Old School Hip Hop, also known as “old skool”, refers to the earliest period of hip hop music, from its emergence in the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. The genre originated in the Bronx, New York City, and is characterized by its relatively simple raps and emphasis on live DJing (including turntablism and breakbeats).
Key artists from the Old School era include DJ Kool Herc, often credited as the “father of hip hop” for his role in developing the breakbeat, Grandmaster Flash, a pioneer in DJing techniques like scratching and mixing, and the Sugarhill Gang, whose song “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979 became the first hip hop song to become a top 40 hit.
Other notable Old School artists include Afrika Bambaataa, who was influential in developing the electro style of hip hop, and groups like Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys, who helped bring hip hop into the mainstream in the mid-1980s.
Old School Hip Hop is often characterized by its funk- and soul-influenced beats, use of turntablism and extended instrumental breaks, and party-oriented lyrics. It’s distinct from later periods of hip hop, including the “New School” of the mid-to-late 1980s (with artists like LL Cool J and Public Enemy), and the “Golden Age” of the late 1980s to early 1990s (featuring artists like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest).
For more comprehensive information, visit the Old School Hip Hop page on Wikipedia.