Acid rap is a subgenre of
alternative hip hopin which lyrics are often cryptic, abstract or abnormal, trippyor psychedelic, spacey, dark or sinister, and sometimes drug or science fiction-related, with eerie or spaced-out drumbeats and instrumentation. It can sometimes include direct or indirect references to science fiction, outer space, and futuristic themes, such as Afrofuturism, space or time travel, and extraterrestrials. However, acid rap usually encompasses a wide variety of strange or abstract themes.
This form of "acid rap" is not directly related to the Bristol-based genre of
trip hop, but shares many similarities, especially in instrumentation. In fact, the two genres often overlap.
A pioneer in "acid rap" is the alternative MC
Kool Keith, especially as Dr. Octagon on the 1996 album " Dr. Octagonecologyst". Dr. Octagon's "Blue Flowers" is often thought of as defining the acid rap genre. Another acid rap landmark in Kool Keith's career was the 1999 album " Black Elvis/Lost in Space", though Kool Keith has featured acid rap themes on much of his work. Del tha Funkee Homosapien(who has stated his love for psychedelic drugs) and his super-group Deltron 3030are known for their "acid rap" music. Dan the Automatoris responsible for much of the music production on the Dr. Octagon album and Deltron 3030 project, and he has featured acid rap on the album " So... How's Your Girl?", the debut album of his side project Handsome Boy Modeling School. The alternative rap group The Pharcydeare also credited with "acid rap" tracks in their 1992 acclaimed album " Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde". DJ's and producers that commonly create acid rap beats include DJ Q-Bert, DJ Spooky, DJ Shadow, Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Kid Koala, and occasionally Mix Master Mike.
El-P's discography, such as the recent " I'll Sleep When You're Dead", is a prime example of acid rap, as is much of collaborator Cage Kennylz's work. Aesop Rock, another Definitive Juxartist, also has intensely abstract lyrics that can be considered acid. The British artist Trickyis often considered trip hop, but fits easily within the acid rap genre as well due to his unique trippy rapping style. Edan's "Beauty and the Beat" also has some acid rap elements. Many rap artist who sample space rockor psychedelic musiccan also be considered acid rap. Esham, an underground Detroit rapper, specializes in a genre of rap he has dubbed "acid rap." Esham has defined the genre as analogous to "'modern day blues[or] heavy metal'". [cite book |last=Keyes |first=Cheryl Lynette |title=Rap Music and Street Consciousness |year=2002 |publisher=University of Illinois Press |isbn=0252072014, 9780252072017 |pages=page 108 |chapter=Blending and Shaping Styles: Rap and Other Musical Voices |quote=Advancing the marriage of heavy metal and rap is Detroit's underground artist, Esham, who is credited for "acid rap." Esham defines acid rap as analogus to "'modern day blues [or] heavy metal'" (quoted in Alert 2000:107). ] Esham's self-proclaimed acid rap shares many similarities with the genre commonly known as acid rap, such as eerie and dark subject matter and trippy beats. Esham has even collaborated with frequent acid rapper Kool Keith on his 2001 release, "Tongues". Esham is known for his hallucinogenic style fusing rock-based beats and lyrics involving trippy subjects. cite book |editor= |others= |title=All Music Guide to Hip-Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap & Hip-hop |year=2003 |isbn=0879307595 |publisher=Backbeat Books |pages=pages 160—163 ] cite news |first=Rodd |last=McLeod |title=The Wicket World of Natas |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/5923056/the_wicket_world_of_natas |publisher=" Rolling Stone" |date=March 2, 2000 |accessdate=2008-07-19 ] Esham's genre of "acid rap" also fits comfortably in the hardcore hip hopand horrorcorecategories, as it often involves eerie mind-bending lyrics about sex, drugs, paranoia, murder, gore, and the occult. Followers of Esham include Eminem, who was associated with and often placed in the acid rap genre early in his career prior to his widespread popularity.cite book |last=Cohen |first=Sara |title=Decline, Renewal and the City in Popular Music Culture: Beyond The Beatles |year=2007 |publisher=Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. |isbn=0754632431 |pages=page 52 |quote=The music journalist and author Dan Sicko describes certain strains of Detroit hip-hop as 'an extreme, almost parodied' version of inner city life, which he links to the extremities of urban decline in the city: 'both the horrorcore of hip-hop outfits such as Insane Clown Posse, Esham and (to a lesser extent) the multi-platinum-selling Eminem, utilize shocking (and blatantly over the top narratives to give an over-exaggerated, almost cartoon-like version of urban deprivation in Detroit' (cited in Cohen and Strachan, 2005).] cite book |last=Bruce |first=Joseph |authorlink=Joseph Bruce |coauthors=Hobey Echlin |editor=Nathan Fostey |title=ICP: Behind the Paint |origdate= |origyear=2003 |origmonth=August |edition=2nd Edition |publisher=Psychopathic Records |location=Royal Oak, Michigan |isbn=034544762X |pages=pages 174—185 |chapter=The Dark Carnival ]
Alternative names for acid rap include "space rap," "stoner rap," and "trip hop," though trip hop usually refers to the ambient Bristol music genre.
Abstract Hip Hop
Hardcore hip hop
* [http://www.hallsofillusions.com/mainsite/esham/5616 Halls of Illusions: The Story of Esham]
* Dr. Octagon's "Blue Flowers" original video: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9VYzNUXGDA&feature=related]
*YouTube | id = rfmLhRzgVMU| title = Dr. Octagon's "Blue Flowers"
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