rap The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers  

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List Rules 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.
list ordered by

1
+ - 3,451 562
2Pac & Nas is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

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2
+ - 2,554 585
N.W.A is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
N.W.A Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Gangsta rap

3
+ - 2,575 620
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Ice Cube Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop

4
+ - 2,400 381
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
The Notorious B.I.G. Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

5
+ - 2,256 757
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Eminem Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop

6
+ - 1,709 505
Wu-Tang Clan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Wu-Tang Clan Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

7
+ - 1,298 262
Snoop Dogg is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Snoop Dogg Hip hop music, Pop music, Gangsta rap

8
+ - 1,158 234
Eazy-E is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Eazy-E Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Gangsta rap

9
+ - 1,149 413
Outkast is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Outkast Alternative hip hop, Dance-pop, Jazz

10
+ - 1,335 420
Run–D.M.C. is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Run–D.M.C. Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

11
+ - 1,077 368
Eric B. & Rakim is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Eric B. & Rakim Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Old-school hip hop

12
+ - 801 79
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Dr. Dre Hip hop music, Rap music, Gangsta rap

13
+ - 682 260
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Busta Rhymes Hip hop music, Ragga, Dancehall

14
+ - 1,040 331
Public Enemy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Public Enemy Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

15
+ - 955 354
LL Cool J is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
LL Cool J Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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16
+ - 852 424
50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
50 Cent Hip hop music, Gangsta rap

17
+ - 642 308
De La Soul is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
De La Soul Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

18
+ - 720 209
A Tribe Called Quest is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
A Tribe Called Quest Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

19
+ - 788 337
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Beastie Boys Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

20
+ - 682 295
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Slick Rick Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, East Coast hip hop

21
+ - 841 287
Cypress Hill is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Cypress Hill Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Nu metal

22
+ - 526 139
DMX is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
DMX Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop

23
+ - 619 196
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Mobb Deep Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

24
+ - 665 242
Grandmaster Flash is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Grandmaster Flash Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Electro

25
+ - 547 274
The Sugarhill Gang is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
The Sugarhill Gang Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Disco

26
+ - 525 63
Nas is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Nas Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, East Coast hip hop

27
+ - 363 141
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Big Daddy Kane Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

28
+ - 254 94
Grandmaster Flash and The Furi... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

29
+ - 330 92
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
KRS-One Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

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30
+ - 410 224
EPMD is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
EPMD Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

31
+ - 251 32
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Method Man Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

32
+ - 363 209
Dj Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh ... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

33
+ - 542 209
Gang Starr is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Gang Starr Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

34
+ - 316 143
Boogie Down Productions is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Boogie Down Productions Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

35
+ - 322 164
Westside Connection is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Westside Connection Hip hop music, Gangsta rap, G-funk

36
+ - 341 189
Kurtis Blow is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Kurtis Blow Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop

37
+ - 203 89
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Lauryn Hill Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

38
+ - 152 98
Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic F... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

39
+ - 187 42
Redman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Redman Hip hop music

40
+ - 184 124
Whodini is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Whodini Hip hop music, Electro

41
+ - 186 83
Chuck D is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Chuck D Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

42
+ - 261 143
Common is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Common Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

43
+ - 251 214
Marley Marl is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Marley Marl Hip hop music

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44
+ - 250 205
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
T.I. Hip hop music, Atlanta hip hop, Gangsta rap

45
+ - 194 116
MC Lyte is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
MC Lyte Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

46
+ - 166 112
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

47
+ - 319 181
Pete Rock & CL Smooth is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Pete Rock & CL Smooth Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

48
+ - 146 42
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Ice-T Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, Rock music

49
+ - 129 43
Salt-N-Pepa is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Salt-N-Pepa Hip hop music, Girl group, Pop rap

50
+ - 188 151
The Pharcyde is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
The Pharcyde Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, West Coast hip hop