Dance Or Die: How EDM Can Destroy Hip Hop

Rap must find a way to rediscover the intrinsic connection to dance that lies at Hip Hop culture's core principles to avoid being killed by Electronic Dance Music's influence.

For the past month, Waka Flocka Flame has been getting “turnt up” in front of largely EDM-favoring crowds while on tour with Steve Aoki. In April, Waka revealed plans for a full EDM/Hip Hop hybrid album.

“The King of Rap EDM is me,” Waka told HipHopDX. “I’ve been there. Punk Rap, that’s EDM. People didn’t understand what I was saying, now they do. I see a lot of my students, and I’m like the principal. I’m here to talk… [The album’s] already in the motion. Flosstradamus, Diplo, Skrillex. Some underground people, too. I want to create a name. I’ve been doing it in Hip Hop so long.”

As well, 2013 saw collaborations between Daft Punk and Kanye West [West’s Yeezus album], Skrillex and A$AP Rocky [Rocky’s “Wild For The Night”], plus Diplo and well, damn near pretty much everyone. That being said, for those who are afraid that Electronic Dance Music’s influence is going to kill Rap music, you’re absolutely right. It will. It is only because Rap is not at a place where its level of engagement with dance is coming from organic interest or creative growth that this is the case. Hip Hop devolving into an arguably cannibalistic and greed-driven culture will certainly allow for cash-rich EDM to be Rap’s savior, but sadly also provide to be the cause of its ruin. Furthermore, it can be argued that Hip Hop culture could as well leave the soul of Rap and instead become the guiding light of Electronic Dance Music. However, this does not have to be the case. If Rap can find a way to rediscover the intrinsic connection to dance that lies at Hip Hop culture’s core principles, then this sad turn of events can be avoided.

Rock The House: Hip Hop’s Oft-Forgotten Dance Origins

“Just jam sucker (Say jam sucker) / Say groove, sucker (Say groove, sucker) / Say dance, sucker (Say dance, sucker) / Now move, sucker (Now move, sucker).” - Afrika Bambaataa, “Renegades of Funk”

Somewhere along the way Rap music has forgotten that 40 years ago, DJ Kool Herc kicked off four decades of Hip Hop culture by deejaying a party that involved *gasp* dancing to records—records that, in many cases were the prototype for what disco was to become—in a basement in the South Bronx. Continuing to extrapolate this story, Rap’s early history involved break-dancing, Afrika Bambaataa sampling new wave records, Hip-House, funky dance breaks at the core of hit records and more. But, at some point, Rap music lost it’s soul, opened its wallets and to borrow a line from a Drake album title, “nothing was the same.”

Finances (or lack thereof) being at the core of Rap and Dance’s awkward partnering is an 800-pound gorilla that in being readily embraced denotes the nature of the times, as well as the devolving music industry. Speaking to the point of why Rap and Dance are pairing with increased frequency, here are a few facts and figures.

In the year 2000, Eminem released the Marshall Mathers LP, an album that the Recording Industry Association of America certified as having sold 10 million copies domestically, with 1.79 million copies sold in its first week alone. Comparatively, in 2013, Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP 2 sold approximately 793,000 copies during its first release week. Clearly, for an industry once used to Rap albums pushing in the realm of five-plus million albums sold, the democratization of access caused by piracy and downloading has likely caused a shift in ideas insofar as how to sell albums at a similar level.

In 1999, Jay Z’s “Hard Knock Life” tour became the highest grossing Rap tour—to that point—of all time, reportedly selling out shows in 52 cities. As of July 2013—in an era wherein arguably Hip Hop’s cultural footprint is larger than ever before —there are zero Rap tours in the top 100 North American tours of 2013. However, according to Pollstar, the music industry standard for box office statistics, A$AP Rocky was the opener for the North American leg of Rihanna’s “Diamonds World Tour,” which at that point was ranked at the number 11 spot.

How Hip Hop Can Benefit From EDM’s Traditional Revenue Streams

By comparison—and though definitely using a different model with similar, yet different income streams—EDM’s 2012 touring numbers were incredible. A 2013 study by Massive Enterprises estimates global dance festival revenue at $4.5 billion dollars. It’s also worth noting that a significant portion of the growth of digital music sales—considered the music industry’s savior—is easily attributable to the digital growth of EDM. I think if Rap music were able to cut into these numbers by even say, 25 percent, the decade-long commercial slide of Rap sales could be stymied. However, if Rap is not able to create its own unique sense of purpose while in the midst of depending upon EDM’s financial largess, it’s entirely possible that Rap could become a subservient slave to the $20 billion EDM beast.

Rap tapping into dance’s traditional revenue streams could radically shift the genre into acquiescing to EDM as well. Traditionally, Rap has been an album-based industry. In fact, I think the music industry’s overall shift from albums to singles with the advent of iTunes and now Pandora and Spotify has disconnected Rap from its traditions, which may be leading to disjointed albums that are not conducive to an enjoyable listening experience.

According to a 2012 report by Nielsen, overall album sales finished at $315.96 million, down four percent from $330.57 million in 2011 and back in line with where the industry was heading from 2004 through 2010. A total of 1.336 billion tracks were purchased in 2012, up five percent from 2011's number of 1.271 billion. In moving from pushing albums to pushing singles, the need for an artist to be uniquely creative versus being catchy enough to have a great hook is entirely apparent.

I think Dance producers are organic to this environment. In many cases, their tracks, which are not as often included as a part of albums, reflect that notion well. Also, Dance’s tradition has often erred toward music being more club than radio ready. Yes, Rap once shared in this ideal; however, when the idea that a song is more lucrative when spun on the radio versus being dropped in a club came into vogue, the split in thinking occurred.

There have been great moments for Rap of late that speak to where Rap can either find distance from, or room to evolve and grow stronger while working alongside EDM in the music industry. Obviously, Kendrick Lamar’s performance on Big Sean’s “Control” was one of those moments where “real Rap” aficionados found themselves nodding their heads, grabbing their backpacks, throwing on some tracks with some dusty-ass samples, and getting to work. Also, there are female performers like Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks, as well as male rappers Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino who have made small strides as rappers working with dance tracks. Yet nothing has emerged of yet that resembles getting back to the Jungle Brothers’ “Girl I’ll House You” or “Rapper’s Delight”—Rap’s initial mainstream moment that was of course, backed by Chic’s Disco hit “Good Times.”

Hopes For An Organic Symbiotic Relationship Between EDM & Hip Hop

“What a way to go out, no clout is what the fans will shout / Cause you got gassed and took the wrong route / Came on the scene, chillin', freakin' a funky dope line / But when they finish wit you (beep) flatline...” -EPMD “Crossover.”

Somewhere in Rap arguably being too staid and greedy to relax, jam, groove, dance and move, the space exists for Hip Hop culture and Rap music’s divergence. Just Blaze, who has embarked upon a recent tour with EDM DJ Baauer, shares this notion.

“When I was a teenager, things were very much in a box, and they were very much compartmentalized,” Just Blaze told HipHopDX. “You were either into Hip Hop or you were into Techno, or you were into Deep House, or you were into Heavy Metal. Whatever music you identified with, that’s what you represented. And I feel like these days, those boundaries aren’t there anymore. You pick up someone from the younger generation’s iPods or whatever and see what they’re listening to, and you see Daft Punk or Justice, but also Kendrick Lamar or J. Cole, and Florence And The Machine. It’s cool to be different and to have different influences now, and that’s something that I’ve always wished for because that’s how I came up—with a little bit of everything.”

I think that if Rap and Dance are to work together, the relationship must again become symbiotic, organic and truly creative in nature. The idea of working with a Dance producer (such as Calvin Harris) must not intrinsically come from a place of noting that he made $50 million dollars in the past year and plays at festivals that gross $5 billion in revenue. Ideally, the space must be nostalgic, resembling something more along the lines of early Arthur Baker and Afrika Bambaataa working together in the ‘80s on the aforementioned “Renegades Of Funk.” Created to connect “people with their own philosophies, the people who make history and everyday people like you and me,” if there was actually any commercial impetus behind the song it came from each side of the table wanting to work with each other to equally push their interests to similar degree of exposure.

A seemingly inevitable reality that we should consider accepting is that when the moment comes that Rap cedes to Dance (and all indicators from a culture that from a democratic standpoint is far more commerce driven than art-led that this will be the case), and Hip Hop culture is actively guiding what Electronic Dance Music is to become. When this happens, the one great hope we should all have is that EDM’s lowest hanging fruit—underground producers of non-mainstreamed sounds—can reach out to the Rap industry which would be positioned at the bottom of EDM, and the two can find a middle ground. If we want to again discover that organic essence that fueled what Rap music became before commercialism and greed reared their ugly heads, that would be the  most likely location for that necessary discovery.

The relationship between Rap and EDM at the moment should be a delicately handled situation. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Instead, it comes off more like the relationship between the Titanic and the iceberg, as Rap—which fallaciously still may believe itself to be an unstoppable force—hits growing in commercial strength EDM, with Rap having the potential of sinking into the depths. Of course, as with all things, this could be avoided as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But, Rap’s (and most of mainstream music’s for that matter) currently less-than-ideal financial situation may unfortunately be so concerning that it is allowing for not-so-well-formulated stop-gaps to be considered. Rap and dance engaging for the purposes of creating appealing new sounds is an idea that has worth, but is a notion that should only be approached from the standpoint of art over commerce, or else.

Marcus Dowling is a veteran Washington, DC-based writer who has contributed to a plethora of online and print magazines and newspapers over the past fifteen years. Follow him on Twitter at @marcuskdowling.

89 Comments

  • Watussi10101

    Hip hop will be killed by the general evolution of mankind, not EDM. "EDM" as the yanks of course had to come up with a new name for something that has been done (better) for years across the pond, was killed long ago in America by hip hop and a population that couldn't tell u the musical alphabet.

  • Anonymous

    EDM SUCKS. ITS RUINING HIP HOP. even Schoolboy Q got a EDM record on his album

  • bobbe

    I think these guys have got the hip hop / edm on lock. www.afrowhiteymusic.com

  • Anonymous

    fuck EDM if it kills hiphop

  • Ray

    Hiphop killed hiphop. Suckers started singing, co-signing boy bands, doing cameos on pop songs... Y'all know who did it - Ja Rule singing, Jay Z on tour with N Sync, Game stripping, Luda working with Beiber... Y'all killed it yourselves. Nobody's real any more - Ross is the cops, Drake was Screech on Canada's version of Saved by the Bell, Kanye lost his mind wearing dresses and marrying fat chicks, nobody real anymore so that's why EDM can come in and eat whats left. Wacka Flaka Flame?? How did he get on for real? Whos listening to that shit? Somebody is. Somebody got Wacka on their headphones right now and not tellin. And it's not just chicks. Some dudes out there got Wacka Floka Flame, and Flo-rida, and Pitbull on they ipods lyin. Saying they listening to Wu Tang but really dancing to will.i.am Y'all are all wack - no hip hop left in the world - shit, even Tupac dancin' in that movie with John Candy - look it up - dude can dance, yea, but that's mister thug life himself dancing up a storm like there's no tomorrow. I say, if you a dude, and you into dancing - you wack and thats that

    • best post ever

      best post all year

    • Anonymous

      Probably the dumbest post I've read all damn day. You're an absolute idiot. Tupac been dead for over 10 years, you telling me hip hop been dead that long? Nsync hasn't been together for ever, what the hell are you talking about?

    • Umoh

      God? Is that you? I'm guessing you're not, so I'm going to read your opinion, ignore it and move on :)

  • PATHH88

    WHY THE FRUCK YOU CALL IT EDM- ITS FRUCKING HOUSE MUSIC FFS Nothing new in house music mixing with Hip Hop- think back to 89-90 when there was Hip House...

  • flipski

    from an european perspective i can tell you: dont be afraid. we had a kinda similar situation in the 90ies when house and techno ruled. big raves with 1 million participants (love parade in berlin), "underground raves" having 10000 people in vienna e.g. while hiphop shows attracted just a small amount of hardcore heads. well 20 years later raves are kinda dead, of curse there is still a lot of dance music out there, but german hiphop for instance is successful like never before with new artists going top ten on a weekly basis. i think that us hiphop is in a strange place now, because its folk music. intrisically rooted in culture now. so its not that "fresh" anymore. popular rappers dont even the potential of the late 80ies when it comes to skills and live performance. in search of selling records artists try everything so the outcome will be albums that lack cohesivity, concept and creativity. of course there are exceptions but just listen to albums from jay z, eminem or asap. just a big mess of different sound not flowing together well. so why you want to listen to a whole album and buy it. just give me the hot single and lets go. as long as creative process is hindered by looking to record sales, radio hits and now edm danceability, how should mind-bending new albums be concepted? its a difficult task, and well, hiphop has to find his soul again. and i guess its not hidden in las vegas clubs with 20.000 people on molly.. ;-)

    • Umoh

      Very well written, I listen to 50 tracks on average on this site every day and I probably fall in love with one or two. But over the years I've began to see a nice crop of real rappers who still play good music. Hip hop might be in decline, but for those true lovers of rhythm and rhyme, there's always going to be a haven.

    • Anonymous

      True dat hip hop needs to find its soul, its not just about money

  • Habs

    I don't know how a music journalism website can be so ignorant as to consider EDM a genre of music, all it means is Electronic Dance Music. So that could mean anything from Electro House to Afrobeat. Also why does HHDX seem to think Trance and Techno are the only forms of EDM? I dont think rap has anything to learn from these genres. I would love to see some US rappers hitting up some Jump Up DNB beats, http://www.youtube.com /watch?v=toxkYNdZJcE, HHDX should do an editorial on drum and bass the cultures are very similar, JUNGLIST MASSIVE.

  • Anonymous

    http://legitmix.com/EPCWA/artist/16409/Section/mix/13569

  • hahawow

    this is the dumbest article i never read

  • Anonymous

    Waka Flocka Flame is gonna be one of the biggest artists in hip hop soon. He's already pretty much there, but he's gonna be the guy to do some next level shit. He's weird and crazy. He'll double-down on some experimental shit while someone like Jay Z dabbles, and Kanye West just wants to fucking jerk off as a lamer version of Prince.

  • CEO

    what in the flying fukk? lol

  • Delores Johannsen

    uptil I looked at the draft four $7430, I didnt believe that...my... brothers friend was like they say actualy erning money part-time on their laptop.. there uncle haz done this for only about seventeen months and recently cleared the mortgage on their house and bought a great audi. check out here... www.Fb39.Com i'm hot and give me my props/ And stopping is not an option/ I feel like i'm God's Son/ I know i'm not Pac, Nas, or Eminem/ But you still get my sentiments/ I've been sent here to rap/ And kick facts for these cats/ Got dog barking other side of the tracks/ And that's that

  • Cichol Gricenchos

    Type Or Die: How weak journalism can destroy hip hop. Hip Hop website HHDX calls for rap to 'rediscover the intrinsic connection to dance' claiming it is part of the 'core principles' and fans must accept this or have their scene killed by the influence of EDM. In a bid to accelerate the death process, HHDX proceeded to interview 'King Of Rap EDM', Waka Flocka Flame, happily co-signing the death of hip hop by EDM, name dropping artists like Diplo, Skrillex and Daft Punk he'll be working with. Readers were treated to a Steve Aoki/Borgore/Waka Flocka video leaving a wholly convincing impression that EDM fever has fully gripped HHDX. A quick quip of blame is tossed in the direction of piracy for Eminem selling 1 million less copies in the first week of his sequel MMLP2, yet no comment about quality comparison was made. Nevermind the greater potential for revenue from wide stretching music licensing in an era of less sales for the majors. HHDX then failed to remind readers that while albums sales have become more dispersed amongst an ever growing musician pool, the top artists are better off with investments outside of music (Dre's Headphones, 50's Water), yet their desire is never questioned and are commonly held on a pedestal by hip hop sites that peddle EDM propaganda. More stats about EDM, the money it makes, how we live in a commerce driven music market rather than led by art. It's all distractions and has nothing to do with hip hop. Readers could interpret HHDX's editorial as a cry of help, admitting to being ultimately commerce driven across their website. The title of this reply is not a genuine belief held by myself; Hip Hop cannot be killed by EDM or journalism. Hip Hop cannot be killed. If HHDX would like to be relevant in hip hop culture, they need to find a way to rediscover their intrinsic connection to Hip Hop culture's core principles and avoid being killed by Electronic Dance Music's influence. Peace

    • Anonymous

      You've posted this before

    • Cizzurp

      Best comment ever lol

    • steezy

      Pretty much spot on here. I don't really like EDM at all, despise most of it, but I'm not sure how you can reprimand rappers for branching out and fucking around with different types of music / influences. Its how humanity works. Shit starts underground, gets popular, people cash in, all the old heads say the music has changed to much and denounce the new school, then some other type of music becomes popular, people emerge and try to revive the old school, it happens underground, gets popular, people cash in, etc etc etc.

    • MrRicoSlick

      Glad to see someone spot the "red herring". How can a culture be terminated by a fad. The logical fallacy in Marcus K. Dawling article is apparent and him purporting that somehow EDM is a demon that will infest and eventually kill a genre built around an entire culture is ludicrous and laughable. Hip Hop is a culture, a way of life and until people cease to embrace this way of life it will and can't ever die.

    • NONO

      Damn...You went in....TRUTH

    • Anonymous

      damnnn hhdx got ethered lol

  • Anonymous

    EDM/techno shit has already killed hip hop every "rap" song you hear for the past few years has some shitty dubstep/dance/techno theme to it

  • Anonymous

    "EDM" has already been dead for about 5 years+ Ever since skrillex and other such huge figureheads turned up the whole scene went haywire and became a watered down mess of commercialism, advertising and fake fans who don't know anything about the music

  • WillyHolin

    We got no problem gettin bitches to dance without EDM

  • bswag

    Damn... EDM, hipsters, gay rights, retarded rappers...dont tell me this is *evolution* of music and culture. Time for Ja Rule to stop cookin dem prison recipes and grab the mic.

  • Anonymous

    When rap dies i die rock and roll was murderered and no one can find the gun i'm married to this cheating bitch but i will always love badass rhyme schemes wordplay and a beat that bumps only idiots like EDM aka Dubstep who wants to listen to a instr(U)(mental) that rapes your ears.

  • Diane Clark

    before I saw the draft for $8252, I did not believe ...that...my brother could realie bringing in money in there spare time on-line.. there best friend had bean doing this for under nineteen months and recently paid for the depts on there villa and bought themselves a Car. go to my site... www.Fb39.com With any amount of success comes things like this. If Kendrick was his own man he would have still done the show, and told Kiffith to chill.

  • Phacade

    I get what he's saying, and he's half right. Rap started off very dance oriented and their have been maybe 3 other instances where dancing really made a comeback in Hip Hop- otherwise it's devoid of that organic appeal. The think is, Hip-Hop and music in general goes through cycles like this. Hip Hop will never become EDM, but rap may fuse with EDM (see Methodman for an example), and use EDM until it's done. Rap, much like singing, has a great way of changing genres, and when EDM is hot- EDM rap is hot, when Jazz, rock or whatever else is hot after, Jazz-hop or Rap rock will be popular- NOT EDM. This is a very opinionated article with a shit load of insight (just a shit load of opinion slathered on it). Hip Hop will go on forever, and if you doubt that, you're not a true hip hop head.

  • Voughndutch

    Hip hop evolving in to EDM? Eff Otta here, interesting read and I understand that people need something to talk about but Wocka Flocka is not Hip Hop nor does the culture surrounding EDM have anything to do with hip hop other than a 4/4 rhythm the only thing I see is collabos and drug sales

  • moreisckaMC

    Hip Hop started as dance/party music anyway. so just going back to the essence

  • moreisckaMC

    Its all evolution. All forms of music evolve so I dont see why we should be apprehensive about hiphop evolving. boom bap will always exist underground but the rest will evolve.

  • Anonymous

    edm will die like dubstep

  • Anonymous

    EDM IS A PHASE. it will die jst like disco. all the artists that fuck with it will move on to the next trend bc their only in it for the fortune and fame... never the art

  • Anonymous

    i cant YET say hip hop is changing because EVERY SINGLE ONE of the artists hes mentioned have ONE ALBUM to show out with... come on son let the time fly before you make hasty predictions... then hate on those predictions.

  • Anonymous

    EDM or dance music has nothing to do with hip hop never has and only in the pop world does it have a slight influence. Afrika Bambaataa etc were influenced by FUNK and EARLY SYNTHS OF THE 80s. That is totally different to modern day techno and dance music. If your saying hip hop needs to start using FUNK beats or early disco tunes more in there music then fine but to say we need to conform to dance music is the most silly thing ive heard. Dance music has already ruined hip hop. Hip hop needs to go back to 90s style hip hop the era that the world fell in love with. Remember Dance music came from house music that Franky Knuckles and Levan created/started. house music just comes from black disco music and the funk era of the 70s. EDM please.

    • Anonymous

      "Dance music has already ruined hip hop. Hip hop needs to go back to 90s style hip hop the era that the world fell in love with." i totally agree with you, but it's not going to happen your modern rap fan is pro-women, pro-gay rights and thinks wearing women's clothing, skin tight jeans and kissing other men is "progressive" and "relevant" that sort of fruity behaviour wouldn't be tolerated in 90's rap, hence why modern rap fans are always so hostile towards anything golden age/90's, dismissing it as "irrelevant" and "old" so long as these people make up the majority of rap fans, the 90's climate will never return to hip hop

  • SP1200

    Good point. The last dance track I like was Busta Rhymes Put your hands where I can see and Mystikal shake your ass/ (Get off the wall) I think it was called, where it was nice rhymes and beat. It just dance tracks rhymes be booty now. And you have to be careful what you co-sign in rap now cause media and labels will sign 800 act like that.

  • THE HEIST

    The history of music has always been about dramatic evolution. Someone coming along and breaking the mold and steering each genre in an entirely new direction that forever changes it for the better. The day the Beatles dropped Sgt Peppers on Rock and created and began a new era. The day Nirvana dropped Nevermind on the world, and effectively ended the glamour rock era with a single song. Well hip hop, guess what, that day is here. And I will always remember the day this album dropped as the sea change. Sure, Cudi is out there, Lupe and Talib are sending a positive message, and ab soul, danny brown, kendric, hopsin and others are rowing in this direction. But this album is just on another level. Moving . . .thoughtful . . .honest. . . creative. As a person who has struggled with my own vices, a dad with kids, a man who wants to be a better person - this albumn reduced me to tears . . . a first for hip hop. The closest thing to this I can remember is the day that Nirvana dropped smells like teen spirit. I remember watching that video, and just thinking wow. I have never seen anything like this, its new, refreshing and incredible. For those of you who may be to young to remember, I would just tell you to pull up the Cherry Pie Video from Poison (#1 on the charts the day before Nirvana's album released) and compare it to Smells like teen spirit. And then pull up Two Chainz "birthday song" and compare it to Mac's "same love" or "Thrift shop." Its a new day in hip hop, and its future is brighter thanks to Macklemore!!

    • Ejiro

      I was feeling the shit you were writing until you said macklemore damn that dude is mediocre i listen to his album like three times andhaven't touched it ever since its more of pop with rap lyrics but i won't lie ryan lewis is a great producer i feel macklemore really didn't makegood use of the beats provided

    • fosterakahunter

      Jeepers. Are you Macklemore's publicist? That was the most earnest bullshit I've read all week. Please, shut the fuxx up, then go away.

    • Anonymous

      HOLY FUCK THIS HAS TO BE THE WHITEST COMMENT IVE EVER READ. NOT ONLY ON HHDX BUT ON ANY BLOG EVER... EVEN WHITER THAN THE COMMENTS ON GAWKER. YOU SIR DESERVE AN AWARD. call it the GREAT WHITE HOPE award

    • ^YOU ARE ON CRACK

      Macklemore is preachy and overrated, nuff said.

  • Robert

    This is nonsense, considering that hip hop was pretty much an outgrowth of disco (Rappers Delight, Good Times etc) and what about the Jungle Brothers "I'll House You". The real problem is individuals trying to define "real hip hop" and saying that hip hop can only be this or that. It's the artists doing it who count, not critics, bloggers and writers. EDM hip hop merging is not a future trend, this has always been the case. Practically every great hip hop record sampled dance tunes, whether it be the 80s, 90s or even in the 00s. EDM might kill just your definition of what it is, but the show goes on.

  • Aesop Rock Fan

    There are a lot of things I could say about this, but I'll just try to make a few points.... Trends go back and forth. in 2006 and 2007 during the ringtone era there were a lot of dance hip hop songs. DJ mustard and rappers he produces for are making popular dance hip hop songs right now. Hip Hop and EDM bounce inspiration off each other. Trapstep which is probably some of the most popular edm right exists because of trap. Flocka is in a different place now. His music used to seem unnaproachable to lot of people, but more recently he's been feeding into this edm side and changing fanbases, maybe just because or maybe in order to maintain some kind of relevance. Flo Rida and Pitbull are 2 of the best selling rappers in recent years. They rap mostly on pop EDM as of now. But they aren't really seen as part of hip hop. They make very popular songs, yet every rapper isn't trying to do what they do. People are still maintaining hip hop. I feel like there is a lot of culturally relevant hip hop coming out now. Hip Hop should be able to take influence from edm and vice versa, without becoming just edm with rap on it, and in many cases it does.

  • Anonymous

    been saying this for years now you didn't see pop crossovers until rapppers started using techno beats fuckin shame

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  • A Person

    When it comes to music, I don't care much for EDM, mainly because of my focus on lyrics. There are examples of hip hop and EDM coexisting (that last Big Boi album, and El-P's Cancer 4 Cure), but I feel like EDM lacks the complexity and "degree of knowledge required to understand it" components that good lyrically driven hip hop, or soul, or jazz has. Also, wasn't jazz once in the same position as EDM? Then hip hop, and now where it is now. Music evolves, but we shouldn't abandon it just because the younger crowd doesn't appreciate the artistry, we should preserve the art and the culture, and use it to spread knowledge (like good hip hop has the power to do), that is the only way that we can do hip hop culture right, by honoring it and focusing on the ideals behind it.

  • Violator

    This is why Yeezus is the rap album of the year. When I listen to first 4 songs i wanna pop n lock (though I suck at it) but it's a feeling I ain't got in a long time from a rap album. Most of the music listening population don't listen to music solely for lyrics or story telling or beats, they listen for that feeling it give 'em. Yeah that's a more abstract way to describe successful music, but if you don't get that, then that's why you get shocked when Carter IV go platinum, and when lyrical heavyweights like Slaughterhouse can't even go gold

    • Anonymous

      yeezus is shit and so is your taste i bet you listen to hip hop whilst sipping mochaccino and writing about gay rights on your blog

  • jayho

    hiphop is no longer the 'young people's music' no more. young people are no longer dancing to hiphop. every hot club in the world are now playing edm music, not hiphop. the days of neptunes and timbaland ruling the club sounds are over. hiphop is going down as a old peoples music like heavy metal, grunge, disco, funk and jazz. every hiphophead talks about the good old days, and when they talk about the 'real underground' artists, they refer to someone who is still on the 90's boombap shit. edm on the otherhand, is constantly new. all the edmheads are only talking about the brand new sound, the new album, the new shit. not the 90's shit. it's official. hiphop is done. edm has taken over. period.

    • Ejiro

      The only reason why clubs aren't playing hip hop in clubs is because most of these big clubs have lots of people who can't dance or have any rhythm to move with hip hop all they do is fist pump and jump really it pisses me off sometimes but i still do that shit

    • fosterakahunter

      ..Spoken like someone ignorant to the music and culture as a whole.

    • udonno

      This guy is wrong -- kids today listen to everything from hiphop to EDM. hiphop will always be around because it creates personalities and influences fashion, style and even dance-- has EDM ever created a dance craze like Twerking? which every kid is doing ! hip hop doesnt have the huge profit numbers mainly because kids can get bootleg singles off of blogs and rappers tend to give away too many mixtapes. but hip hop will always be around in some form or fashion...as long as kids have something to say. while EDM will be another trend fading in a few years...watch.

    • A Person

      That doesn't mean hip hop is dead, that just means younger generations don't understand nuance, but if you want to call hip hop dead, I will gladly take it and all those other "dead genres" soul, classical, jazz, blues, R&B (LSG, etc), and all these other genres that have a lot of nuanced creativity in the messages they send.

  • Charon

    To wocka you're not the first or will be remember 2unlimited they had a rapper and dance music and so did a lot of other dance groups in the beginning of the nineties. Nothing new just move along

  • Real Talk 100

    Ya Stanky Leg and Superman dat Ho almost saved hiphop? lol

  • Picasso Micheaux

    Some of y'all gotta stop being all Chicken Little with the commentaries, for real...Hip Hop culture and rap music will be just fine...Don't forget, rap was born during the apex of a dance music movement (disco). For the same reason disco once ruled, EDM has global appeal because no matter how fcuked up you are at the club and no matter how rhythmically challenged you are, the constant THUD of the bass pedal meets you halfway. Do your homework. Hip Hop has more nuance, and diversity in its approaches to rhythm and communication. Through sampling, it connects us to the rhythms of our ancestors. Worst case scenario? Rap ends up like jazz...less popular, but with its integrity intact.

    • model citizen

      100% agreed. This is much a due about nothing. Hip hop will not die within any of our lifetimes. In fact name one form of music that was established within the 19th or 20th century that is completely dead. Significantly less popular than it was in its heyday, sure there's lots of examples, but dead? Shit, go to any Renaissance festival and there's a lot of people who play and still listen to music from the 16th century. Sub genres may come and go, disco, grunge, new wave, etc. but even they usually some sort of revival later on. The jazz analogy is perfect. There are still plenty of artists creating "real" hip hop in 2013, and plenty of people who prefer their hip hop sans edm. That's not going to suddenly change because people like Wocka Flocka flame work with dance DJ' s . If your definition of dead is "not dominating top 40 radio" then I guess I would have to wonder why that makes any difference to you as a fan of the genre. There a lot of "real" emcees who are able to make a comfortable living off of music through touring and merch sales. Sure, most don't, but struggle edm producers are a dime a dozen too. The people at the top are making shit tons of money because that's what happens to be popular at the moment. I don't need to be entertained my millionaires. Not to be a dick, but this article was a waste of time.

    • Violator

      Exactly! well said, when people post more EDM lyrics to their timeline than rap lyrics I might get worried - you know, because EDM has a tons and tons of great lyrics in it

    • blkviper

      ^^^ Co-Sign that sir. HipHop is so diverse it has it's own multi genres, sub-cultures and continues to expand, Like Quincy Jones said, HipHop is the new Bebop.

  • blkviper

    Somebody get Waka a bigger shirt, damn! cat looks pregnant.

  • Anonymous

    thanks DX, great article

  • Chris L.

    I feel like you saying rap should be more into EDM is just code for more into white dance music. Young Black kids aren't just standing around bobbing thier heads and buying albums, we're out at functions dancing and turning up just like white kids at big edm concerts. Only difference is our dance music skews more toward twerking or regional dances than bi stadium EDM. You got places like B more and Jersey making club music, ratchet music in California, and techno derived stuff coming from the midwest that you can't call anything but dance. So to read your article just sounds like you're saying that we should stop the dance music we already make to do white/european styles.

    • Anonymous

      "Rap and dance engaging for the purposes of creating appealing new sounds is an idea that has worth, but is a notion that should only be approached from the standpoint of art over commerce, or else."

  • eddie

    Mainstream hiphop is done. Not hiphop in general. Local scenes got it and it lives independently but this has been the case for years. If you want real shit you go out and look for and support real shit. Aside from 2 or 3 cats, which is really pushing it honestly, you wont find anything good on the radio unless you're willing to dumb down or lower your expectations. It is what it is, everybody knows that people have the opportunity to make real shit popular and they have a say so but not everybody wants hard hiphop beats and thoughtful complex rhymes, that demographic is too limited to make this stuff available on the radio... but aside from being on television, the stuff totally sustainable in areas where you actually have to look.

  • anon

    Is there an argument to be made that Hip Hop IS Electronic Dance Music?

  • Rico

    Worst article I've possibly ever read. Oh u scarreeddd, a music genre is evolving omgggggggg. I don't want to fucking hear dance sucker for 100 years straight, you gotta move on from that buddy. And it's your choice if you rather listen to more dance like hip hop one day, and change it up the next. Options. SMH!

  • anon

    you know whats killing hip-hop? people who claim things are killing hip-hop

  • Anonymous

    Break dancing came around in a time where there was no internet, video games, or even cable tv. People were so bored by the end of the day back then they were literally spinning on top of their heads. That's how break dancing got started, pure boredom. Now people have way better drugs, music, and visuals to trip out to so obviously the way they dance is going to be different. It doesn't mean the culture of hip hop is being ruined. Its evolving. Haven't you seen to Evolution of Dance video on Youtube? Come on, guy.

    • elijah

      Absolutely on point with your statement.

    • Justin Hunte

      "Break dancing came around in a time where there was no internet, video games, or even cable tv. People were so bored by the end of the day back then they were literally spinning on top of their heads." My favorite comment of the week. Absolutely hilarious!