metal is a subgenre of rap rock which fuses vocal and instrumental elements of hip hop music with heavy metal.


Rap metal originated from rap rock, a genre fusing vocal and instrumental elements of hip hop with rock.[1] The genre's roots are based both in hip hop acts who sampled heavy metal songs, such as Beastie Boys,[2] Cypress Hill,[3] Esham[4][5] and Run-D.M.C.,[6] as well as rock bands who fused heavy metal and hip hop influences, such as 24-7 Spyz[7] and Faith No More.[8]

In 1987, New York metal band Anthrax fused hip hop with metal for their extended play I'm the Man,[9] and then were teamed up with Public Enemy for a remake of the latter's "Bring the Noise" that fused hip hop with thrash metal.[10] The next year rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot teamed up with Metal Church for his 1988 single "Iron Man", loosely based upon the Black Sabbath song of the same name.[1] In 1990, rapper Ice-T formed a thrash metal band called Body Count, and while performing at the 1991 Lollapalooza tour performed a set that was half rap songs and half metal songs. Stuck Mojo, a metal band whose vocalist rapped, is considered to be another pioneer of the genre.[11][12]

In 1993, the combination of rap and metal music was showcased on the soundtrack to the movie Judgement Night. Each song on the soundtrack is a collaboration between a rock or metal artist and rap artist with song genres ranging from alternative rock to thrash and heavy metal.

Cypress Hill incorporated direct heavy metal influences into their 2000 album Skull & Bones, which featured six tracks in which rappers B-Real and Sen Dog were backed by a band including Fear Factory members Christian Olde Wolbers and Dino Cazares and Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk.[13] B-Real also formed a rap metal group, Kush, with Wolbers, Fear Factory drummer Raymond Herrera and Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter.[14][15] According to B-Real, Kush is more aggressive than other bands in the genre.[15] SX-10, formed in 1996 by Sen Dog, also performs rap rock and rap metal.[16] The most successful bands in the genre are Limp Bizkit, Rage Against The Machine and Linkin Park. Although the popularity of these styles has declined,[17] some believe that rap rock may regain popularity, with younger music fans discovering bands in the genre.[18]


  1. ^ a b Henderson, Alex. "Rap-Metal". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=19:T2164. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review of Licensed to Ill". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:jpfwxqy5ldse~T1. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  3. ^ Huey, Steve. "Review of Black Sunday". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:anfyxqtgldse~T1. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  4. ^ Keyes, Cheryl Lynette (2002). "Blending and Shaping Styles: Rap and Other Musical Voices". Rap Music and Street Consciousness. University of Illinois Press. p. 108. ISBN 0252072014, 9780252072017. 
  5. ^ Ketchum III, William E. (October 15, 2008). "Mayor Esham? What?". Detroit, Michigan: Metro Times. http://www.metrotimes.com/music/story.asp?id=13341. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  6. ^ "Biography of Run-D.M.C.". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:gpfpxqlgld6e~T1. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  7. ^ "24-7 Spyz! Threw reggae, rap, metal and positive vibes into a blender, then drank in the musical mix". Rocky Mountain News. November 22, 1991. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=RM&p_theme=rm&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB4D957AA9445D7&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 8 January 2009. 
  8. ^ "Faith No More has more faith than its record company bargained for". San Jose Mercury News. July 31, 1990. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=SJ&s_site=mercurynews&p_multi=SJ&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB732C85A4AD6A3&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 8 January 2009. 
  9. ^ Peterson, Thane (September 26, 2000). "How Corrosive Is Heavy Metal?". BusinessWeek. http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/sep2000/nf20000926_614.htm. Retrieved 8 January 2009. 
  10. ^ Gold, Jonathan (October 21, 1991). "Anthrax, Public Enemy Fuse Rap, Metal". Los Angeles Times. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/61519990.html?dids=61519990:61519990&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Oct+21%2C+1991&author=JONATHAN+GOLD&pub=Los+Angeles+Times+(pre-1997+Fulltext)&desc=POP+MUSIC+REVIEW+Anthrax%2C+Public+Enemy+Fuse+Rap%2C+Metal&pqatl=google. Retrieved 8 January 2009. 
  11. ^ "Mojo's Working — Rap-rock Pioneers Are Back". Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. April 13, 2006. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=CL&s_site=ledgerenquirer&p_multi=CL&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=110FCD9756137570&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  12. ^ Barnes, Brad (April 19, 2006). "Rap-rock pioneers have their 'Mojo' workin'". Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-14911549_ITM. Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  13. ^ Gill, John (March 10, 2000). "Cypress Hill Digs Up "Bones" With Rap And Rock". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1427757/20000310/cypress_hill.jhtml. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  14. ^ Moss, Corey (April 23, 2002). "With Kush Record Done, B-Real Keepin' Real Busy". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1453557/20020423/cypress_hill.jhtml. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  15. ^ a b Downey, Ryan J (November 27, 2002). "B-Real Finishing Up Kush LP, Going Grimmer For Next Cypress Hill Album". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1458879/20021126/cypress_hill.jhtml. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  16. ^ "SX10 tocara hoy en el DanZoo" (in Spanish). Mexico City: La Jornada. May 24, 2003. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2003/05/24/21an2esp.php?printver=1&fly=2. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  17. ^ Grierson, Tim. "What Is Rap-Rock: A Brief History of Rap-Rock". About.com. http://rock.about.com/od/rockmusic101/a/raprock.htm. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  18. ^ Wedge, Dave (December 24, 2008). "Reveille answers wake-up call". Boston Herald. http://news.bostonherald.com/entertainment/music/general/view/2008_12_24_Reveille_answers_wake-up_call/srvc=home&position=also. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 

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