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.

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N.W.A is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
N.W.A Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Gangsta rap

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2Pac & Nas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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Public Enemy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Public Enemy Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

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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

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Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Dr. Dre Hip hop music, Rap music, Gangsta rap

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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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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Grandmaster Flash is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Grandmaster Flash Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Electro

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Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Mobb Deep Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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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

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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

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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

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

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EPMD is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
EPMD Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 30 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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Dj Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh ... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

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Gang Starr is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Gang Starr Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

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Boogie Down Productions is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Boogie Down Productions Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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Method Man is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Method Man Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

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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

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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

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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

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

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Whodini is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Whodini Hip hop music, Electro

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Common is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Common Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

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+ - 174 82
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

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+ - 242 211
Marley Marl is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Marley Marl Hip hop music

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Redman is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Redman Hip hop music

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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

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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

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+ - 161 109
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

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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

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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

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+ - 185 148
The Pharcyde is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
The Pharcyde Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, West Coast hip hop

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Salt-N-Pepa is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Salt-N-Pepa Hip hop music, Girl group, Pop rap