Hip Hop and R&B

Hip Hop and R&B: What’s The Difference

When it comes to music, there are many genres this art consists of. There are several genres, from pop, jazz, and hip hop to R&B, rap, and classical. Nowadays, people’s favorite genres or music forms are hip hop and R&B. The African- American communities discover both music forms, but some significant differences somehow exist. Most contemporary hip hop and R&B artists find so many similarities in these music genres but don’t know exactly what the differences are. Undoubtedly these are commonly confusing genres, but no worries, we are here to clear all your confusion. This article explains how hip hop and R&B are different. 

Understanding R&B

R&B stands for Rhythm and Blues, a music genre founded by Black Americans in the 1940s. R&B is derived from jazz, gospel, folk, and traditional blues music and combines rock n roll. Since its creation, R&B music has continuously been refined and groomed by several artists. Today, its widely popular among worldwide music lovers and artists. Contemporary R&B is mainly driven by synthesizers, keyboards, strong bass lines, and looped drum beats. In this context, it is similar to hip hop and differs from rock music. It’s also an alternative to typical pop music. Contemporary R&B is one of the successful commercial genres of the modern music industry, and most hip hop and R&B artists enjoy making music of this genre.

Understanding Hip Hop

Black Americans also developed the hip hop genre in the 1970s, mainly characterized by a robust rhythmic beat and a rapping vocal track. Most Black Americans believe hip hop music is more like a “culture” than a music genre. The four main pillars of hip hop include DJing, breakdancing (usually called breaking or b-boying), rapping (also called MCing), and graffiti. In recent years, hip hop has birthed dozens of subgenres, including grime, trap, gangsta rap, crunk, rap rock, chillhop, nimble rap, bounce, conscious hip hop, and Latin hip hop. Today, numerous famous hip hop artists are creating wonderful hip hop music and winning the hearts of many hip hop lovers. 

Hip Hop And R&B Comparision

Most upcoming hip-hop artists and upcoming R&B artists get confused when asked about the difference between hip hop and R&B genres. However, they are aware of some similarities between these two music forms, like the similar type of beats and instrumental rhythms. The artists’ singing styles and vocals are the main things that make hip hop and RB different. In R&B, artists use a melodic approach, whereas, in hip hop, they use the rap style and focus highly on the flow of words they are uttering, not the melody. 

To better understand the difference between these two genres, let’s read the following four aspects that distinguish hip hop and R&B.

Rapping Vs Singing Style

Singing style is an essential factor that makes both music genres unalike. One significant difference is that hip hop artists rap and focus highly on the flow of words they speak. At the same time, the R&B artist’s entire focus is on the melody and rhythm creation and virtuosity in the song vocals. 

Different Song Subjects

The song subjects and emotions of R&B and hip hop songs are also often distinct. R&B songs primarily consist wide variety of topics, including loss, heartbreak, love, affection, and others. On the other hand, hip hop songs are more like a story, and there is always a message behind the song but in a lighter and tamer way. Hip hop songs are comparatively more intense; also, artists use hip hop to express the cruel realities of the world openly.


Because of the usage of similar instruments in hip hop and R&B, people find it hard to distinguish the difference. However, it can become easier to find dissimilarities by paying attention to the instruments. Likewise, R&B songs include bass guitars, drums, synthesizers, and keyboards. While in hip hop, a comparatively higher amount of synthesizers and digital instruments are used. The hip hop artist also considers sound effects and background vocals as part of the song’s instrumental track, also called a sample.

Song Composition and Structure

Hip hop structure is way more unique than the structure of R&B songs, as R&B songs are all about focusing on pop music and popular jazz. Also, R&B songs consist of two verses separated by a chorus, and there is a bridge after the second chorus. In contrast, hip hop songs possess unique verses, but sometimes you can witness a repeating chorus that aids ideally in breaking up the lyrics of the song.

Independent Record Label

Why Independent Record Labels Are Better?

Are you an aspiring musician or singer who aims to join the music industry and wants recognition? If yes, then you must be looking to sign a record label to get started. When it comes to record labels, there are numerous options to choose from, including major record labels and independent record label. Similarly, selecting the best one that can benefit your talent and help you get much-needed recognition is daunting. Of course, major record labels have advantages, like more financial resources, support staff, and leverage in the marketplace. But still, most new artists feel that independent labels are better for them; these provide the required attention and offer more creative freedom to artists. Additionally, the growing popularity of independent record labels gives worldwide artists a golden chance to start their careers effortlessly. 

Over the past few years, most artists have become interested in signing with indie record labels because they think signing up with a smaller label can give the artists numerous advantages.  

What Are Independent Record Labels?

Independent record labels are also called indie labels and boutique labels. These are the small companies, generally not funded and affiliated with any of the three major record labels. The indie labels usually collaborate with countless smaller companies for publishing and distribution purposes. Independent labels are widely considered artists-friendly; they provide artists freedom of creativity and offer them the needed attention. The downside is they dont have vast funding for artists like major record labels do and can’t financially support artists compared to major record labels.

The Reasons Why Indie Record Labels Are Better

There are numerous advantages associated with independent record labels; the most popular one is they provide freedom to the artists they want to work with. In contrast, major record labels put a lot of pressure on the artists; they sometimes demand that artists sacrifice their taste to achieve chart success. On the other hand, indie labels don’t pressure the artists; they give them more freedom, which is why artists perform their best. 

The following are the popular reasons why most young hip-hop artists, upcoming R&B artists, and others choose indie record labels instead of major ones.

Close Working Relationships

Working with boutiques or indie labels means you will get a chance to gain complete attention. Also, as these labels are pretty small, artists find it easier to get personal experiences and can make close relationships. From mentoring to skill building, the independent record labels work closely with their artists and support them at every step of their journey.

Encourages Creative Expressions

If you are an artist who doenst like to work under pressure and doesn’t want anyone to dictate to you, then you should highly consider indie record labels. At an independent record label, none will be micromanaging your affairs; you will have the freedom to use your creativity, and they will encourage it. In contrast, major record labels pressure the artist to turn a profit, consider strict guidelines, and follow a strict schedule. This makes an artist feel bound and makes him uncomfortable. Whereas at indie labels, artists enjoy making music and freely use their creativity to make something unmatched.

Artist-Friendly Deals

Usually, indie record label contracts are not so difficult and complex. Instead, they offer a straightforward deal to artists, which is more like a profitable agreement. However, some large independent record labels possess quite tricky contracts. Still, the deals are primarily artists-friendly and benefit both the artist and label, even though some indie labels offer customized contracts to artists and give more significant royalty percentages to their artists. 

Offers Numerous Growth Opportunities

Indie record labels are the best for the artists, providing them a place where they can fully use their potential and create wonderful music. The indie labels prove to be stepping stones for the artists who want to enter the industry and obtain some practical experience. After getting valuable experience working with a record label, most artists move toward major labels and gain recognition. To date, many famous and successful artists started their music careers with indie record labels. The numerous excellent growth opportunities at indies allowed these artists to perform their best within a less pressurized environment. Some artists still work with independent labels, while others have partnerships with major labels. Therefore, at indies, you have opportunities to grow professionally and can get a maximum chance to polish your music skills.

Final Words

To sum up, an independent record label owns almost everything that an artist demands or needs. However, the downsides are the indies have fewer financial resources, less support staff, and less clout in the industry than a major record label. Whereas, at an indie record label, you will receive creative freedom, get a chance to make close personal relationships, and can have a customized beneficial contract. Therefore, artists who want to work independently and use their creativity would find indies suitable. However, for those whose aim is to get instant popularity, want to grow financially, and are ready to work under pressure, major record labels are ideal for them.