Rapcore is a subgenre of rap rock fusing vocal and sometimes instrumental elements of hip hop with punk rock, often hardcore punk. Rapcore shares traits with rap rock and rap metal, and music often overlaps between the categories. These styles became the basis for nu metal.


Rapcore originated from rap rock, a genre fusing vocal and instrumental elements of hip hop with rock. Beastie Boys, formerly a hardcore punk group, began working in the hip hop genre. Their debut album, Licensed to Ill, largely featured a rock-based sound. Biohazard is considered to be a strong influence on the genre's development. Huntington Beach-based punk band Hed PE performs a fusion of styles ranging from hip hop and reggae to punk rock, hardcore punk and heavy metal. Although they are considered to be performers in the rapcore genre, they refer to their musical style as "G-punk". Kottonmouth Kings perform a style which they refer to as "psychedelic hip-hop punk rock".

Among the first wave of bands in the genre to gain mainstream success were 311,Bloodhound Gang and Suicidal Tendencies. Rap rock and rapcore would become the basis for the nu metal genre, and some bands in this genre are known for rapping, including Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit. Although the popularity of these styles is believed to be declining, some believe that rapcore may regain popularity, with younger music fans discovering bands in the genre. Drew Simollardes of the rapcore band Reveille states that "I feel like lately it’s more appropriate. People are sick of a lot of the stuff that’s out there right now." The rapcore band Hollywood Undead, formed in 2005, became one of the most popular acts on MySpace, and enjoyed financial success with their debut album, Swan Songs.