Old School Rap

Old School Rap style is used by New York City rap artists of the late 1970s and early 1980s, who are very fast. Old school rap is distinguished from other styles by its relatively simple rapping, in which most lines are about the same length and speech rhythms rarely change direction as the beats progress.

Classify Noises and Effects

If the modulation (lowering of the voice) misses the beat, it doesn’t last long; the sound quickly returns to its original palette for a consonance (harmonization).

The focus was not on the lyrical aspect of the music, but compared to the socially conscious Grandmaster Flash Crew, who pushed the boundaries of rap music, old school was a world apart. Most old school rap songs began at urban parties and discos, where they were often funny and lighthearted.

Old school rap provided a solid foundation for female rap, but neither Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five nor the Sugarhill Gang were more popular. Some were mixed with synthesizers. This type of music, with or without rap, was called electro.

An Overview of the Genre

The history of old school rap albums began in 1979 with the release of “King Tim III” by Fatback and “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang, but the trend had been developing for about ten years before that.

Before Run-D.M.C. came out with their sound and hardcore urban direction in 1983 and 1984, Sugarhill Records ruled the music business and became the center of old school rap.

Their sound and style quickly took over the entire rap scene, making old school and funk, which were popular in the clubs in the 1970s, seem like a thing of the past.

Compared to the intricate rhythms and lyrics of contemporary rap or even hip-hop (which debuted less than ten years after “Rapper’s Delight”), the direction of old school rap may seem antiquated and a little slow.


No matter what era we live in, the best old-school songs continue to be the most popular party music. Considering the active growth of music culture, this is unexpected.

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