Depending on your age, your idea of the 10 best old school rap lyrics could vary in terms of when you consider "old school" to be. Being that hip hop is a genre that has only been around since the 1970's, this list of old school rap lyrics has a cut-off date of 1989. Enjoy these 10 best rap lyrics of the old school era, and enjoy what helped inspire the more recent hip hop music.
- Eric B and Rakim – "I Ain't No Joke" "Write a rhyme in graffiti and, every show you see me in, deep concentration, cause I'm no comedian." Rakim's out school rap lyrics are like discovering buried treasure during a recession. He commands your undivided attention with ultimate bravado and intelligence.
- Special Ed – "I Got It Made" "I'm not a trader if what you got is greater I'll trade but maybe later, cause my waiter made potato n' alligator soufflé — I got it made". This is just a total transformation of the English language into absolute entertainment. It is hard to believe that these old school rap lyrics came from a teenager.
- Public Enemy – "Fight The Power" "I'm Black and I'm proud I'm ready and hyped plus I'm amped, Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps." Chuck D makes an announcement that is as powerful as it is honest. The unfortunate stupidity and ignorance that is associated with racism faced defeat with this song in particular.
- Kool G Rap – "Bad to the Bone" "Big spender, cause I'm a winner like Bruce Jenner, I burn all beginners and let 'em simmer like a TV dinner." This adrenaline-packed lashing of lyrics smashes most out school and new school artists. And the crazy part is that this is just a section of what he had to offer lyrically on that song.
- De La Soul – "Me Myself and I" "Write is wrong when hype is written on the Soul, De La that is, Style is surely our own thing not the false disguise of show-biz". You have to love these old school lyrics about De La remaining true to who they are, not to a manufactured image. They put the media's rumors on blast as well.
- Slick Rick – "Hey Young World" "Don't admire thieves. Hey they don't admire you, their time's limited, hardrocks too." The expiration date of the thug life has never sounded more clear then with these old school rap lyrics. Rick lead by example with this admirable message of responsibly.
- Monie Love – "Ladies First" "Desperately stressing I'm the daughter of a sister, who's the mother of a brother who's the brother of another." Monie Love joined Queen Latifah for this classic about feminist solidarity, gender equality. and determination. Follow that family tree in her lyrics, and you will realize that the old school wasn't simplistic.
- Big Daddy Kane – "Ain't No Half-Steppin'" "The best oh yes I guess suggest the rest should fess, don’t mess or test your highness." Big Daddy's lyrics showed that the old school took pride in verbal expertise. He slams enough rhyming words into this phrase that you wonder when he was able to take a breath.
- N.W.A. – "Express Yourself" "I'm expressing with my full capabilities, and now I'm livin in correctional facilities." Dr. Dre sums up how censorship has challenged the freedom of speech we are supposed to be entitled to. This unfortunate consequence proves the point of the entire song.
- Kid & Play – "Gittin' Funky" "A style that's bold, so cold that it'll freeze ya, numb your mind, give ya amnesia". These old school rap lyrics were all about rocking the mic and having fun. And yes, this was even before this high-top hair-styled duo starred in movies like "House Party."
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