The Best of Old School Hip Hop (1983-1994)
It’s said the most influential music of your life occurs when your growing up as a kid. For those born in the 70s and grew up in the 80′s, Old School Hip Hop will always have a special place in the heart.
In the best of times and worst, during our childhood music is the sounds track of our coming of age journey. So to all those 80s kids, STAND UP! and lets take a trip down memory lane and remember a time before Lil Wayne, G-Unit, P-Diddy, Rick Ross, Souljboy, and rest of today’s superstars of Hip Hop.
The great thing about Old school hip hop was the variety of sounds, styles, artists and genres.
If you pumped your right fist into the air and shouted “Fight The Power”, guess what you were blasting out Public Enemy and X-Clan from your boom box
The smooth brothers were rockin the Gumby fade, Big Daddy Kane and LL Cool J was the sh!t.
You had Queen Latifia with Black Reign, Slick Rick rapping about Young Love, A children’s Story .. then got shipped away to prison at the height of his fame!
Then we can’t forget about getting down with the kings —> RUN-D.M.C. !!! They created the original blueprint of how to develop a mass appeal and $$$ from Madison Avenue.
Shout out to the Beastie Boys and 3rd Base for laying down some wicked lyrics and beats which added flavor the moment.
We all know, Hip Hop started on the East Coast, but with out the West Coast hip hop wouldn’t have achieved the worldwide success it now enjoys!
If you want to learn out old school West Coast Hip Hop, all you do is close your eye’s and shout out the following superstars: Easy E, Ice T, N.W.A, Dre, Ice Cube & Snoop Dogg!
The Best of the Best List
25. The World’s Greatest Entertainer – Doug E. Fresh (1988)
The first human beatbox in the rap world, and still the best of all time, Doug E. Fresh amazed audiences with his note-perfect imitations of drum machines, effects, and often large samples of hip-hop classics.
By 1985, Fresh was one of the biggest names in rap music, and his first single for Reality, “The Show/La Di Da Di,” became a hip-hop classic.
It was recorded with his Get Fresh Crew, including MC Ricky D (only later to gain fame as Slick Rick), along with Barry Bee and Chill Will. His first LP, 1987′s Oh, My God!, featured most of his showpieces, like “Play This Only at Night” and “All the Way to Heaven,” along with nods to reggae and even gospel.
24. Licensed to Ill – Beastie Boys (1986)
In 1979, three New York teenagers formed a punk band called the Young Aboriginals. By the time of their first album in 1986, two members had left, two more had replaced them, they were renamed the Beastie Boys, and they had converted to hip-hop.
But while hip-hop was always built on elements of the punk ethic, it was the Beastie Boys who got closest to merging both ideals into a musical whole.
Specifically, they rapped, scratched and sampled like a hip-hop act; but unlike hip-hop, they sampled guitar-heavy rock rather than jazz or funk, and when their rapped lyrics weren’t discussing parties or hamburgers, there was the in-your-face rebelliousness of punk.
That 1986 debut, Licensed to Ill, was a revelation for its combination of rap and metal, exemplified by the hit single “(You Gotta) Fight for the Right (to Party)”. The album sold nine million copies and was a landmark for hip-hop.
23. Black Reign – Queen Latifah (1993)
Queen Latifah was certainly not the first female rapper, but she was the first one to become a bona fide star. She had more charisma than her predecessors, and her strong, intelligent, no-nonsense persona made her arguably the first MC who could properly be described as feminist.
Her third album, Black Reign, was the first album by a female MC ever to go gold, a commercial breakthrough that paved the way for a talented crew of women rappers to make their own way onto the charts as the ’90s progressed.
Latifah herself soon branched out into other media, appearing in movies and sitcoms and even hosting her own talk show. Yet even with all the time she spent away from recording, she remained perhaps the most recognizable woman in hip-hop, with a level of respect that bordered on iconic status.
22. Power – Ice T (1988)
There really are few words to describe the impact this album had in the history of hip-hop. You just have to listen to it yourself. But first, flash back to 1988, when just about the ruffest rhymes around were from Ice T’s contemporaries Public Enemy and KRS-One, but in a much different vein.
Whereas PE and BDP were the hip-hop movement’s conscience and mind in 1988, Ice T was the muscle flexing… “cruising in his 500 Benz sedan with his system peaked out rockin ‘Pusherman’…” indeed.
He blew up hip-hop and pieced together the remains. Everything else that followed was following his lead.
21. Low End theory – A Tribe Called Quest (1991)
But A Tribe Called Quest may have been even stronger, especially on their excellent second album, the bass-thumping, heavily jazz-sampled The Low End Theory.
According to the opening “Excursions,” rapper Q-Tip’s old man says the disc’s jazz-rap “reminded him of bebop,” and Q calls himself “prominent like Shakespeare.” But if Charlie Parker had ever written poetic couplets and backed them with funky-drummer and Ron Carter-on-bass grooves this irresistible, he might have been as big as the Bard and Brother James combined.