Difference Between Jazz and Hip Hop

Jazz vs Hip Hop

Jazz is a style of music that evolved as a result of confrontation of African music with American music. It is believed to be a confluence of music that the African slaves brought with themselves with the European music. As a genre, jazz is hard to define as it comprises of many different styles and sub genres as a result of a long 100 year history. Hip Hop is another style of music that is very similar to jazz because of cultural influences from the African Americans. Both styles of dancing, jazz and Hip Hop, appear to be very similar to outsiders because of the movements that make them being referred to as street dances. However, there are differences between jazz and Hip Hop that will be highlighted in this article.


Jazz is a genre of music that is credited to the generations of African Americans that arrived as slaves in the country and evolved when their music encountered European music in the country. Jazz is a musical tradition hard to define in words because of its over a century journey originating first in the earlier 20th century, in the southern state of New Orleans. In these 100 years, jazz has been enriched and also influenced many other styles of music such as reggae, Latin, rock, Hip Hop, and so on.

Jazz dancing is a result of the music style played at night cubs by the bands though this music was originally confined to funeral marches. Jazz music and dance steps were considered to be an expression of rebellion by the youth.

Hip Hop

Hip Hop is both the style of dancing and a style of music that seem to be a part of a culture by the same name. Some of the styles of dancing in Hip Hop are popping, locking, and breaking that has become very popular across all cultures in the country. Hip Hop music and dance was at its peak during the 70’s and the 80’s with both Hollywood movies and TV shows showcasing this form of music and dancing.

Hip Hop dance looks like a freestyle dance with the performer having the liberty to introduce improvisations suiting his style of dancing. It is a very competitive form of dancing and is taken up actively by people for entertainment, hobby, and even as a profession.

What is the difference between Jazz and Hip Hop?

• Jazz dancing involves very stylish leaps and jumps. Catwalk and moonwalk are two of the very popular steps of jazz dancing.

• Hip Hop is a style of dancing that is evolving as Hip Hop music continues to evolve. Most popular styles in Hip Hop dancing are popping, locking, and breaking.

• Jazz dancing has been taken to a cult status by performers and Hollywood celebrities, whereas Hip Hop is a much less renowned style of dancing.

• Jazz music and dancing are much older than Hip Hop music and dance having originated at the start of the 20th century.

• New Orleans is credited to be the birthplace of Jazz music where the ghettos of New York and Los Angeles are believed to be places where Hip Hop originated and became popular.

• Hip Hop is believed to be an offshoot of Jazz and most of the Hip Hop artists are themselves devotees of jazz style of music.