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
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2Pac & Nas is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

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2
+ - 2,657 619
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
+ - 2,526 411
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
+ - 2,681 642
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Ice Cube Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop

5
+ - 2,369 784
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
+ - 1,790 528
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
+ - 1,373 288
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
+ - 1,235 258
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
+ - 1,202 439
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
+ - 1,385 441
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
+ - 859 85
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Dr. Dre Hip hop music, Rap music, Gangsta rap

12
+ - 1,104 382
Eric B. & Rakim is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Eric B. & Rakim Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Old-school hip hop

13
+ - 1,067 343
Public Enemy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Public Enemy Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

14
+ - 710 275
Busta Rhymes is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Busta Rhymes Hip hop music, Ragga, Dancehall

15
+ - 978 370
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
+ - 891 440
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
+ - 748 221
A Tribe Called Quest is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
A Tribe Called Quest Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

18
+ - 654 321
De La Soul is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
De La Soul Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

19
+ - 869 299
Cypress Hill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Cypress Hill Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Nu metal

20
+ - 553 147
DMX is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
DMX Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop

21
+ - 807 350
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Beastie Boys Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

22
+ - 701 303
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Slick Rick Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, East Coast hip hop

23
+ - 579 68
Nas is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Nas Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, East Coast hip hop

24
+ - 648 207
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

25
+ - 681 254
Grandmaster Flash is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Grandmaster Flash Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Electro

26
+ - 554 286
The Sugarhill Gang is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
The Sugarhill Gang Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Disco

27
+ - 376 150
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
+ - 348 102
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
KRS-One Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

29
+ - 265 107
Grandmaster Flash and The Furi... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

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30
+ - 277 38
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Method Man Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

31
+ - 418 234
EPMD is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
EPMD Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

32
+ - 556 220
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

33
+ - 375 221
Dj Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh ... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

34
+ - 327 151
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
+ - 336 173
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
+ - 202 49
Redman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Redman Hip hop music

37
+ - 350 197
Kurtis Blow is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Kurtis Blow Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop

38
+ - 213 98
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Lauryn Hill Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

39
+ - 273 150
Common is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Common Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Alternative hip hop

40
+ - 195 91
Chuck D is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Chuck D Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Hardcore hip hop

41
+ - 154 110
Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic F... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

42
+ - 188 131
Whodini is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Whodini Hip hop music, Electro

43
+ - 255 220
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
+ - 163 49
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Ice-T Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, Rock music

45
+ - 200 123
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
+ - 255 216
T.I. is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
T.I. Hip hop music, Atlanta hip hop, Gangsta rap

47
+ - 325 189
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
+ - 169 120
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers

49
+ - 138 49
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
+ - 124 35
Naughty by Nature is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Naughty by Nature Hip hop music, East Coast hip hop