How Glitch-Hop Evolved

The world of electronic music is an ever-changing one. What was once considered niche and underground is now widely recognized and appreciated by a much broader audience. With each passing year, audiences discover new genres, sub-genres and micro-genres of electronic music, with styles that would have once sounded like science fiction now commonplace.

With the rise of EDM in the 2010s, almost every branch of electronic music has seen its popularity surge. From Dubstep to Trap to future house, almost every subgenre has seen a spike in attention and interest from fans around the world. Glitch-hop is one such subgenre that has recently taken off. If you’re not familiar with this style or are perhaps wondering why it’s become so popular, read on to discover more about what Glitch-Hop is and why so many people love it so much right now...

What is Glitch-Hop?

Glitch-hop is a subgenre of hip hop music that uses glitchy and distorted elements in its production. It evolved in the early 2000s as a combination of glitch, IDM and hip hop. Glitch-hop is characterised by its heavy use of synthetic sounds and IDM-inspired noises, as well as hip hop-style rhythms and breakbeats. Glitch-hop artists often sample audio that sounds like it has been corrupted in some way, such as replaying a broken record or skipping CD, or using audio that has been heavily edited or cut up, such as robotic voices or synthetic basslines. Glitch-hop is usually instrumental, with some songs using vocal samples.

What Do We Mean By “Glitch” and “Hip Hop”?

The word “glitch” can refer to a number of different technological errors, but for glitch-hop artists, it is often used to mean “error”. As in, something has gone wrong in the production process and it has created an unwanted or unexpected sound in the music. This might be the result of a computer error or the artist intentionally using flawed techniques to create the glitchy aesthetic. Glitch is also used to describe the aesthetic of glitch-hop music; an aesthetic that is often dark, gritty and corrupted.

Glitch-hop artists often intentionally glitch their music by abusing digital programs, overloading hardware or editing audio in a way that makes it sound corrupted. They also often use samples of sounds that are glitchy in nature, such as computer beeps or distorted voices. Similarly, the term “hip hop” refers to the style of music. “Hip hop” is a subgenre of music that originated in the Bronx in the 70s and 80s, characterized by its rhythmic, rhyme-based lyrics, and heavy use of samples from other songs.

What It Sounds Like

The glitch-hop sound combines glitch music, which often features chopped and distorted drum samples, distorted and heavily effected synthesized sounds, and heavy use of samples, with the hip hop beat. The hip hop beat is characterized by a strong, steady 4/4 kick drum on the one and three count, with a snare or other secondary percussion hit on the two and four count. The glitch-hop sound often features heavy reverb, echo, and glitch effects, and is often accompanied by lyrics that explore topics like pop culture, social justice, youth culture, and daily life.

Why Is Glitch-Hop So Popular Right Now?

Glitch-hop is a style that is very accessible to new audiences, and blends genres that appeal to both electronic music and hip hop fans. The glitch aesthetic is visually appealing and has a futuristic feel that appeals to the millennial audience that often identifies as fans of glitch-hop music. Glitch-hop also appeals to fans of hip hop because it features the classic 4/4 beat and often features rapping. Glitch-hop feels familiar and nostalgic to many fans, who grew up listening to glitch music in video games, watching TV shows, and consuming pop culture in general.

Glitch-hop’s popularity has spiked in the 2010s, when artists from all over the world started to fuse glitch-hop with other subgenres, creating unique and exciting hybrids. This intermingling of sounds helped glitch-hop earn more attention from listeners and increase its popularity, especially in the later years of the decade when the style was already flourishing. Glitch-hop is extremely versatile, and can be fused with other subgenres of EDM, as well as with pop and hip hop. It’s also a very easy genre to start producing, making it especially appealing to new producers who are still trying to find their sound.

How to Produce Glitch-Hop


Glitch-hop is a glitchy, futuristic take on hip hop, mashed up with EDM, and it’s currently experiencing a surge in popularity. Glitch-hop artists often sample sounds from pop culture, TV shows, and video games, and use them as the building blocks of their songs.

It is a style of electronic music that blends the glitch-style of EDM and electro with the hip hop beats and drums of classic rap. Glitch-hop is characterized by heavily chopped up, glitchy beats, heavy use of sampling and synthesized sounds, and rhythmic and lyrical content that often explores themes of pop culture, video games, and youth culture.

Glitch-Hop’s popularity is largely down to the fact that it’s a very accessible genre of music. It’s easy to understand, it’s easy to get into, and it has a very broad appeal. Unlike some other subgenres of EDM, glitch-hop doesn’t rely on the listener having a particular taste in music. You don’t need to be a fan of a certain style of music to enjoy glitch-hop. All you need is an appreciation for creative, expressive music. Glitch-Hop is an incredibly versatile genre of music, with artists able to produce everything from chill and relaxing glitch-hop to hard-hitting, aggressive glitch-hop.

If you’re a fan of EDM, glitch sounds, or hip hop, or you’re interested in exploring new subgenres of electronic music, glitch-hop is a great place to start.