Hip-hop is a global phenomenon that has infiltrated every corner of the globe and the Android Marketplace is no exception. If you’re addicted to pounding drumbeats and tongue-twisting rhymes, here are some of the best hip-hop Android Apps to keep your head nodding.
A professional DJ would probably laugh at the thought of someone using an Android phone to rock a party, but they’ve never seen Pocket DJ Vintage in action. Besides, they’re probably just jealous that you can do all of the things that they do with a 4 dollar app instead of thousands of dollars worth of mixing equipment. There are several DJ apps on the Android market place but the consensus is that Pocket DJ Vintage gives you the most bang for your buck. It boasts a retro interface that mimics a classic two-turntable setup and lets you manipulate songs from your phone’s library using all the DJ tricks you’d expect, including pitch shifting, beat matching, cross-fading, and realistic scratching sound effects. Next time you’re at a party and the music starts getting lame, plug in your Android and show your skills.
One of the most beloved aspects of hip-hop culture is its extensive use of colorful and inventive slang. At the same time, all that slang can be intimidating to hip-hop newcomers. Rap Dictionary is the prefect companion for those looking to decipher the complex language of rap music. This free app provides straightforward definitions to words and phrases spanning from the birth of hip-hop in the late seventies all the way up to today, so you’ll always remember that a “cipher” is a group freestyle rap session and that to “lamp” is to relax. It has the added bonus of reminding you which terms are outdated, so you’ll never accidentally say that something is “jiggy” again.
The drum machine is the beating backbone of hip-hop and there are a ton of drum machine apps out there that come complete with hundreds of different customizable sounds and complex interfaces. Unless you are an absolute drum machine fanatic, all these options can be overwhelming. Designed to mimic the interface of simple analog drum machines from the early 80’s, Silicon Oxide gets it right by being simple enough for a complete novice to figure out, but also has enough variable elements to keep you coming back. This app is great to have at the ready because you never know when an impromptu freestyle battle is going to break out.
Auto-tune. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying the sizable impact that it’s had on hip-hop music and beyond. If you’re an avid T-Pain fan, then you can try to create the next radio hip-hop hit using MicDroid. Just sing purposefully off-key into your Android’s internal microphone and watch MicDroid work its magic, turning your tone-deaf singing into that of a slick and soulful robot. It might be best to download this app immediately before we all decide that auto-tune is the worst thing to ever happen to music.
If you are a serious hip-hop musician, Uloops studio is a required app. There are plenty of apps to help you record and produce music, but Uloops is specifically designed for making and arranging beats and has a clean, simple interface that will be appreciated by novices and veterans alike. This app comes in a free version, but serious musicians might want to consider shelling out ten bucks for the deluxe version which allows you to mix and master, add effects, and export your creations as mp3s and ringtones. You can even use your Android Smartphone’s surprisingly powerful internal microphone to record decent sounding vocals over your tracks. Most will find this app perfect for crafting demos and jotting down song ideas, but a few ambitious artists have embraced the cell phone as its own unique medium, like rapper Coolout, who recorded an entire album using only his Android.