A term created by the music industry to define the uniquely ambient hip hop created by Massive Attack. The genre is ever-growing, including many musical groups and artists such as Portishead, Tricky, Hooverphonic, Lamb, and Mandalay. Portishead and Tricky are the other two pioneers of the trip hop genre.
The genre came to life in Bristol England in 1987, with the birth of Massive Attack. The group was formed after the breakup of the Wild Bunch; Two of its members, "Mushroom" Vowles and Grant "Daddy G" Marshall, teaming with the graffiti artist "3D" to form Massive Attack. They prefer to be called a sound system rather than a band.
And trip hop is just that - a fusion of sounds. It can be differentiated from other musical genres by its deep beats and mellow sound. Trip hop mixes electronica, dub and hip hop, and often incorporates haunting vocals.
Although the genre has existed since 1987, it didn’t have a name until a journalist came up with the term trip hop in 1992. It should be mentioned however, that many groups that create this kind of music do not agree with being labeled, believing that labeling a style of music is ridiculous. Portishead in particular reject the term.
“For us it's about songs, lyrics and melody. It is about beats and being inspired by hip hop.”
- Geoff from Portishead.
Personally I couldn’t agree more. Trip Hop IS about the music. It’s about the unique atmosphere this form of music is able to create in a room. However, I find myself using the term as an easy way to label the collective sound that I love.
If you’re interested in checking out some trip hop you might like to listen to the artists below.