The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

43k votes 7.4k voters 510k views 122 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
  • 12 ReRanks
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  1. 51
    + 71
    - 67

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

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  2. 52
    + 54
    - 14

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, East Coast hip hop

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  3. 53
    + 72
    - 130

    often listed & 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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  4. 54
    + 49
    - 27

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

    ;
  5. 55
    + 39
    - 16
    Heavy D & The Boyz is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    added by Coolza

  6. 56
    + 38
    - 48


    Hip hop music, Rap music, Funk

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  7. 57
    + 37
    - 8

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

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  8. 58
    + 36
    - 43
    No image


  9. 59
    + 39
    - 12

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

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  10. 60
    + 96
    - 125

    added by danman082200
    Hip hop music

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  11. 61
    + 44
    - 20

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, Rock music, Funk

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  12. 62
    + 25
    - 38
    No image

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Hip hop music

    ;
  13. 63
    + 38
    - 18

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

    ;
  14. 64
    + 31
    - 48

    often listed & added by François Montpas
    Hip hop music

    ;
  15. 65
    + 31
    - 14

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, West Coast hip hop

    ;
  16. 66
    + 32
    - 10

    added by MarylyleMcCue
    Hip hop music, New jack swing

    ;
  17. 67
    + 22
    - 26

    added by jonathan-guerra
    East Coast hip hop

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  18. 68
    + 32
    - 55


    Hip hop music

    ;
  19. 69
    + 91
    - 149
    The Cold Crush Brothers is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop

  20. 70
    + 26
    - 47


    Hip hop music, Electro

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  21. 71
    + 39
    - 36

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

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  22. 72
    + 39
    - 63

    added by jfergusonsaints
    Hip hop music, Dirty rap

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  23. 73
    + 54
    - 88

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

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  24. 74
    + 26
    - 15

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop

    ;
  25. 75
    + 11
    - 22

    added by Genea Nicole Wall
    Hip hop music

    ;
  26. 76
    + 19
    - 36

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

    ;
  27. 77
    + 29
    - 28

    added by Coolza
    Hip hop music

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  28. 78
    + 109
    - 142


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

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  29. 79
    + 18
    - 7

    added by MarylyleMcCue
    Hip hop music

    ;
  30. 80
    + 19
    - 12

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

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  31. 81
    + 10
    - 25

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

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  32. 82
    + 75
    - 107


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

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  33. 83
    + 69
    - 90


    ;
  34. 84
    + 14
    - 17

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

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  35. 85
    + 16
    - 9

    added by MarylyleMcCue
    Hip hop music

    ;
  36. 86
    + 65
    - 96


    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop

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  37. 87
    + 8
    - 33

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

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  38. 88
    + 12
    - 38

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

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  39. 89
    + 74
    - 106


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

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  40. 90
    + 28
    - 6

    ranked low on reranks & added by austin-pezzello
    Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop

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  41. 91
    + 73
    - 117


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

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  42. 92
    + 19
    - 2

    ranked low on reranks & added by Jacques Wakefield

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  43. 93
    + 35
    - 60


    Old-school hip hop

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  44. 94
    + 11
    - 37
    No image

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

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  45. 95
    + 61
    - 95


    Old-school hip hop, Electro hop, Electro

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  46. 96
    + 42
    - 75


    Old-school hip hop, Electro, Freestyle music

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  47. 97
    + 22
    - 7
    Sugar Hill Gang is listed (or ranked) 97 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

    ranked low on reranks & added by Jacques Wakefield

  48. 98
    + 32
    - 72
    Jimmy Spicer is listed (or ranked) 98 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers


    Old-school hip hop

  49. 99
    + 58
    - 102


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

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  50. 100
    + 16
    - 8

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

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