Introduction well as inborn love and passion for

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The essay is a comparative paper regarding jazz and hip hop music. These two set of music came to limelight thanks to the rich culture as well as inborn love and passion for music of African Americans. It is worth to note from the onset that this music is very popular globally (Carney 82). Both hip hop and jazz are closely linked and for that matter there are a number of similarities they share prompting some individuals to pronounce that hip hop is ‘the jazz of young individuals in the society’. To the extreme there are some who hold that the two are similar and may use the names interchangeably. However, these two set of music have clear distinctions.

Similarities between Jazz and Hip Hop

As suggested by Carney 125 a major similarity between hip hop and jazz is that the architects are African American.

Their passion, rich culture and love for music saw to it that the music came to be what it is today. On the same note, the country of origin of this music is common to both. United States of America is where jazz and hip hop originated. Additionally, the two music genres have been widely and lovingly embraced. It is worth noting that it is not only Americans who love the music but other varied cultures across the globe. This has been heightened by technological advancement which has made geographical distance to be counter with regards to distribution and availability of these genres.

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Currently, in Africa, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and North America individuals are listening and watching music of jazz and hip hop origin (Conyers 88). To a certain this, it is evident in these population to see how they dance, dressing styles, graffiti writing among others clearly being depicted. On the same note the manner with which a number of youths are talking seems to be influenced by the global impact of these genres of music (Charters 63). According to Conyers 212 another similarity between the two music genres is the origin of the singers. It is worth noting that the musicians can be linked to hard life full of oppression.

For that matter most of the songs revolves around fighting for their rights and trying to raise concern regarding mistreatment of the less fortunate in the society. In terms of economic class, majority of the artists of these genres are from lower classes.

Differences between Jazz and Hip Hop

The exact birth place of both jazz and hip hop is different. It is worth remembering that although the two originated from the United States of America, jazz is linked to be born in New Orleans. With this, it came to the limelight in the 19th centaury. Additionally, jazz were originally sung during funerals (Charters 108). But later made its way to bars as well as dancing halls; it was during the First World War that it became so popular and a global favorite. On the other hand it has been established that hip hop originated in school play ground of Bronx in New York back in 1970s.

Ideally hip hop clearly reflects the feelings and emotions of African American youths in 1970s regarding issues of concern such as racism plus other sorts of discrimination. Although it can be argued that both uses improvisation, jazz seems to use in a different manner when compared to hip hop. Jazz prominently and integrates varied set of creativity. Additionally, “rhyming off the top has become common in live performances and battles” (Bogdanov 39). Strictly speaking in jazz improvisation is a core element. On the other hand, hip hop are made from written rhymes, beats that are programmed and very little materials for improvisation.

Additionally, jazz in terms of collaboration of musicians outweighs hip hop. It is worth noting that majority of jazz especially modern one clearly depicts features of active and true collaboration efforts from artists where each and every one has an opportunity to react to the activities of the others during performance (Charters 71). However in hip hop, recorded collaboration between musicians is made up of each taking the chance to recite a verse previously composed. A typical example of such is a song by Biggie and Meth’s titled ‘The What’. Although it was previously mentioned that the two genres are popular globally, it is apparent that hip hop has overtaken jazz in terms popularity despite of coming into the limelight after jazz. The former seem to be a cultural movement currently being experienced by the youths globally (Bogdanov 45).


From the review of jazz and hip hop, indeed there are certain characteristics the two genres share. These include country of origin; the characteristics of musicians playing the genre, the two have been globally embraced and loved.

On the other hand the distinct differences between the two set of music make it easy for one not to easily get confused and use the names interchangeably. The differences include the extent to which improvisation is utilized, place of birth, the nature of collaboration and the period of time they were developed.

Works Cited

Bogdanov, Vladamir. All Music Guide to Hip Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap & Hip Hop. San Francisco, CA: Backbeat Books, 2003. Print. Carney, Court. Cuttin’ up: How Early Jazz Got America’s Ear.

Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2009. Print. Charters, Barclay. New Orleans: Playing a Jazz Chorus. New York: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2006.

Print. Conyers, James. African American Jazz and Rap: Social and Philosophical Examinations of Black Expressive Behavior. Jefferson, N.

C.: Mcfarland, 2001. Print.

Categories: Artists


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