The 1980’s and early 90’s are referred to as the beginning of the Golden Age of hip hop. It is said that this era is characterized by its diversity, quality, innovation and influence. Popular artists often associated with this era include some big names like Run-D.M.C, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, A Tribe Called Quest, and Slick Rick. Also during this era the world saw the beginnings of “gangsta rap”, artists who were at the forefront of this revolution include N.W.A., Geto Boys, and Ice T. The last type of artists of this era include party oriented music with artists like MC Hammer as well as DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. Even though all these artists had similar blends with their music they can be grouped into these three sort of subgroups including the the pop or mainstream, gangsta rap, and party oriented groups. A big reason that this era was so innovative was because the genre of rap or hip hop was still young, therefore with each new style introduced it sort of “reinvented the genre and brought new inspiration” as Rolling Stone put it. This era was very important for producers as much of the music in this time was sample heavy, meaning artists were using different beats from a wide variety of sources for their own song. This brought a new type of producers to the genre because now with sampling producers relied less heavily on creating a beat from scratch which requires a strong background in formal music training and instruments. With samples producers just needed more of an ear for collages of previous mad beats and sounds. When it all comes down to it the Golden Age of hip hop/rap during the 80’s and 90’s is categorized as this because of how much the genre found its foundation and roots as well as changed and innovated.
When I think of old school hip hop and rap its certainly a lot different than how I would think of the genre today. When its origination came about in the late 70’s with groups like The Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and even Run DMC; the style was far different than what can be heard on radio stations today. In its origination, it has a much more disco and funk infused style because of the soul train movement sweeping through music at the time of its creation. The turning point in music to this genre that was new to everyone called hip hop, Complex Magazine states was with the record called “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash in the year 1982. Though rap/hip hop was around since about 1979 with the introduction of “Rappers Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang, it was’nt until “The Message” that hip hop really started picking up the pace as far as popularity and sound goes. Original rap and hip hop songs were more electro/disco backround music with funky vibes and jazzy lyrics, but with Grandmaster Flash came the first real hip hop and rap.