Rap Artists – Veterans vs New School

Rap Artists and The Changing Culture

New vs Old School Rap Artists

If you’re an ardent rap fan in your 20’s or above, you have experienced a transition in the rap music industry. Over the years, rap has developed into the new wave of music. With better technology, rap artists today have a lot more in their arsenal to create great music. This broadens the horizon of rap music, and music as a whole. With the uniting of various music genres, rap music has transformed into a versatile style. This style can be used for features on all types of music. Most old school rap artists did not have all this at their disposal. They worked with limited technology, and relied heavily on creativity to create good music. This is why the old school is said to have better lyricists, and rappers in general.

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Old School Veterans

From Big Daddy Kane to Tupac, From LL Cool J to Notorious B.I.G., from the 80’s to the 90’s, the hip-hop scene was packed with talent. These rap artists, along with many others started the wave of real lyricists. The old school rappers were true M.C.’s. They had two turn tables, drum machines, and microphones to work with. Their lyrical word play far surpassed the rappers of our time. These rappers knew how to tell stories, and how to make you feel their rhymes. Beats were so much simpler when rap started. This caused M.C.’s to keep your attention with the lyrics they spit.

rap artists public enemy

Women in Old School Rap

Missy Elliot embarked on one of the toughest careers of her life. She went head to head with many rap artists. This 45 year old American rapper, dancer, and music producer shook the music industry with her catchy tunes and style. She has a unique sound that made her likable and a crowd favorite. Missy is even Michelle Obama’s favorite all time rapper. Her music was inspirational, and definitely set a tone for the new school wave of rappers. She created the first opportunity for women in rap. She is one of the best women rappers alongside Eve, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, and many others.

Negative Connotation of Rap

Since the history of America, and her journey to full independence, there is no doubt that the black community has been at a disadvantage. Having gone through racial discrimination, slavery, and brutality it was a struggle for any Black American that lived from the 50’s to the early 80’s. This struggle created a culture of music that was soulful and heart felt. It increased the influence of religion in their culture. The older generation settled for spiritual songs that were entirely meant to uplift their spirits. However, for the younger generation, this became an opportunity for the development of rap music that addressed their issues. Old School Rap was associated with violence, drugs, and poverty which made it easier for people (who were in the same situation) to relate to.

tupac and biggie rap artists

The New Wave of Rap

From the early 2000’s to date, there’s a negative connotation that rap might be getting misunderstood. New School Rappers are representing the rap culture in the wrong light. This has seen many old school veterans not agreeing with the new school rap. They claim that the music has transformed from being a tool for pushing forward important issues (like social justice, equality, women’s rights, racial justice, and creation of employment) to basically hype music. Rap music is not being used to address any current issues in the world. The new school rap artists chase false lifestyles, flashy cars, and expensive jewelry. New school rappers have no sense of social responsibility. Rappers now use Trap beats to glorify a life of getting high, achieving fame, and getting money.

Music Differences of Old School and New School

With limited technology in the 70’s, 80’s, and early 90’s, old school rap music depended heavily on the artist’s talent, passion, and creativity. There was not much equipment to work with in the beginning. Back then, great lyrics and good flow patterns made you a great artist. With new technology, and sophisticated studio equipment, the new wave rap artists have more opportunities. Beats are so much more intricate these days, so new school artists don’t have to be as lyrical. The new school of rappers have dumbed down the message they present.

Regeneration of the Old School Style

Towards the 90’s, the regeneration of new wave rap saw many artists hit their peak in their careers. Some of the most notable 90’s new wave rap lyricists include Busta Rhymes, Eminem, the Notorious B.I.G., and Sir Mix A Lot. Baby Got Back’ (by: Sir Mix A Lot) has been remixed and reinvented by chart topping artist Nicki Minaj. Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar seem to also be considered as the top rap musicians over the years who have managed to stay relevant. Some rappers have been able to adapt an old school form of rap with a twist. Ludacris and Drake seem to be a crowd favorites, still making hits, and collaborating with new school artists.

rap artists from the 90s


Old School Rap Music will always remain relevant and important. The new generation of rappers need to pick up on this and revert to old times when great lyrics were the core of rap music. Artists like Fetty Wap and Rae Sremmurd make songs that have catchy hooks and banging beats. These songs are great for a fun night out. Old School Rap can bring this same feeling, but with the old school you get great lyrics too. The New School needs to study the techniques of the Old School, and add these techniques to today’s beats. This will create a new style of rap that will be adored by all rap heads.