I. Electro Hop – Brief Overview
Electro hop (sometimes called electronic hip hop, electronic rap or robot hip hop) is the fusion of electro, electroclash, electropop, electronica, ortechno with hip hop. The music usually has dancing in mind, however some forms of the music are electronica. The electro hop movement came about after the underground electro movement on the East Coast gained popularity with artists such as Mantronix, Man Parrish, Jonzun Crew, Newcleus, Planet Patroletc. The electro sound was pioneered by Kraftwerk and was further developed by Universal Zulu Nation leader and hip hop godfather Afrika Bambaataa. This style of hip hop began with an underground fanbase based primarily in Southern California; however, today electro hop artists can be found across the United States.
II. Electro Hop - History and Development
The Electro hop movement began and remained prominent during the 1980s. Then, it slowly faded from mainstream throughout the 1990s. As of the late 2000s it has made a comeback and remains very popular with many artists like Kanye West, Three Six Mafia and the Black Eyed Peas. Its most modern form is a mix of hip hop and electro house. Some tracks may be confused with electropop, grime and hip house due to interchangeable and similar styles. Alonzo Williams was one of the early DJs on the West Coast and many consider him the godfather of West Coast hip hop. He helped usher in the electro hop scene. His Eve After Dark nightclub was important to the future of west coast hip hop and was pivotal in creating the careers of Dr. Dre and DJ Yella along with a lot of other west coast hip hop talent getting noticed. By the late 1980s the electro hop movement went into decline as a controversial new hip hop genre was developing on the West Coast: gangsta rap. This was pioneered by Ice-T and popularized by controversial and influential group N.W.A. The Unknown DJ like Dr Dre and Yella would embrace the gangsta rap genre producing for gangsta rap artists such as Compton's Most Wanted, The D.O.C, J.J. Fad, Above The Law and would reinvent hip hop and change the landscape of hip hop forever. Even though the electro hop sound went into decline, the sound became influential in the development of G-Funk and various other hip hop genres. It is also influential to many hip hop producers including The Neptunes. Artists such as Egyptian Lover still perform music today and continue their cult legacy.
Originally, hip hop evolved as a more advanced version of disco music (just as disco was a more 'technologically' advanced version of jazz and funk), incorporating spoken rhymes as the main vocals (otherwise known as MCing). After the collapse of disco and post-disco, hip hop slowly progressed as more of a vocal form of music, very popular amongst R&B and jazz listeners. This led on to hip hop music adopting R&B vocals and vice versa, within the same track of music, hence a new style of (relatively 'underground') music formed called 'Contemporary R&B'. As soon as the new style of R&B incorporated the more beat-based, almost 'robotic' vocal style of 'rap', R&B listeners saw this as more of a clubby, seemingly futuristic edge to the older style.
Electro hop music typically features harsher synthesizer sounds than other styles of hip hop, often utilizing heavily distorted lead and bass sounds, as well as "bleep"-ing square leads and abrasive digital brass effects. Drum sequencing is typically more minimal than other genres, and frequently has characteristic segments where the kick drum stops or is shortened and a march-style snare pattern prevails for 2 or more bars before returning to a typical kick drum-dominated hip hop beat. This kind of music actually has various effects to us human which influents our emotion so much. Sometimes it soothes us, and sometimes it is kind of stimulating as well as entertaining. In conclusion, electro hop music genre is one of the most valuable music genre ever created.