The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

35k votes 6k voters 445k views 119 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
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  1. 1
    + 1,562
    - 235

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,720
    - 314

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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,042
    - 269

    most listed & added by danman082200
    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

    ;
  4. 4
    + 2,071
    - 327

    the people's #1 & added by sebiesback

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,396
    - 199

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

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1,246
    - 450

    added by StasKogan
    Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop

    ;
  7. 7
    + 742
    - 190

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

    ;
  8. 8
    + 919
    - 248


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

    ;
  9. 9
    + 772
    - 247


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

    ;
  10. 10
    + 786
    - 231


    Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

    ;
  11. 11
    + 599
    - 98

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

    ;
  12. 12
    + 717
    - 225


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

    ;
  13. 13
    + 493
    - 79

    ranked low on reranks & added by nathan-endless
    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Gangsta rap

    ;
  14. 14
    + 448
    - 121

    added by NanceyFlowersHarris
    Hip hop music, Ragga, Dancehall

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  15. 15
    + 468
    - 203


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  16. 16
    + 529
    - 203


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

    ;
  17. 17
    + 579
    - 223


    Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  18. 18
    + 616
    - 207


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Nu metal

    ;
  19. 19
    + 497
    - 166


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Electro

    ;
  20. 20
    + 410
    - 179


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Disco

    ;
  21. 21
    + 468
    - 128

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

    ;
  22. 22
    + 531
    - 260

    added by sebiesback
    Hip hop music, Gangsta rap

    ;
  23. 23
    + 365
    - 124

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

    ;
  24. 24
    + 250
    - 57

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

    ;
  25. 25
    + 210
    - 22

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, Rap music, Gangsta rap

    ;
  26. 26
    + 325
    - 166


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

    ;
  27. 27
    + 229
    - 78


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

    ;
  28. 28
    + 404
    - 164


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  29. 29
    + 268
    - 146


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop

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  30. 30
    + 130
    - 47
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  31. 31
    + 265
    - 143
    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
    + 197
    - 164

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Hip hop music

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  33. 33
    + 233
    - 98

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

    ;
  34. 34
    + 175
    - 50

    added by nathan-endless
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

    ;
  35. 35
    + 256
    - 143


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  36. 36
    + 217
    - 120

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

    ;
  37. 37
    + 87
    - 59

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  38. 38
    + 127
    - 84

    added by NanceyFlowersHarris
    Hip hop music, Electro

    ;
  39. 39
    + 118
    - 15

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

    ;
  40. 40
    + 184
    - 97

    added by danman082200
    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  41. 41
    + 103
    - 41


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

    ;
  42. 42
    + 133
    - 76


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

    ;
  43. 43
    + 118
    - 73
    No image


  44. 44
    + 116
    - 56

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

    ;
  45. 45
    + 166
    - 140

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

    ;
  46. 46
    + 140
    - 113

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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 61
    - 14

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music

    ;
  48. 48
    + 61
    - 49

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

    ;
  49. 49
    + 53
    - 8

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

    ;
  50. 50
    + 80
    - 137
    The Cold Crush Brothers is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    often listed
    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop

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