No matter what kind of media you like, it can all be organized into genres. Genres are like umbrellas we create to categorize and organize what we watch or listen to, like TV shows, music, movies, podcasts, books, and magazines. You can even fit video games, blogs, apps, and radio channels into genres!
We’ve all heard of romance novels and comedy shows. These are just two examples of what a genre can be.
Within the larger and more common genres (like hip hop music), there are sub-genres. So when we talk about hip hop music as a genre, we could specify sub-genre by naming lo-fi hip hop or old-school hip hop.
If you think of genre categories like a branching tree, genres are the trunk, sub-genres are the growing branches, and micro-genres are the leaves. Micro-genres are hyper-specific genres that describe a small niche within a given genre.
You’re likely less familiar with micro-genres than genres or sub-genres. Have you ever heard of cloud rap, hyperpop, or vaporwave? These are all micro-music-genres.
If we go back to the tree metaphor, fusion genres exist when the branches get tangled, and we can’t seem to make out which leaf belongs to which branch.
Fusion genres are extremely common but often difficult to decipher since they contain notable attributes from two distinct genres.
In fact, many of the genres we know today can be considered fusion genres from popular genres of the past. If we consider hip hop a fusion of soul, funk, disco, and dub, it could be a fusion genre.
However, jazz rap is a completely distinct fusion genre from hip hop that features spoken word poetry rap lyrics over a jazz instrumental.