Hip-hop violin is a type of hip-hop in which the violin is used as a musical instrument. This one-of-a-kind musical style juxtaposes old and new musical styles in an intriguing way. Many people who are interested in both hip-hop styles and music theory for string instruments are drawn to this relatively new type of music.
Many types of hip-hop violin rely on a technique known as sampling, which is widely used in most types of hip-hop. Rap and hip-hop artists frequently sample other works, incorporating small chunks of sound from previously recorded material into their own recorded “tracks” or songs. Since the late twentieth century, sampling has been a popular technique in the rap and hip-hop genres.
When samples of violins are used in hip-hop violin, they are usually looped and replayed repeatedly. They’re usually played in strict rhythmic synchronicity over extremely rhythmic backbeats or other percussion tracks. The unique contrast of string sounds and hip-hop percussion is well blended as a result of this.
The violins in other types of hip-hop violin are not sampled, but rather played live over the track. The violin track is less repetitive in these situations. There could be an entire violin score written, with hip-hop percussion and other elements added later. For these types of projects, sheet music may be used as part of the composition process.
Hip-hop violin is frequently performed in groups. Beats and related music are generally mastered artists known for hip-hop percussion and tracks. Violinists can also contribute their own unique abilities to a project. It’s not uncommon to see the two different musicians, the violinist and the beat maker, billed separately on the album or song credits in finished examples of hip-hop styles with violin.
For a more mainstream audience, new artists are developing hip-hop styles with violin. With more awareness of how rap and hip-hop break out of strictly defined styles and appeal to a wider audience, this type of complex music is making its way into the larger music industry. Hip-hop violin is an example of how these genres of music can become more melodic and cross genres in order to reach a wider audience.