The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

41k votes 7k voters 494k views 121 items tags f p @

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.
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 10 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,828
    - 320

    added by sebiesback
    Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Gangsta rap

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,963
    - 394

    added by greencactusdude
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop

    ;
  3. 3
    + 2,436
    - 372

    the people's #1 & added by sebiesback

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,246
    - 333

    added by danman082200
    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,659
    - 241

    added by CalebMongan
    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1,507
    - 524

    most listed & added by StasKogan
    Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop

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  7. 7
    + 1,027
    - 293


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

    ;
  8. 8
    + 854
    - 243

    added by GabrielDylanArteaga
    Alternative hip hop, Dance-pop, Jazz

    ;
  9. 9
    + 790
    - 131

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    Hip hop music, Pop music, Gangsta rap

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  10. 10
    + 878
    - 289


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Old-school hip hop

    ;
  11. 11
    + 645
    - 111

    added by nathan-endless
    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Gangsta rap

    ;
  12. 12
    + 855
    - 253


    Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

    ;
  13. 13
    + 784
    - 252


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    ;
  14. 14
    + 522
    - 152

    added by NanceyFlowersHarris
    Hip hop music, Ragga, Dancehall

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  15. 15
    + 518
    - 228


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  16. 16
    + 571
    - 231


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    ;
  17. 17
    + 638
    - 256


    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  18. 18
    + 688
    - 230


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Nu metal

    ;
  19. 19
    + 621
    - 298

    often listed & added by sebiesback
    Hip hop music, Gangsta rap

    ;
  20. 20
    + 548
    - 186


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Electro

    ;
  21. 21
    + 451
    - 200

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Disco

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  22. 22
    + 545
    - 143

    added by GabrielDylanArteaga
    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  23. 23
    + 356
    - 39

    ranked low on reranks & added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, Rap music, Gangsta rap

    ;
  24. 24
    + 335
    - 78

    added by hannan-ibrahim
    Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop

    ;
  25. 25
    + 433
    - 147

    added by PedroManuelFroisCampagnolo
    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    ;
  26. 26
    + 348
    - 185


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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  27. 27
    + 258
    - 94


    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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  28. 28
    + 448
    - 180


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

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  29. 29
    + 159
    - 58

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

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  30. 30
    + 287
    - 162


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop

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  31. 31
    + 292
    - 159
    Dj Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh ... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    added by GabrielDylanArteaga

  32. 32
    + 214
    - 30

    ranked low on reranks & added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    ;
  33. 33
    + 217
    - 61

    ranked low on reranks & added by nathan-endless
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

    ;
  34. 34
    + 254
    - 113

    added by paulgag04
    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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  35. 35
    + 211
    - 179

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Hip hop music

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  36. 36
    + 245
    - 132

    added by sebiesback
    Hip hop music, Gangsta rap, G-funk

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  37. 37
    + 280
    - 154


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  38. 38
    + 103
    - 70

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  39. 39
    + 130
    - 56


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

    ;
  40. 40
    + 139
    - 97

    added by NanceyFlowersHarris
    Hip hop music, Electro

    ;
  41. 41
    + 206
    - 112

    ranked low on reranks & added by danman082200
    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  42. 42
    + 191
    - 156

    added by effucuz
    Hip hop music, Atlanta hip hop, Gangsta rap

    ;
  43. 43
    + 148
    - 89


    Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  44. 44
    + 108
    - 12

    ranked low on reranks & added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    ;
  45. 45
    + 130
    - 67

    added by but chickens double d
    Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

    ;
  46. 46
    + 130
    - 86
    No image


  47. 47
    + 100
    - 22

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music

    ;
  48. 48
    + 154
    - 125

    added by GabrielDylanArteaga
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, West Coast hip hop

    ;
  49. 49
    + 68
    - 61

    added by micah-stewart
    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  50. 50
    + 54
    - 15

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, Girl group, Pop rap

    ;
122 +

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