Digicore is a form of Hip Hop that developed in the late 2010s. It is characterized by frantic, bombastic, and glamourous production, commonly featuring layered, maximalist synth work and noisy basslines and rhythms/percussion derived from Trap, which serves to accompany highly melodious, auto-tuned, and hi-pitched vocal performances, usually done with breathy voice singing and sing-rapping. It frequently, though not always, features a distinctive style of vocal "glitching" or "stuttering", a vocal production technique/effect that takes the form of chopped-up, heavily processed vocal bits cut into short parts and pitched up in accordance with the melody. Furthermore, vocalists of the genre commonly utilize fast-paced, animated, and frenzied flows, resulting in a distinct, highly energetic sound. Producers often take influences from a wide, eclectic array of Electronic Dance Music genres (with many of the genres' producers having their origin in 2010s EDM) or even from Rock and Pop.
Taking influences from 100 Gecs's style of vocal manipulation and eclectic mish-mash of genres, as well as from previous underground SoundCloud-based rap trends like Drain Gang's Cloud Rap style, the genre independently emerged both in the works of David Shawty and Yungster Jack, as well as in the music of Bloodhounds-affiliated artists such as Kurtains, pitfall, Kuru, and saturn. The genre would be further popularized and developed by other then-upcoming artists like Dolly, blackwinterwells, Midwxst, osquinn, and Ericdoa, and a short-lived TikTok visual style known as "glitchcore", meant to accompany the genre's off-kilter, "glitchy" sound, would further assist its growth, and the name "glitchcore" was used to also describe the genre's vocal glitching and art style.
Digicore grew alongside the Hyperpop wave, a contemporaneous pop buzz that similarly emphasizes over-the-top, electronified vocals, and noisy production, though the two are ultimately distinct styles with different origins; digicore typically relies much more on its hip hop origins in production and vocal inflections, in contrast with hyperpop's prominent EDM leanings, where the genre ultimately has its roots. Regardless, digicore takes heavy influences from pop styles, commonly crossing over with Pop Rap. It may be additionally mixed with other trap-related styles like Plugg, PluggnB, Trap Metal, or even Drill, Bop, and HexD. Despite their differences, some producers and vocalists of the SoundCloud scene have often described their music and output as decidedly hyperpop and not digicore (or glitchcore, which some musicians distinguish from digicore), sometimes in an attempt to dissociate themselves from the TikTok wave of popularity that led to the genre's name. Some of the genre's main artists would create divergent styles following its explosion into popularity, such as dltzk's eclectic blend of EDM and digicore vocals or the more polished, cleaner sound of Glaive and Ericdoa.
Intentionally low-effort and oversaturated, DIY cover arts, often depicting video games and online pop culture references (Roblox and Minecraft in particular), are common in the genre. These visuals are coupled with many artists' habit of releasing only singles, with many even deleting and changing their material after release. Large collectives dominate the scene, with groups such as Novagang, the aforementioned Bloodhounds, Helix Tears, and GoonnCity containing many of the genre's biggest musicians. Lyrically, artists tend to focus on themes of betrayal, self-doubt, mental health, and other personal and psychological matters, though braggadocio and other more traditional hip hop lyrical subjects are common as well. Emo Rap-inspired production and vocals, such as prominent guitar samples and Emo-influenced crooning are occasionally present too. .