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Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

List Criteria: Should be rappers and hip hop artists who rap in the style that emerged from New York in the late '70s to early '90s.

If you're a fan of rap music, you should have at minimum a base knowledge in old school rap. If not for old school rappers, it's highly unlikely that rap would have evolved into the popular artform that it is today. Many of old school rappers are widely respected by today's biggest hip hop artists. For the sake of this list, all of the old school hip hop artists featured became popular during the rap's golden age, which occurred during the 1980s through the mid-1990s. The diversity, innovation and ultimately, the influence of of these old school rappers cannot be stated enough.

So, who are the best old school rappers? If you know old school rap, you know that the likes of Run DMC, De La Soul, Eric B & Rakim, Gang Starr, Grandmaster Flash and the Beastie Boys. These names are widely recognized as some of the best old school rappers. If not for the contributions of these artists, old school rap, and thus, good rap music would cease to exist.  Who are your favorite old school rap artists?

That said, it's to you to determine the best old school rap. If you are familiar with old school rap and old school rappers, feel free to chime in with your vote. If you notice someone isn't on this list and should be, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best old school hip hop bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest old school hip hop musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular old school hip hop bands that you might've heard of.

Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers Bands/Musicians
  • 8 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1297
    - 242

    the people's #1 & added by sebiesback

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  2. 2
    + 902
    - 119

    added by sebiesback
    Straight Outta Compton, Niggaz4Life, Greatest Hits

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  3. 3
    + 1113
    - 194

    added by greencactusdude
    AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate

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  4. 4
    + 801
    - 115

    added by CalebMongan
    Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again

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  5. 5
    + 557
    - 124

    most listed & added by danman082200
    Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Wu-Tang Forever, 8 Diagrams

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  6. 6
    + 648
    - 162


    Raising Hell, Run-D.M.C., King of Rock

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  7. 7
    + 552
    - 164


    Paid in Full, Let the Rhythm Hit ’em, Don’t Sweat the Technique

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  8. 8
    + 764
    - 297

    added by StasKogan
    The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show

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  9. 9
    + 474
    - 111

    added by GabrielDylanArteaga
    Stankonia, Aquemini, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

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  10. 10
    + 562
    - 155


    It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, ...

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  11. 11
    + 513
    - 138


    Radio, Mama Said Knock You Out, Mr. Smith

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  12. 12
    + 335
    - 120


    3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate

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  13. 13
    + 395
    - 132


    The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's ...

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  14. 14
    + 248
    - 36

    added by but chickens double d
    Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal

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  15. 15
    + 389
    - 141


    Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head

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  16. 16
    + 362
    - 103


    The Message, The Message, The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash

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  17. 17
    + 435
    - 142


    Cypress Hill, Black Sunday, III - Temples Of Boom

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  18. 18
    + 229
    - 57

    added by NanceyFlowersHarris
    When Disaster Strikes…, The Big Bang, The Coming

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  19. 19
    + 306
    - 106


    Rapper's Delight, Sugarhill Gang, Jump on It!

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  20. 20
    + 153
    - 21

    added by nathan-endless
    Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E

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  21. 21
    + 335
    - 162

    added by sebiesback
    Get Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King ...

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  22. 22
    + 240
    - 103


    Strictly Business, Business Never Personal, Unfinished Business

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  23. 23
    + 198
    - 64

    added by PedroManuelFroisCampagnolo
    The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep

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  24. 24
    + 296
    - 77

    ranked low on reranks & added by GabrielDylanArteaga
    The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, People's Instinctive Travels and ...

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  25. 25
    + 124
    - 35


    Long Live the Kane, It's a Big Daddy Thing, Daddy's Home

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  26. 26
    + 203
    - 94


    Kurtis Blow, The Best of Kurtis Blow, America

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  27. 27
    + 184
    - 88

    added by GabrielDylanArteaga

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  28. 28
    + 282
    - 111

    ranked low on reranks
    Hard to Earn, Daily Operation, Moment of Truth

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  29. 29
    + 152
    - 56

    added by paulgag04
    Criminal Minded, By All Means Necessary, Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of ...

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  30. 30
    + 85
    - 21

    added by hannan-ibrahim
    It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

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  31. 31
    + 141
    - 111


    Hip Hop Lives, In Control, Volume 1

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  32. 32
    + 196
    - 94


    Mecca and the Soul Brother, The Main Ingredient, Good Life: The Best of ...

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  33. 33
    + 44
    - 12
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  34. 34
    + 72
    - 43

    added by NanceyFlowersHarris
    Escape, Back in Black, Funky Beat: The Best of Whodini

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  35. 35
    + 28
    - 18


    Planet Rock, Planet Rock: The Album, Return to the Planet Rock

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  36. 36
    + 114
    - 55

    added by danman082200
    Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate

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  37. 37
    + 131
    - 75

    added by sebiesback
    Bow Down, Terrorist Threats, The Best Of: The Gangsta

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  38. 38
    + 70
    - 43


    Lyte as a Rock, Seven & Seven, Act Like You Know

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  39. 39
    + 65
    - 41
    No image


    Road to the Riches, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Live and Let Die

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  40. 40
    + 54
    - 18

    added by nathan-endless
    Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded

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  41. 41
    + 62
    - 92

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Fresh, Wild, Fly and Bold

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  42. 42
    + 89
    - 69

    added by effucuz
    King, Urban Legend, Trap Muzik

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  43. 43
    + 90
    - 74

    added by GabrielDylanArteaga
    Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, Labcabincalifornia, Cydeways: The Best of ...

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  44. 44
    + 9
    - 2


    The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill

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  45. 45
    + 49
    - 29

    added by but chickens double d
    Autobiography of Mistachuck, Rock da Funky Beats / Dance With You, An ...

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  46. 46
    + 12
    - 13


    Rappin' and Rocking the House, Do You Want to Rock (Before I Let Go), ...

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  47. 47
    + 10
    - 14
    No image


    The Treacherous Three, Old School Flava, Old School Flava

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  48. 48
    + 10
    - 15
    No image


    Hey You, Ready for Battle, 30 Years to the Day

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  49. 49
    + 21
    - 12

    added by micah-stewart
    Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), Blowout Comb, Trip the ...

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  50. 50
    + 70
    - 81

    added by danman082200
    Flavor Flav

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