Emo rap is a sub-genre of Hip Hop that implements some musical aspects of Emo, varying in many different styles. Taking elements more specifically from Hip-hop, Emo, Trap, Alternative Rock and Cloud Rap, Nu Metal , Pop Punk, Indie Rock, Post-Hardcore and Alternative R&B . emo rap finds its significance in blending moody production, provocatively dark lyricism, and sullen artist imagery. Emo rap artists tend therefore to have a mournful delivery when flowing over their emo influenced hip hop music. Sampling is also a widely used method to create emo rap, with many artists rapping, crooning, and singing over Midwest Emo, Emo-Pop, and Pop Punk samples. This genre also contributes to the "emo revival" phenomenon, which started in the early 2010s.
In the late 2000s, references to the "emo rap" term were already being made, crediting for instance Kid Cudi's Man on the Moon: The End of Day album for incorporating some emo elements in the lyricism like mentions of concepts like depression, loneliness, and anxiety. Allusions to Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak and Drake's So Far Gone were also being made. However it was the early 2010s that multiple artists such as BONES, Black Kray, and Yung Lean were starting to bring stylistic techniques of emo, melancholic lyricism, and lethargy into hip hop and were getting more attention from listeners and publicists. Seemingly underground artists soon took it upon themselves to flagship this style of hip hop and emo into their own music, with formerly named Yung Bruh, Lil Peep, and the GothBoiClique putting material out in the mid 2010s, with more focused attempts to establish emo rap as a music genre.
Around the mid to late 2010s, emo rap broke through the mainstream and gained renowned popularity and critical attention with the main examples of Lil Peep's [song]"Awful Things"[/song], XXXTENTACION's [song]"Jocelyn Flores"[/song], Lil Xan's [song]"Betrayed"[/song], Trippie Redd [song] "Love Scars" and most notably Lil Uzi Vert's [song]"XO Tour Llif3"[/song] being emo rap hits. The genre continues to work on and establish its relevancy in the midst of contemporary hip hop. .