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Old School Rap

Are you looking for some of the best old school rap artists and songs? Check out the great vidoes featured on this page!



Etymologically, the word “rap” means “fast read” or “spoke fast.” The genre of rapping has its roots in the work songs and spirituals of slavery and has many influences from the West African musical traditions. Centuries old, rapping can be traced all the way back to its African roots, where the griots, or West African historians, delivered their stories and tales rhythmically, accompanied by drums and other instruments.

While rapping is typically associated with the music industry in our current culture, rap actually occupies somewhat of a grey area in terms of the specific genre with which it should associate. Rapping can be done accompanied by a simple beat or other instrument, or it can be delivered alone. Rapping can be considered song, speech, prose, or poetry.

Although rapping is an essential ingredient in hip hop music and reggae music, rap itself is its own art form and predates the two former genres by centuries. However, because of the close ties rap has with the hip-hop industry, the terms “rapping” and “hip-hop” are often now used interchangeably, though they are distinct art forms.




Although rappers can use any topic as subject matter, some themes seem to be more prevalent than others. Old school rap, popular in the 1980s, often focused on “party rhymes,” relatively simple raps intended to excite crowds at parties. Frequently, rapping involves topics such as love, sex, violence, urbanity, and materialism. For those that miss the old school rap artists, we have featured several videos on this site with the artists and old school rap songs.

Rapping can be found everywhere you turn. If you would like to add some rap music to your music collection, one option is to download individual songs from iTunes in order to explore the different offerings from various artists to help you pick the sort of style you like best.

You can also purchase entire albums from iTunes if you know what type of old school rap songs you would like. For people who prefer hard copies of albums, as opposed to the digital versions available on iTunes, there are many stores that sell CDs from which you can obtain rap music. Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart all have large music departments and these are good places to look.

Additionally, many up and coming rap artists have their own websites on which they publish their work for people to listen to and to help their name become well known and their music circulated. These sites are a great resource for finding new as opposed to old school rap artists and staying on the cutting edge of rap.

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