Talk:Alternative hip hop

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Alternative Rap[edit]

Cypress hill is definetley not alternative rap purely because of the fact that they have a lot of gangsta rap influence with songs like Kill A Man, alternative rap in a sense is a less mainstream version of pop rap with its very soft sound and clean lyrics, artist lile Lupe Fiasco is a pretty good example of alternative rap and Kanye West was alternative rap until the album Graduation which made him a pop rapper because of mainstream influence on his music. Rappers like Nas and Busta rhymes are definetley not alternative rap because of their hardcore influences even if Nas does have a poetic rap delivery but is still mostly a Mofasio Rap artist with aggressive lyrics, Busta Rhymes' delivery is not soft or poetic enough to be alternative rap.Xx1994xx (talk)

Sounds to me like you made this definition up yourself with your own arbitrary/narrow rules and regulations that no one knows of but you. I was there when Cypress Hill came out in ’91. I was there when Nas and LONS came out…You sir, have no clue what you are talking about. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:41, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

There should be some info about the roots of Hip Hop as an alternative style of Funk and Disco. "Rappers Delight" was alternative Disco. The proto Hip Hop hit "Double Dutch Bus" was alternative Funk. Early Hip Hop acts and New Wave acts used to influence each other. Malcom Mclaren, the manager of the Sex Pistols, was the first major label artist to include scratching on his work. Afrika Bambaata of the Zulu Nation was heavily influenced by the German Krautrock act Kraftwerk. Alternative Rock stations would play Kool Moe Dee tracks like "Wild Wild West." Blondie had one of the first break out Hip Hop hits. Wham! Started out as a UK Hip Hop Crew. Adam Ant, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Beck all worked in Hip Hop at one time. (talk) 13:49, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Alternative vs. Conscious[edit]

Isn't the same thing? Can't we group them all in one catergories? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Alternative vs. Underground: Proposal[edit]

Alternative hip hop is only a subgenre of hip hop music. Underground hip hop is a subculture of hip hop, but is also commonly used to refer a category of hip hop encompassing unsigned/independent/local hip hop artists.

Here is my proposal to settle this. If most agree with me then let's reorganise into two articles as follows...

Definition of Alternative hip hop[edit]

Alternative hip hop is a genre of hip hop that differs from the mainstream. Mainstream rap is commonly generalised as superficial and materialistic. Alternative hip hop artists strive to create music with artistic merit. Lyrical topics are broad and often positive.


  • Freestyle Fellowship
  • Abstract Rude
  • Aceyalone
  • De La Soul
  • Dr. Octagon
  • Common
  • The Roots
  • Kanye West (one might say he defected from alternative to mainstream, another might say he blurred the line between the two by becoming a popular alternative artist)
  • MF Doom
  • Talib Kweli
  • Mos Def
  • Fort Minor (similar case to Kanye West)
    • I completley agree with this list and should be added to the article.Xx1994xx (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 01:31, 10 November 2008 (UTC).

Definition of Underground hip hop[edit]

Underground hip hop is a subculture of hip hop. To most people, underground means unsigned or independent of the mainstream. This definition refers not only to music, but also ideals, beliefs and political views.

Underground hip hop is also used to describe a genre that usually includes any unsigned/independent hip hop artists. These artists usually fit into the alternative hip hop genre, but can also be nerdcore or emo rap, among others.

It should also be noted that Underground hip hop as a genre is more often applied to west coast Alternative hip hop artists than east coast Alternative hip hop artists.

Cultural Elements[edit]

Although underground hip hop is part of hip hop culture, there are some defining elements, including:

  • "Backpacker" clothing style, as one example
  • Crossover with metal/emo/punk culture
  • Political views - often include anti-Bush sentiment, as well as hippie and environmentalist views

Entertheinferno 05:39, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Your Feedback[edit]

Provide any feedback you have after this line and remember to sign your post.

So Called "Alternative" Hip Hop[edit]

This whole article on Alternative Hip Hop is completely misleading and disrespectful to real Hip Hop music. The Golden Era groups that are listed in this article are Hip Hop artists, not "Alternative" Hip Hop artists. This is a very serious mistake to mislabel them. It discredits the whole Hip Hop movement and culture. Most of the so called "mainstream" Hip Hop that is used to distinguish a difference from so called "Alternative" Hip Hop in this article, is actually Rap music, but some of it is simply Hip Hop music as well. This is not my opinion. This is fact and can be backed up with undisputed truth. One simple point is that none of the artists listed in this article have ever... EVER... (one more time)... EVER... referred to their music as Alternative Hip Hop. Alternative hip Hop is a label that started being used by journalists and business people outside of the Hip Hop culture, to describe "non-offensive" Hip Hop groups around the same time those Hip Hop groups started doing large tours with Alternative Rock groups in the early to mid 90's.

You see all of the artists in this article are from the same genre (not a sub-genre) as KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Public Enemy, Gang Starr, Special Ed, Nas, Blackmoon, Wu-Tang... It's called Hip Hop music. It should have "music" at the end because it is not the same thing as Hip Hop. hip Hop is the culture that incorporates more then just the music.

Because of articles like this, most people don't even know what Hip Hop music is... To explain why this is not a separate sub-genre let me explain something. As I already said, Hip Hop music is not the same as saying Hip Hop. Hip Hop is the culture and is comprised of five elements. Hip Hop music is made by a DJ and MC. It is centered around finding breaks or samples in records in which the MC rocks rhymes that promote love, peace, unity and having fun. It encourages originality, skill, wit, and expression... The Universal Zulu Nation created this movement called Hip Hop and defines it.... They also backed and raised most of the groups on this list that are mistakenly being mislabeled as not the epitome of Hip Hop music.

One of the main things that puts the era this article refers to apart from other eras in Hip Hop is that technology advanced around 1988 and all of a sudden we could sample a lot more from other recordings (vinyl). All of a sudden very complex productions incorporated sounds from lots of records instead of previous eras when only a drum machine, a cut, and a short sample on a SP was possible. The other thing that happened in this era was Yo MTV Raps. It brought Hip Hop music to everyones home across the US and beyond. Neither of those factors created a new sub genre.

I will talk to my fellow ahki (brothers) in the Universal Zulu Nation about this article. I believe it is time for the mislabeling to stop. It's really out of hand. Big business has come in and decided to name what it wants to as Hip Hop music and in turn "Alternative". This article stands right behind it as if it has some kind of legitimacy, but EVERYBODY who is a Hip Hop head knows that these groups are NOT "Alternative" Hip Hop artists, they make Hip Hop music.

Simply stated, the "Alternative" Hip Hop referred to in this article is not it's own sub-genre. It is real Hip Hop music being mislabeled (period).

Tdcamp (talk) 09:08, 13 September 2013 (UTC) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Alternative hip hop, like all genres of art, is a social construction and as such the definition is open to debate."

If with the term "social construction" in this sentance, the statement "Alternative hip hop, like all genres of art, is a social construction" is meant to convey that any musical work one calls "alternitive hip hop" happens to be the product of an agent operating under certain social conditions (as opposed to working in a vacuum), or if it is meant to establish that the term "alternative hip hop" was created by such an agent, then the statement is quite true. However, a "social construction" typically is opposed to a "natural kind" in that it is only conventional. In this sense it is not altogether clear if in fact the statement is true: take the art genres "Oil Painting" and "Punk Rock": it is not merely as a point of convention that we say these two genres are different, there is a matter of fact about it. However, in neither of these senses does it straightforwardly follow that "as such the definition is open to debate." I do not mean to contend that the definition isn't open to debate, but only that its openness to debate isn't tied in any direct way to whether it is a "social contruction". In the first case, consider the terms "integer" and "one": both terms where surely created by agents in a social setting, yet their definitions are particularly rigorous. As for the second case, i might say that a man is jewish just in case his mother were jewish. "Jew" in this sense is a social construction, it is purely social convention and not a natural kind in any ordinary way. Nonetheless, we already stipulated a perfectly rigourous definition. 02:52, 12 January 2007 (UTC) -J

  • The only point I was making was that discerning between one genre of music and another is a far different activity than discerning between (for example) hydrogen and carbon. House of Scandal 13:36, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I think we should use the talk page for new artists you want to add -- or require citation. and fergie hardly qualify as alternative hip hop... --Junius49 (talk) 22:34, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

There is seriously no such thing as "alternative hip-hop" it's a totally necessary division. I'm sure if you go so the places that this music started they would not know what you are talking about. For these groups, what they do is hip-hop and what it's classed as is underground hip hop. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:13, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Yes! Agreed. "Underground" and "alternative" are meaningless, pretentious terms anyway, and are not encyclopedic terms. Such artists are merely less popular because they aren't signed to major labels. There's nothing "alternative" or "underground" (whatever that's supposed to mean) about them, really, except that they're inclined to be different merely because of the obvious, demographic reality of selling fewer albums and doing smaller shows and as a result being more connected to their fan bases. "Underground" and "alternative" are--and never were--subgenres of hip-hop, but are actually misnomers. These distinctions do not denote anything musically unique. Ideogon (talk) 04:52, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

underground hip hop a redirect[edit]

This shouldn't be a redirect, as theyre sepereate classifications. For example, South Park Mexican was underground for many years, even though he offered non-alternative gangsta rap, and Common could be called a non-underground alternative rapper. Anyone wanna help me create this new page?--Urthogie 13:11, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

I think I agree, but I would have a really hard time drawing the lines between "underground" or "alternative" or "mainstream/major label" artists, specifically those from the early 90's. Does "underground" specifically mean "non-major label," or does it refer to a hip hop sub-culture, or does it merely mean that the artist doesn't sell all that well? I don't think there are any resources that aren't too pov for an "underground hip hop" entry. Perhaps the Alternative Hip Hop and Underground Hip Hop entries could redirect to an Alternative/Underground Hip Hop Entry providing many concepts of "alternative" and "underground", which would also underscore how alt. hip hop influenced contemporary underground hip hop artists, and that the vocabulary has simplied changed because of the increasing commercialism and decreasing variety in the mainstream hip hop industry. Dontplaytheirgame 15:25, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Underground hip hop can refer to two things. A)Artists who are not yet signed to a major label, but want to be signed(aka unsigned heat). B)Two distinct subcultures in hip hop that pride themselves on being unsigned to a major label: hardcore rappers who pride themselves on being too hardcore for public consumption and indie rappers who pride themselves on being too true to the culture and unique for public consumption.
Alternative hip hop refers to artists who do not embody the mainstream musical approach. They can be underground or signed.--Urthogie 15:31, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

This articles is littered with problems concerning facts.

I think you're going to have some major problems making this an article worthy of Wikipedia. From the start, there's even dispute as to the definition of 'alternative hip hop', and because of this most of the references would probably be POV. Is there a definitive authority on what constitutes 'alternative hip hop'? If not, maybe the page should redirect.--Alex 18:08, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Alex, it actually is possible to write pages on ambiguous terms, wherein each similar meaning is addressed.--Urthogie 18:22, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, alternative hiphop. This was a pretty ok article but you need to remember to compare the rap-scene of the day of those older records to say why it classifies as alternative. There is so much independent rap out there and their all different so it seems a little crazy to put them all under one label without having a damn good reason. Heres some more names worth mentioning; Rhymesayers; Atmosphere (the guys have sold a lot of records), J-live (if Mos-Def, Talib Kweli and Common qualify, then he does)

Tracing down influences would also be great, especially in validating the facts. There is nothing like an absolute fact in this genre, it hasn't been historized as for example rock so every statement needs to be called for and explained. A hell of a job isn't it... - Maucca

underground hip hop (another) redirect[edit]

I have a few issues with this article.

First and foremost, the introduction "Alternative hip hop or Underground rap is a style of hip hop music distinguished by artists who either chose or are simply not able to break into the commercial hip hop scene. Positive lyrics are often a hallmark of alternative hip hop, which detract from the materialistic and sexually fueled lyrics of mainstream hip hop." This is an overly opinionated view of the entire hip-hop genre. I don't define any of the alternative hip-hop I listen to as having 'positive lyrics.' On the contrary, most alternative hip-hop just have lyrics that are alternative to the current rap scene. These lyrics have always been very diverse including, but not limited to politics and sociological issues.

Next, alternative hip-hop has just about as much to do with commerciallity as 'alternative rock.' One could argue that alternative rock artists are just as popular, or more popular than traditional rockers. The same can be said of alternative hip-hop. Kanye West, The Fugees and the Black Eyed Pease come specifically to mind. As to my first point above, their lyrics are not all 'positive.' These examples are also as popular or more popular than many so called 'successful' hip-hop artists. The turn of the millenium has given rise to many 'alternative hip-hop' artists that have had huge mainstream success, such as the Gorillas, and the projects of MF Doom and Danger Mouse.

My next gripe is a very major one. Nowhere in this article should there be a section for 'genres related to alternative hip-hop.' The idea is just absurd. Most genres are all interconnected, and large grey areas separate them. 'Neo soul' as it is described here lists artists that are combining many genres, including hip-hop, R&B, soul. Why isn't alternative rock, Neo-metal, and Rapcore music listed here? 311, (hed) P.E., Nonpoint and other countless rock bands have been hugely influenced by alternative hip-hop, and have just as much in common with it as Boyz II Men.

Really, whoever wrote this article is trying really hard to describe an area of popular culture that has been badly defined, and here is no exception.

I agree with your comments-- this article seems to be trying to push Alternative hip hop as something that "redeems" hip hop, as if its not ok to be talking about girls and partying. I plan on doing a complete overhaul of it once I get some other tasks done. Feel free to help in bringing it to a neutral point of view. Peace, --Urthogie 20:28, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to add; the definitions of 'underground' and 'alternative' are completely wrong in this article. First of all, Underground isn't a sub-genre on it's own, (although many people will argue that a lot of underground rappers follow a certain style of rapping, and therefore making a good reason for a wiki page on it) all rappers that belong to independent labels or less-famous labels are underground, meaning non-mainstream, not meaning that they all belong to the same sub-genre. Also, most horrorcore rap and most of Chicago's underground rap does not fit into the descriptions of 'alternative' yet both of them are mostly undergound. There is also an argument about how to define 'undergound rap' from non-underground rap. Some people class any rapper who isn't currently having mainstream success (such as rappers like Rakim) as undergound, and other rappers like Canibus, who is widely regarded as being an underground rapper, but has had a gold-selling album, which many people argue makes him mainstream or 'mainstream and undergound'and Papoose who was the first unsigned musician in America to recive coast to coast airplay. Different sources seem to give different answers to this.

Second, alternative IS a specific sub-genre of rap, whereas undergound isn't, so there should be 2 different pages, one for undergound, the other for alternative (or maybe no page for undergound at all). The definition of alternative rap on this page is pretty vague. I'm not quite certain what the 'official' way of defining alternative rap is, but the description given on this page could easily mean christian rap, or any 2pac song with positive lyrics for that matter. A lot of alternative rappers try to make their music sound as diverse as possible and many use abstract lyricism, which also wouldn't fit the description on this page. To be honest, i'm not sure if their is a correct way to define alternative rap.

Third, the beginning of this article sounds like all undergound is different from mainstream because mainstream talks about sex whereas undergound is more positive. This is completely false, the majority of 80's mainstream rap music does not talk about stuff like that and there are a lot of 90's/00's rappers too, also there are a lot of underground rappers that do talk about these subjects, this statement sounds like a stereotypical generalization rather than actual fact. This article sounds biased towards underground and against mainstream.

You're correct. It's a biased piece of sh...misinformation. Feel free to edit away its prejudice. Thanks, --Urthogie 20:52, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

I've never even heard the term alternative hip hop used. It has always been underground hip hop. Jdotpitts 16:44, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Search "Altnernative hip hop" on Google and you will find countless entires regarding the subgenre. The term itself has been in use since the mid-1990s (as a label for the non-Hardcore/Gangsta acts that became popular at that time) Chubdub 16:35, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree that defining underground or alternative rap is a sticky subject. Common themes in hip-hop classified as alternative or "underground" as a sub-genre are differences in: subject matter, lyrical technique, and/or "beats" from those of the mainstream rap scene of the time. The lyrics aren't necessarily positive, and I believe that classifying underground rap as positive is an overgeneralization. Also, a vast majority of the artists are either unsigned, or on independent or lesser-known labels and pride themselves on not conforming to the standards of mainstream record execs. I think the problem comes when underground or alternative rap as a GENRE isn't distinguished from underground rap as rap that isn't well known. I believe that the above themes would be a start to defining alternative rap as a genre. -Justin (5/3/06)

firstly, i can't think of any directly negative lyrics from Kanye West, Fugees, or BEP as suggested above. perhaps other than 'shut up' by the Black Eyed Peas. However, i would argue that BEP, if to be considered 'alternative' in any way atall since 'Where is the love' (making endless party tracks, mainstream production, simple lyrics), are certainly fringle members of the sub-genre. Whilst i appreciate the term 'alternative hip hop' is not often used, i feel this article does fullfill a roll, in that there are two distinct meanings for 'underground' hip hop; the one of not being signed and available to the mainstream, and the one attempted to be tackled by this article, ie the style. Whilst its not often used in hip-hop circles, i think 'alternative hip hop' is a more correct naming than underground, as it doesn't require an artist to be underground. and perhaps even that calling artists like Common 'underground' is an inacuracy in hip-hop circles, alternative being a more accurate tag, also offering clarity about what 'one' is talking about.
I also feel that the article isn't quite so NPOV as some have suggested; typically, there is a positive, or neutral, message in alternative hip hop, as well as often story-telling. Whereas in 'mainstream', modern, hip hop, themes are often of anger (eminem), gun-violence (50 cent), agression (ludacris), and derrogatory language towards women (Xzibit).
Pehaps also there should be some nod to the fact that alternative hip hop is more aligned to some of what used to be more mainstream in the past, production techniques particularly?.
also perhaps a note about alleged 'selling out' by artists, arguably such as BEP. maybe that is pushing it thou?.Bungalowbill 16:09, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

The black eyed peas are not much of a positive political force (at least thats my POV). Can you explain how "My Humps", a song about the fascination of various Black men with an aging model's secondary sexual traits is conscious or political in any way?--Urthogie 09:18, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Thats why i was saying they have sold out since getting the 'aging model' in and are no longer make underground hip hop. they barely make any hip hop even. anyway, i didn't go 'all out' and say it because they have a rare track such as 'like that' which has an alternative sound.
Alternative hip hop is a completely subjective term, regardless.--Urthogie 13:48, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
I am not an expert but I am a fan and would just like to add my 2cents. I found this page through NPOV disputes and agree this article needs work. The problem however is in trying to define something that is subjective. My personal experience with the term underground is that underground hiphop was from artists who did not have contracts, however alternative is music out of the mainstream therefore making it subjective. Fugees, BEP etc are great examples of alternative, however the problem is since the term is subjective it can change according to time and the person listening. For instance if your experience with hiphop kept you away from hardcore rap and you mainly stuck to "lighter", for lack of a better word, hiphop then Kanye West may not seem like alternative. The other problem I noticed is many of the things that make up hiphop culture is calssified as part of alternative/underground hiphop specifically, such as graf, turntabling, cyphers etc. --Zer0faults 18:43, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
I like where the tone of this discussion is going. First off I think the most potent definition of Underground Hip-Hop is artists who are collectively outspoken about not signing to a major label, and instead don't sign, start their own label, or sign for merely distribution deals (see Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Sage Francis all signing to Epitaph records but just for distribution deals). Underground isn't synonmous with Alternative: De La Soul is clearly one of the starting points of Alternative yet they are Mainstream and I their records get airplay.

A new page for Underground[edit]

I might start a new page for underground rap. It will be a separate page from th alternative page, since underground rap and alternative rap are two separate things. I'm not really willing to write out ome huge article, so hopefully othe people will be willing to add to the page if I do make it. Also, the current list of underground rappers needs to be updated.

On top of that, I strongly disagree wih the opening paragraph of this current article but I can't edit it

Any thoughts? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Fernoe (talkcontribs) 2006-05-23.

You can edit the first paragraph by clicking the edit tab.--Urthogie 10:08, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Here is the deal!! Underground hiphop and Alternative hiphop does have similarities, 1 being that the lyrical content does not follow the whole lets dance maneuver such as mainstream. Mainstream have guide lines on how to construct their album tracks for dancing purpose (unless you've been to a club where they play a track of Madlib and there was someone dancing then you can dispute this) and sales figure sky rocket. Underground hiphop and Alternative hiphop are those guys that have a lot to say and need not follow a certain pertain but for most can tackle just about anything with no restrictions in a more intellectual way and a way that requires attentive listening (due to a large use of figures of speech "a picture painted with no paint" in rhymes conducted. Look i think Underground hiphop and Alternative hiphop have got some what of a deep poetic influence on them which is 1 of many similarities. I'm not saying mainstream does not. it does but not as deep. yes you can keep arguing but you know an Underground hiphop artist or Alternative hiphop artist when you hear 1 . My thing is if you still playing that track 5years from now and at the age you are or will be, you have either an Underground or Alternative track. Radio has not killed it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:07, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Split this article for the sake of Hip Hop!!![edit]

Alternative hip hop, in short, is that collective of scenes that are not part of the mainstream (i.e. not Gangsta, bling, pop-rap, etc). Common Sense, Plack Eyed Peas are considered alternative, but are mainstream to varying degrees. Many of the "hardest" Gangsta rap artists exist in hip hop underground. Some Artists bounce back and forth between the Underground and mainstream, while some record all alternative music in the mainstream. Underground hip hop, in short, is the collective of artists and their respective works that is not signed to a "major label"._akin to indie rock. --J. Daily 19:53, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Frankly, I've never heard anyone ever use the term alternative Hip hop. It is amazing that so much work has been done on a subject which in my opinion is a manufactured phrase. Alternative Hip hop?...How about alternative jazz, alternative classical, alternative ...? The problem I think is that hip hop, when you try to define it, is already an alternative form...The term alternative sounds redundant maybe. Minibot

Well said.--Urthogie 07:44, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I find it odd that people are claiming to have never have heard of alternative hip hop, when a simple google search shows several publications refrencing it as a major subgenre of hip hop, including All Music Guide [1]:
Alternative Rap refers to hip-hop groups that refuse to conform to any of the traditional stereotypes of rap, such as gangsta, funk, bass, hardcore, and party rap. Instead, they blur genres, drawing equally from funk and pop/rock, as well as jazz, soul, reggae, and even folk. Though Arrested Development and the Fugees managed to cross over into the mainstream, most alternative rap groups are embraced primarily by alternative rock fans, not hip-hop or pop audiences.
Besides, I don't think personal experiences should be a factor in assessing the credibility of this article. One article was nearly deleted, because one person claimed to have never heard of the golden age of hip hop and claimed that is was a subjective topic. Yet several links were presented to discredit this proposed deletion (interestingly enough, the person who made the article and strongly opposed it from being deleted was Urthogie himself). Nonetheless, I agree that this article does need a clean up. Underground rap and alternative hip hop are two different (though somewhate related) genres. I believe All Music Guide's definition of underground rap [2] is (for the most part) accurate, and should be used as a reference:
Underground Rap falls into two categories. It is either hardcore hip-hop that pushes musical boundaries and has lyrics that are more inventive than gangsta clichés, or it is hardcore gangsta rap that wallows in all of the musical and lyrical cliches of the genre. What the two styles have in common is that they have little regard for mainstream conventions, and they celebrate their independent status. Underground rap also tends to be produced for less than hip-hop on major labels, and it often sounds like it.

P.O.N.Y. 14:38, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Underground is not a clearly defined genre[edit]

Underground is strictly a denotation by fans on artists of their choosing. Its meaning and the artists it pertains to are usually a personal and individual viewpoint that differs widely. Calling a rapper underground is like calling an album a classic, there are virtually no solidly established criteria. As such, I believe only a section relating this fact is necessary as a description of "underground" and "mainstream" (something I had done in the Hip hop music article..) but anyway, yes. PCP MC 03:46, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree. The term "underground" is heavily based on opinion --Jaysscholar 21:56, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
the the Hip-Hop project need to come up with a specific definition and classification for "underground", "mainstream", and "alternative". --Jaysscholar 21:57, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Any hip hop that does not have major label distribution, and is not on pop radio charts is underground. That's it. (talk) 15:37, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

How about we try not to legally define something that is undefinable? Hip Hop is Hip Hop and all the subdefinitions are hip hop too. Well they are all music and the undefinability allows it to grow and develop. Descriptions allow people to know what our music is, but it should never be closed off. As for alternative ..., well its alternative to all the mass media bs definitions of what hip hop is, and look how those definitions have harmed hip hop and so-called black culture. It is hip hop, maybe alternative or underground is a good enough definition for me. As for groups, I can't believe no one mentioned Spearhead. (unsigned)

Culture is a cloud. Description are tools. They are focal points for talking about a cultural cloud. (talk) 15:37, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Another way to look at genre is it use of delineation as a territorial power dynamic. This is especially important in the market space where artists and economic interests protect financial territory by playing cultural gatekeeper. (talk) 15:37, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
In general, if music has rap on it, it's Hip Hop. According to Ed Love on Yo! MTV Raps in response to the genre Hip House. (talk) 15:37, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

I would consider Underground hip hop to be a category (not a genre) for unsigned/independent/local hip hop artists. It has nothing to do with a particular style of music within hip hop, although a lot of artists could fit into one genre like Alternative hip hop. However this is only because Alternative hip hop is a fusion of many different genres, and it's just as much an unspecific genre as "Experimental" music. Entertheinferno 05:52, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Notable Artists Not Mentioned[edit]

What about Anticon? I hope none of you object Anticon is kind of alternative hip-hop. Should we write something about? Sthow 17:28, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Funny that there is nothing about Atmosphere/Slug in this article also.. (Unknown user)

Anticon and Atmosphere are definitely notable in alternative hip hop. Entertheinferno 07:02, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

As for groups, I can't believe no one mentioned Spearhead. (Unknown user, moved from 'Underground is not a clearly defined genre')

Alternative hip hop doesn't seem like a fitting description for Spearhead. Entertheinferno 07:02, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

I think common's 'I used to love H.E.R' was very notable in underground/alternative Hip hop movement 03:07, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Why not read the article and find a good place to mention the artist you think is notable? Anyone can edit this article... it needs a lot of help anyway :) Entertheinferno 07:02, 16 December 2006 (UTC)


Underground hip hop is now its own page which succinctly explains that it refers to both Alternative hip hop and Indie hip hop and the difference between them.

However, is anyone ever going to clean up this page? I would prefer not to be the one who does it. This is the current opening sentence:

Alternative hip hop or Underground hip hop is defined as a culture that stems from a distinct musical genre, rather than just the musical genre itself.

Seriously, WTF? Is this supposed to say something like " a culture that stems from a sub-genre of hip hop?" Neither the current sentence nor my translation cuts it as an opener.

The opening paragraph is also a ass-whopping 13 lines of text long. HouseOfScandal13:51, 18 December 2006 (UTC)


Preferences aside, since I bitched about the bad state of the article, and since 4 days passed without comment from anyone else, I felt obligated to fix it. I just completed a major revision of the first section of this article; it's the most important part and was the part most sorely in need of clarity. The chronology of alternative hip hop is better off; I won't revise that soon or possibly at all. HouseOfScandal 15:29, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for stepping up and revising the opener. I felt that your definition needed revision, so I revised it further. The defining point is that alternative hip hop is artistically different from the mainstream, as you said. I removed the contrast to gangsta rap and pop rap, as they do not define what is mainstream. Also, there are many alternative hip hop artists that do not have a "positive tone" so I removed that statement. Lastly, I removed your definition of underground hip hop, as there is already a specific article for that subject. Instead, I made reference to underground hip hop and showed how it is related to alternative hip hop. Entertheinferno 09:37, 29 December 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia has a policy on reversing edits that are not vandalism. You can find this policy in section 1 and 2 of Wikipedia:Resolving Disputes.

You reversed an improvement that I made on Alternative hip hop. Please read the policy and either respond or change the article back. I'll change it back if I don't get a response.Entertheinferno 23:26, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I should have explained my rv: sorry, my bad. The reason I rv’d so dramatically is that besides your edits, there were changes made by a known vandal and I wanted to bring the article back to its best recent incarnation.
I included the removal of your addition in the rv because ideally openings to articles clearly define and delineate what is discussed therein rather than going into detail. The opening that I reverted to gives even a reader completely ignorant of hip hop a good chance at understanding what is typically meant by "alternative hip hop", "underground hip hop" and "indie hip hop" and how these terms often overlap. The information you inserted into the opening is contained in the article already and just confuses the opening. When discussed later, these points are made with a clarity that benefits from their placement in the article structure. Conversely, phrases I removed such as "Rather, it is characterized as being against the flow of the mainstream" and "Many alternative hip hop artists have defied the genre" are overly vague (and I do mean vague rather than general).
Also, you deleted the very useful and clearly-written paragraph about “underground hip hop” and replaced it with the far less useful phrase “but the vast majority remain underground”. This (short) paragraph-long explanation, I am strongly convinced, does belong in this article. Note that prior to my major revision the article didn’t discern between alternative, underground or indie hip hop and that same confusion will slip back in faster unless the article is clear about how these terms often mean different things, especially when discussed by musicologists, savvy music critics, and so on rather than music promoters trying to use as many buzzwords as possible.
The bit about "positive tone" you wisely removed was slipped back in after my revision by someone who fails to understand that alternative hip hop includes music that is too violent or vitriolic for the mainstream and well as “peace and love” material. Before my major revision there was a lot of misleading statements about alterative hip hop being characterized by socially conscious lyrics, etc.
Finally, why don’t you think “mainstream rap typified by gangsta rap and pop rap” is accurate? This doesn’t say mainstream rap is comprised of gangsta and pop rap only, nor does it say that all gangsta is mainstream. If this isn’t a good sentence, what do you think does typify mainstream hip hop? I’m interested in what you have to say on this because while I think your edits weakened the structure of the article, I recognize that you are looking at this subject clearly and with much, much more sense than some editors of this article displayed in the past. HouseOfScandal 04:03, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Isn't rewriting of history a bad thing?[edit]

Minibot said something I agree with earlier... both "Underground" and "Conscious" are terms I've heard applied to this brand of Hip-Hop, but "Alternative" is a recently manufactured term which I've never heard anyone use in real life, it's only become a popular 'sub-genre' on these mass media sites. Besides this artificial division being detrimental to the culture, I think that more importantly it's inaccurate, and is a revision of Hip-Hop history from a Rock-centric standpoint. In other words, past artists and albums are being placed into a category that was created by websites like AMG because they figured "Hey, Alternative Rock is a defined genre, so it'd be useful to have an Alternative Rap category as well." I don't deny that it's a convenient way to define a roughly definable piece of Hip-Hop, but the way it's presented on this page and the term used just aren't historically accurate.

For example, De La Soul, supposedly the initial creators/popularizers of Alternative Hip-Hop, soon after releasing their landmark debut, toured extensively in '89-'90 with such mainstream icons as LL Cool J, Too Short, Slick Rick, and even NWA (poster). In the early '90s, Jazz influences were extremely popular throughout all of the East Coast rap scene, including undeniably gangsta groups such as Onyx, Black Moon, and early Mobb Deep, far from just groups like Tribe and Digable Planets. Even someone like Alternative hallmark Common had a start as a full-fledged gangsta rapper, as anyone who's heard his debut Can I Borrow A Dollar album can tell. Finally, where would you place a group like the Wu-Tang Clan, a very street-based group which gradually became accepted into the underground community?

This said, I think one of the following actions should be taken to improve the article:

  • This article not only merged with the Underground Hip Hop one, but edited to reflect the somewhat different meaning that Underground has from Alternative, or...
  • A "Criticisms" section placed in the Alternative Hip Hop article, summarizing the main disagreements that myself and other people have with the very existence of an 'Alternative Hip Hop' sub-genre.

I personally think the second choice would be the best course of action, and an acceptable compromise between the two camps arguing here. --IRua 22:45, 14 February 2007 (UTC)


No merge. The intro sections at the start of this article and at underground hip hop are useful definitions that follow the way hip hop music is discussed by contemporary critics. Where this article falls apart, I think, is in its attempt to present a coherent chronology. A criticism section in an article is never for editor criticisms; that's what a talk page is for. When one sees a criticism section in an article is to show that published sources have said. The introduction of some citable "so and so says alternative hip hop isn't a proper term because..." would be an okay addition. --House of Scandal 06:12, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I understand your emphasis on the need to cite criticism, except that this article in general has no citations supporting it either. In fact, the lack of documents even acknowledging the "Alternative Hip Hop" sub-genre, one way or the other, seem to me to be more proof of its lack of real existence. --IRua 20:44, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

You aren't allowed to define anything at Wikipedia. You have to cite sources.[edit]

People who write this page, or have allowed it to stay as it is really need to read Wikipedia:No original research. This is blatant original research:

Note that alternativeness should not be confused with originality. An artist might produce music that is highly original within criteria that mark it as mainstream hip hop. Likewise, an artist might produce alternative hip hop that lacks originality and is derivative of other alternative hip hop material.
Hip hop is a diverse musical form that continually absorbs new influences from jazz, rock, R&B and other musical styles; many artistic takes on hip hop seen as alternative when they were made now fall well-within the corpus of the mainstream.
Loops sampled from a wide-range of musical genres have always been a part of hip hop, as have turntablism, spoken word, beatboxing, live instruments and the incorporation of visual elements such as breakdancing and visual art like graffiti. While these elements are often touted as hallmarks of alternative hip hop, it is only when they are used in innovative ways do they become indicative of it.
Despite a preponderance of lyrics in mainstream hip hop that lauds material wealth, hooking up, lawlessness and bravado, mainstream hip hop has always dealt with a wide range of subject matter. From its inception, hip hop has included material with a social consciousness, ranging from songs expressing political outrage to those that offer parables from which listeners might gain insight.
As such, although much music is purported to be alternative hip hop based upon its "positive message", such a designation is false. Very little music can be identified as alternative hip hop on the basis of lyrical subject matter alone. Nerdster rap is one of few examples.

This is the opinion of Wikipedia editors. That's not what Wikipedia is for. The purpose of Wikipedia is to cite sources and tell what people say in the world. This means you can't give your opinion about how alternative hip hop is positive. You can, however, quote a reliable source saying that. You can't give your opinion about how gangsta rap is negative. You can, however, quote a reliable source saying that.

I see there's a lot of arguments on this talk page about defining everything. Sometimes, the very phrase itself is a definition. Take for example "underground hip hop". That's hip hop that's not on a major, mainstream record label, or not on a record label at all. Alternative is a vague term. But you ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DEFINE IT. It's against Wikipedia:No original research. Thanks, --Urthogie 01:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

entire article is original research[edit]

"Alternative hip hop" doesn't actually refer to anything. Its a term used by music journalists who don't offer any concrete definition whatsoever. The entire history section and the definition were nothing but original research. It is original research to say someone is part of a genre that isn't defined. And it is original research to define that genre without using (several) reliable sources. There are no reliable sources that define this genre, so how can it be anything other than original research? I've basically blanked the content until this issue is resolved. I don't think this issue will be resolved, because I don't think the article is capable of anything but original research. Before reverting me, please reply to these points. Specifically: How can we write an article on a term that is never defined anywhere, and used differently by various journalists without writing original research?--Urthogie 03:18, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

For music, the best reference is the music itself. Music journalism is a commercialized amalgam of music history, music criticism, and music theory. It's a multidimensional distortion and information explosion separated in conceptual space from the music itself. Essentially (using analogy) its smoke not fire. That's why it's best to reference the music (recordings and performances). (talk) 15:57, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Music journalism is distorted by commerce and profit seeking motive. As a commercial enterprise music journalism seeks greater than market value returns on it endeavor. Thus artists that purchase full page ads are, rewarded with marketing editorial content. This dynamics distorts the information space. Journalistic platforms have traditionally had limited space for content, so those that obliquely pay for coverage are rewarded with monopoly of scale. Using biologic terminology, they "shade out" the competition. Thus citing music journalism as a source for accurate music information is a dubious effort. (talk) 15:57, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Alternative is a re-branding of Punk, Post Punk, New Wave, and College Rock music for mainstream audiences. If you need linkage to hardwire a performer to the term, look for associations between artists to broadcasters that use the brand or performances (tours) that use(d) the brand. (talk) 15:57, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

This Article Is a Joke[edit]

Agreed, Hip-Hop is not the same as Rap, mainstream or otherwise, Hip-Hop is the genre-similar alternative to Rap.

Like Jazz/Blues or Rock/Metal or Country/Western. Similar, but different. Many artists blend genres, but they're not synonymous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:13, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

WTF happened to the article?[edit]

Who deleted all of the stuff and put this biased Rodrick information?/

  • Wikipedia editors did, enforcing our policy against unverifiable material and original research. The definition by Roderick is sourced, and the article is a stub. If you have sources for other definitions of what alternative hip-hop comprises or for other content to add to the article, now is the time to cite them, so that the article can be written properly, from sources. We are serious about sources. Uncle G 23:36, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

can we use the all music guides defintion? (Curefreak 21:32, 23 March 2007 (UTC))curefreak

you can add it, yes.--Urthogie 00:25, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

i deleted the earlier thread cause i couldnt figure out how to correlate the two and i also the quote very offensive and wrong. (Curefreak 21:32, 23 March 2007 (UTC))curefreak

Sorry, but you can't do that just because you found it offensive and wrong. Please review Wikipedia: Policies]]. You've also commited a copyright violation, by the way. I'm reverting you. Please make an effort at integrating the sources if you want both there.--Urthogie 21:53, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

That seems very petty and childish "im reverting you" i read the article you recommend but you were the one who said that it was ok to copy the defintion from all music guide who is technically a reliable published source and goes a long way towards defining what "alternative rap" is much more than some book by some hack accusing people who listen to alternative rap of some sort of political bias wich is stupid and pointless not to mention that he says that urban listeners have merely shrugged at alternative rap when theyre have been some break out artists that appeal to urban listeners. i tried to find a way to incorperate the non opinionated stuff with the article from all music guide but it wouldnt have made much sense and there would have been some overlap. if you care to help me get this article looking professional i would appreciate it much more than childishness.

I didn't say you could copy it, I said you could use it or add it. Different things completely. one violates IP law, the other doesn't. By the way, allmusic guide is opinionated. All music genre definitions are opinions. You have mainstream ones and non-mainstream ones. That's the main difference. Feel free to add as a source per wikipedia policies. I suggest you readup on guidelines and policies for wikipedia so that you can avoid problems such as this in the future, --Urthogie 23:20, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

the difference is that all music guide doesnt put heavily biased opinions where there should be facts in describing alternative rap. its one thing to say this is what alternative rap is and a complete other to put some political spin on something that is not needed.

You can add any other opinion to counterbalance it if you like, it just needs to be a mainstream source of opinion. The article itself isn't spinned: we neutrally present various opinions. Feel free to add some! See Wikipedia:Attribution for what sources you can use that are considered reliable.--Urthogie 23:27, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

You seem to be missing the point saying "alternative rap is only listened to white liberals" is completly stupid since most conservatives dont listen to any kind of rap music white or otherwise and i tried to put the reference to all music guide wich explains in better detail with alternative rap is but you took it down.

this whole copyright thing is confusing i would prefer if you could just tell me what i need to do to make it legal.

See Wikipedia:Copyright violations for the policy regarding copyright violations. For how to properly cite the source you are using, see Wikipedia:Citing sources.--Urthogie 00:08, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

you are really starting to annoy me, i asked you to explain this to me but you refered back to what i already told you was too long and confusing by the way ive been reading the whole discussion thing and it seems that you who seem to be ignorant to this whole thing decided to make youreself god whats up with that?

You've already spent enough time complaining at this talk page that you could have read and understood the policy pages 3 times over by now. If you've read them in full and don't understand a certain part of them, please tell me which part and I'll explain it.--Urthogie 00:59, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

i read it and i didnt understand any of it but i'll try to appease you and see if i can point out the most glaring stuff, i edited the offensive socio political/ racist stuff from that article since its pointless and offensive and i ask that you not reverse it at least until we can settle this dispute.

ok i cited the refence and added a link...

You can't remove stuff from the article because its "socio political/racist" in your opinion. Or because it's "offensive". Instead of removing valid sources, please just add to the article, without removing valid sources. You are yet to explain which specific parts of the policy you don't understand.--Urthogie 03:17, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

the things i removed are irrelevant to describing the genre it would be like saying "only white people vote for the republican party" and why did you remove my article? i followed what youre link said to do.. im getting really tired of youre ignorance right now.

"Only white people vote for the republican party" would actually be an accepted quote if a mainstream source said it. Also, note that the reason this quote is in the beginning is because its a definition. You did follow my link, but you also removed valuable content, which is considered vandalism, even if unintentional.--Urthogie 05:41, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

so that gives you a reason to remove my link?

you also cited a book but theres no link to this book wich seems like the same reason you deleted my thread so you are coming across very hypocritical for all i know this book could be made up and these are just youre warped views.

I never added the book to this article, so any argument that it's my view is bullshit. In fact, I think the quote is untrue. But I actually understand wikipedia policies, and can actually see past my own opinions when I edit. If you want your quote back do something quite simple: re-add it. Just don't remove the current source.--Urthogie 05:59, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

so how do we know that this book even exists ? it sounds very unprofessional.

Haven't you ever heard of Google? It does wonders.--Urthogie 06:38, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

I just checked amazon and couldnt find it.... i'm not sure why its up there if you and me both agree that it's wrong.

Dude, I don't mean to be rude but it's so damn easy to find the amazon link from google. I mean, you request policy pages to be read to you because they're "too complex", you are incapable of googling a book. Whatever... Here's a link:[3]--Urthogie 07:39, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

i really dont give two shits what you think of me cause i think you're an idiot too

and i dont remember saying it was too complex
i said it was too confusing.
of course all of that doesnt answer why you feel like defending that article when you said you think its wrong.
Curefreak, please remember to sign when adding responses (just place four ~ signs at the end of your added text). --IRua 14:21, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

--- Whoever added the quotes from specific people really ought to give some information about who those people are. So what if some guy said such and such, who cares, unless some information on him is given. As it is, this is just a random quote.

"Smokin' Grooves Tour" example inaccuracies[edit]

The current article ends with the words " as an example the "Smokin' Grooves Tour" of 1996 (featuring Cypress Hill, A Tribe Called Quest, The Fugees, Nas, Ziggy Marley, and Busta Rhymes — all of whom, with the exception of reggae singer Marley, are hip-hop performers who "don't fit the mold of gangsta rap")." This is a very inaccurate example, as the only people on that list classifiable as Alternative Hip-Hop would be The Fugees and A Tribe Called Quest. Busta Rhymes and Cypress Hill are especially in no way Alternative, Nas has used many elements of Gangsta Rap throughout his career, and as the article mentions, Ziggy Marley is pure reggae. An accuracy of "2 out of 6" does not make it a good example, so if no one has any objections, I'll remove that part. --IRua 14:18, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Do not remove sourced information. The text is what the source says. If you want to claim otherwise, find a source that says otherwise. Your personal opinion that the source is wrong has no weight at Wikipedia. Wikipedia reports what the sources say. Uncle G 01:21, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

This article needs work.[edit]

Okay, right now this article seems very POV. The majority of the article is a quotation criticizing the genre. No timeline is given, no notable artists are listed... It's unencyclopædic and really just uninformative as it is. Given the lengthy discussion here, I would think that someone more knowledgeable than myself would take an interest in this article's upkeep? Ipsenaut 03:11, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree i tried to contribute a little and i had to fight tooth and nail just to get a quotation from a reputable site on here.Curefreak 04:06, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, but you can't give a timeline for this genre. People disagree as to what defines it, so a timeline is impossible.--Urthogie 19:05, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

emo-rap POV[edit]

"Hip hop artists who market their music toward non-urban audiences are often labeled "emo rap" "

which hiphop artists don't specifically market their music towards non-urban audiences (and what does this mean?)? the kyle myhre article is discussing "emo rap," a concept that the author calls "a bullshit term hyped up by the music industry to market white emcees to white hipsters."

in that particular quote, we see that "emo rap" is a term hyped up by the "MUSIC INDUSTRY" to "MARKET WHITE EMCEES." this does not qualify the assertion that "hip hop artists who market their music towards non-urban audienes are often labeled 'emo rap'." advancing this further, a hiphop artist doesn't market their music, their record label markets their music. when a hiphop artist markets their own music, this is almost always a diy tactic (like selling cds out of a car), and the customer base for such a campaign varies from rural towns to the suburbs to the inner-city. artists that have done this include ludacris, and i would like any editor to cite anywhere that ludacris, a favorite of both suburban and urban audiences, is an "emo rap" artist. this assertion is ludicrous and the sentence is hopelessly inaccurate. Fiftwekid 04:49, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

It says some, not all artists.--Urthogie 19:30, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
"non-urban"? as in farmers? --Krsont 11:31, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Why is this page so short[edit]

What the hell happened to this page?? it was so comprehensive before? why has it been stripped and killed... these were good days —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ppk812 (talkcontribs).

That version wasn't sourced and was original research, not encyclopedic.--Urthogie 19:30, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Plus with all this dispute and disagreement the article can't advance.Xx1994xx (talk)

-- 13:57, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

  1. REDIRECT [[Insert text]]


With all this discussion why does this article still suck? -- 13:58, 4 August 2007 (UTC)


I really feel Outkast should have some kind of mention in this article, because, according to this definition:

Alternative Rap refers to Hip-Hop groups that refuse to conform to any of the traditional stereotypes of rap, such as gangsta, funk, bass, hardcore, and party rap. Instead, they blur genres, drawing equally from funk and pop/rock, as well as jazz, soul and reggae. [1]

If they weren't already alternative hip-hop by the release of Stankonia, then they certainly should be considered alternative hip-hop after their last couple releases (Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and the Idlewild soundtrack), which deviate greatly from any specific genre of hip-hop.

This, combined with the group's accomplished status, warrants a mention in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:23, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

That's exactly what I thought when I read the article..."no Outkast?!? --Do you know me?...then SHUT UP!!! Sarcasm is beauty 01:29, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

OutKast is a good example of alternative rap because of their poetic delivery, clean lyrics and having pop influence without being mainstream which is why alternative rap is just a less mainstream version of pop rap.Xx1994xx (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 19:04, 31 October 2008 (UTC).

This is why people who don't know shouldn't add to Wikipedia pages. Your opinion is not fact. For your information Outkast does not have clean lyrics. Hip hop is a culture that encourages creativity and innovation. To say that Alternative hip hop is hip hop that deviates from those ideas would ignore the whole point of Hip hop in and of itself. There is no such thing as alternative Hip hop. Outkast, JayZ, NAS, Pharcyde, and Fifty Cent all do that same thing but because of the nature of Hip hop (cultivating new ideas and experimentation) they all sound different. That does not mean that they belong to different type of hip hop. If you don't agree with me that's fine, but try and do one thing, define Mainstream Hip hop, if you can. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lli 09 (talkcontribs) 18:19, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Stone's Throw Records[edit]

An alternative hip-hop article with no mention of Stones Throw? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:45, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Article Is Being Used For Wrong Purpose[edit]

This article doesn't make sense and is very misleading. It claims that an alternative rapper is one who doesn't concentrate on the mainstream rap themes. This doesn't make sense because I hear many of the rappers listed in this article as 'alternative' rapping about the same things that mainstream rappers do. Therefore the 'differing themes' theory doesn't hold up at all. So after concluding that, I'm left with one big question...What the hell IS the difference between these so called 'alternative' rappers and the 'mainstream' ones? The only possible answer is that the 'mainstream' rappers are much more popular with the teenage MTV crowd. Therefore, the only difference is that mainstream rappers are in fact pop artists. This highlights the need for a Pop Rap article which should handle all the pop rappers so that the real 'regular' rap artists like a lot of the ones listed in this article can return to the correct article that is [Hip Hop(music)].

Either way, anyone reading this, just know that many of the rappers listed in this article are in fact NOT alternative rappers, no matter what wikipedia tells you. Rest assured the local record store clerk WILL look at you funny if you ask for the alternative hiphop section. And if they actually have one, be prepared for some pretty weird stuff, cause that's what alternative hiphop actually is...really weird, usually psycho themed rap, but you'd never know that reading this article. According to this article alternative is anything that isn't cars women or bling, but it's actually the other way around, cars money and bling is pop, everything else is hiphop. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:02, 7 September 2009 (UTC)


As it is written now this article reads more like a magazine essay on a music genre, Pretty much the entire thing needs a rewrite. Ridernyc (talk) 04:40, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Better yet, deletion. (talk) 22:13, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose we merge Conscious hip hop into Alternative hip hop. Much of that article could easily be merged into this article, and there's very little difference--if any--between "conscious" and "alternative". Luksuh (talk) 04:17, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Against A lot of alternative hip hop is not conscious hip hop and many conscious hip hop artists are mainstream, not alternative.--May Cause Dizziness (talk) 21:31, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Against Conscious hip hop is Socio-Conscious while Alternative is an hip hop music that doesn't fit in any other sub-genre of Hip Hop music. Most alternative hip hop artists do not rap about anything that could be considered 'Conscious' other then maybe a track an album, while others don't even have that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by HalifaxnBlack (talkcontribs) 02:15, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Against not close enough sub genres to merge into each other per above. Red Flag on the Right Side 18:02, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

For Wikipedia is not a dictionary. The term socially conscious music has been shortened to the term conscious music. It's a reworking of an understandable term to one that is less understandable. This strikes me as a new definition without reference to a legitimate dictionary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bikokid (talkcontribs) 18:36, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Against - Alternative hip-hop should just be deleted, no merger. Conscious Hip-Hop is hip-hop that touches on social stigmas, Alternative hip-hop is a term hardly uttered in the Hip-Hop community anyway. (talk) 09:07, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

This is a manufactured genre[edit]

So are Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five “Alternative Hip Hop”? How about Cold Crush Bros, Afrika Bambaata, Treacherous Three, or any of the other pioneers? How do you distinguish what is “alternative” and what isn’t? Do any of the artists labeled “alternative” by this atrocious article embrace that term? As somewhat of an amateur Hip Hop historian, I find this entry to actually be offensive and ignorant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:31, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Timeline makes no sense[edit]

How can you have a section on the "decline" of alternative hip hop due to gangsta rap, when the biggest artists of the genre were most popular around the same time as their gangsta rap counterparts? In reality they both peaked at around the same time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:37, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Rock-centric view of Hip Hop[edit]

I agree with others that this article is very rock-centric, and I feel that somewhere this needs to be said.

This is a problem with Hip Hop on Wikipedia and within mainstream media in general. People and the media and rewriting the culture to fit in with rock norms, and they're ignoring the actual culture, customs and language. Alternative Hip Hop is a phrase created by the rock press, it has nothing to do with Hip Hop. MarshallMolasses (talk) 02:08, 26 November 2013 (UTC)