Music

The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers  

Ranker Music
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150.9k votes 22.1k voters 961.7k views 199 items

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 classic 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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26
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, The Art of Storytelling, The Ruler's Back
27
A Tribe Called Quest is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
GabrielDylanArteaga added
The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
28
Mobb Deep is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
PedroManuelFroisCampagnolo added
The Infamous, Blood Money, The Infamous Mobb Deep
29
De La Soul is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate
30
Grandmaster Flash and th... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
The Message, The Message, The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash
31
Ice-T is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Coolza added
Power, O.G. Original Gangster, Home Invasion
32
Big Daddy Kane is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Long Live the Kane, It's a Big Daddy Thing, Daddy's Home
33
Method Man is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Coolza added
Tical, 4:21... The Day After, The Riddler
34
KRS-One is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
nathan-endless added
Hip Hop Lives, Return of the Boom Bap, Criminal Minded
35
The Sugarhill Gang is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Rapper's Delight, Sugarhill Gang, Jump on It!
36
Big L is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
austin-pezzello added
The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Children of the Corn: The Collector's Edition
37
Dj Jazzy Jeff & The ... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
GabrielDylanArteaga added
38
Naughty by Nature is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Coolza added
Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury, Anthem Inc., Poverty's Paradise
39
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Krystal Soo-jeong Oh added
E. 1999 Eternal, BTNHResurrection, The Art of War
40
Warren G is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Krystal Soo-jeong Oh added
Regulate... G Funk Era (Special Edition), Prince Igor (feat. Warren G & Sissel), I Want It All
41
Chuck D is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
but chickens double d added
Autobiography of Mistachuck, Rock da Funky Beats / Dance With You, An Interview With Chuck D
42
Common is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
danman082200 added
Resurrection, Be, Like Water for Chocolate
43
Salt-N-Pepa is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Coolza added
Very Necessary, Hot, Cool & Vicious
44
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill
45
2 Live Crew is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Coolza added
As Clean as They Wanna Be, Banned in the U.S.A., Goes to the Movies: Decade of Hits
46
EPMD is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Strictly Business, Business Never Personal, Unfinished Business
47
Gang Starr is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Hard to Earn, Daily Operation, Moment of Truth
48
Afrika Bambaataa & S... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
Planet Rock, Planet Rock: The Album, Return to the Planet Rock
49
Onyx is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
openmind added
Bacdafucup, All We Got Iz Us, Bacdafucup
50
Ludacris is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Old School Hip Hop Groups/Rappers
AaronGill added
Theater of the Mind, Word of Mouf, Back For the First Time