Difference Between Rock and Rap

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    rap1Rock vs Rap

    Rock music is the genre of music which evolved from various genres, notably rock and roll, and made it to the mainstream around the 1960s. Generally, rock music is a sound that mainly rotates around guitars, bass and drums and the keyboard. There’s a big tendency to focus on instruments especially the guitar and requires considerable skill in playing these instruments. Having said that, rap music on the other hand can actually be classified as a subgenre of a larger music genre known as hip-hop. Unlike rock, rap’s main focus is free styling and looping words to create some ‘story’ in a flowing rhyme, keeping it in sync with the beat.

    Lyrics are the major emphasis in rap because more often than not rap music was a representation of the hip hop culture, a medium of expression of grievances and concerns especially social and personal. Although the term rap may represent a distinct subgenre of hip-hop, it is sometimes used synonymously with hip-hop but the latter often denotes an entire sub culture. Rap music started in the 1970s as a result of the popularity of block parties in the Bronx area of New York. Fueled by the huge Jamaican community, DJs at these parties would then play funk and soul which pulled crowds and then dub music evolved from this after percussions breaks of favorite tracks were separated.

    Worth noting is the fact that both rock and rap trace their origins in the United States. Whereas rap music sprung up in New York City’s Bronx area mainly among African Americans, rock music was and still is the domain of ‘white’ folk and originated as a combination of different genres of the 1940s like country, western and rhythm and blues. However, there’s no consensus as to what song is regarded as the first rock and roll record but Elvis Presley’s ‘That’s All Right Mama’ is widely believed to be the first rock and roll track.


    1. Rock music is instrument focused, for example guitar, bass and drums whereas rap music is rhyme and lyrics focused.
    2. Rock started as a domain of white folk whereas rap music started as a domain of African Americans (blacks).
    3. Rock music evolved from earlier popular music genres whereas rap music started as a medium of expression for a subculture (hip-hop)

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