Top Rappers of the 80s

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The rap scene today isn’t close to what it was in the ’80s. When you look back at rap pioneers like The Sugar Hill Gang, Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash they were true indie MCs toiling away in a little known underground movement. There were no diamond rings and expensive cars in the early part of the ’80s since rap wasn’t mainstream enough to garner the millions today’s rappers earn in a week. When rap exploded with the help of the Run DMC/ Aerosmith collaboration on “Walk This Way”, the music industry began to accept rap as a credible commercial genre of its own… and the rest is history.

The rap stars of the ’80s laid the foundation for what we hear today. Most acts had a lifespan of two or three years while a select few have survived throughout the decades, with some still making music today. As the rap scene continues to evolve, here’s a look at our “Top 16 Rappers of the ’80s”.

Big Time Honorable Mentions:

You can’t make a list of ’80s rappers without giving props to…

Kool Moe Dee
De La Soul
Digital Underground
Biz Markie
Schooly D
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

On to the top 16

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