The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

33k votes 5.7k voters 430k views 118 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. 51
    + 27
    - 10

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Jazz

    ;
  2. 52
    + 30
    - 6
    Salt-N-Pepa is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

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

  3. 53
    + 37
    - 6
    Method Man is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

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

  4. 54
    + 85
    - 108

    added by danman082200
    Hip hop music

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  5. 55
    + 26
    - 40


    Hip hop music, Rap music, Funk

    ;
  6. 56
    + 62
    - 100


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

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  7. 57
    + 60
    - 83


    ;
  8. 58
    + 30
    - 11
    Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

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

  9. 59
    + 57
    - 91


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop

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  10. 60
    + 16
    - 26

    added by François Montpas
    Hip hop music

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  11. 61
    + 24
    - 37
    No image


  12. 62
    + 16
    - 29
    No image


    Hip hop music

    ;
  13. 63
    + 37
    - 61

    added by _1443585791498
    Hip hop music, Nu metal, Rock music

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  14. 64
    + 18
    - 10

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music

    ;
  15. 65
    + 18
    - 9
    Heavy D & The Boyz is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    added by Coolza

  16. 66
    + 53
    - 88

    added by lucca-hutson
    Hip hop music, Ragga, Hardcore hip hop Tha Block Is Hot, 500 degreez, Tha Carter, Tha Carter II, The BGz, 

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  17. 67
    + 64
    - 111


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

    ;
  18. 68
    + 21
    - 17
    MC Hammer is listed (or ranked) 68 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, Pop music, House music

  19. 69
    + 27
    - 7

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

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  20. 70
    + 20
    - 48


    Hip hop music

    ;
  21. 71
    + 27
    - 66
    Jimmy Spicer is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers


    Old-school hip hop

  22. 72
    + 21
    - 5

    ranked low on reranks & added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, Dirty rap, Hardcore hip hop

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  23. 73
    + 26
    - 55


    Old-school hip hop

    ;
  24. 74
    + 28
    - 55

    added by jfergusonsaints
    Hip hop music, Dirty rap

    ;
  25. 75
    + 12
    - 29

    added by nathan-endless
    Hip hop music, Rap music, Latin hip hop

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  26. 76
    + 15
    - 42


    Hip hop music, Electro

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  27. 77
    + 15
    - 6
    Arrested Development is listed (or ranked) 77 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

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

  28. 78
    + 61
    - 101


    Old-school hip hop, Hardcore hip hop, Gangsta rap

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  29. 79
    + 33
    - 68


    Old-school hip hop, Electro, Freestyle music

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  30. 80
    + 6
    - 23
    Eyedea & Abilities is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    added by elimentx3
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Experimental hip hop

  31. 81
    + 16
    - 8
    Tone-Lōc is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, West Coast hip hop

  32. 82
    + 10
    - 21

    added by jonathan-guerra
    East Coast hip hop

    ;
  33. 83
    + 49
    - 91


    Old-school hip hop, Electro hop, Electro

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  34. 84
    + 53
    - 96


    Old-school hip hop, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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  35. 85
    + 13
    - 4

    ranked low on reranks & added by MarylyleMcCue
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, West Coast hip hop

    ;
  36. 86
    + 23
    - 53

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

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  37. 87
    + 4
    - 16

    added by Ruslan Kerimduxt
    Hip hop music, Rap music, World music

    ;
  38. 88
    + 6
    - 10
    Monie Love is listed (or ranked) 88 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, British hip hop, New jack swing

  39. 89
    + 20
    - 10
    House of Pain is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, Rock music, Funk

  40. 90
    + 17
    - 9
    Lil' Kim is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, Dirty rap, Hardcore hip hop

  41. 91
    + 7
    - 4
    Young MC is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    added by MarylyleMcCue
    Hip hop music, Pop rap, West Coast hip hop

  42. 92
    + 21
    - 53


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop

    ;
  43. 93
    + 9
    - 29

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

    ;
  44. 94
    + 10
    - 3
    Kool Moe Dee is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    added by MarylyleMcCue
    Hip hop music, New jack swing

  45. 95
    + 6
    - 4

    added by MarylyleMcCue
    Hip hop music

    ;
  46. 96
    + 21
    - 55


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop

    ;
  47. 97
    + 14
    - 55
    West Street Mob is listed (or ranked) 97 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers


    Old-school hip hop, Electro, P-Funk

  48. 98
    + 16
    - 54


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Funk

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  49. 99
    + 19
    - 51


    Old-school hip hop, Disco, Pop music

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  50. 100
    + 19
    - 50


    Old-school hip hop, Electro

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