Alternative hip hop (also known as alternative rap and experimental hip hop) is a subgenre of hip hop music that encompasses a wide range of styles that are not typically identified as mainstream. AllMusic defines it as comprising "hip hop groups that refuse to conform to any of the traditional stereotypes of rap, such as gangsta, bass, hardcore, and party rap. Instead, they blur genres drawing equally from funk and pop/rock, as well as jazz, soul, reggae, and even folk."Alternative hip hop developed in the late 1980s and experienced a degree of mainstream recognition during the early-to-mid 1990s. While some groups such as Arrested Development and The Fugees managed to achieve commercial success before breaking up, many alternative rap acts tend to be embraced by alternative rock listeners rather than hip-hop or pop audiences. The commercial and cultural momentum was impeded by the simultaneous emergence of significantly harder-edged West Coast gangsta rap. A
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