Early Hip Hop Artists

People that listen to various types of music may find it easy to list several early hip hop artists. Hip hop began as a music movement in the late seventies and early eighties. The culture has evolved to include a following that includes graffiti writing, DJing and beatboxing. Continue reading to learn if you know any of these early hip hop artists.

  1. Fat Boys. Members of the trio include Darren "The Human Beat Box" Robinson, Mark "Prince Markie Dee" Morales, and Damon "Kool Rock-ski" Wimbley. The group was from Brooklyn in New York and grew up in the same neighborhood. The Fat Boys were three rotund early hip hop artists that displayed humoroua light lyrics that featured human percussion. Their self-titled first album debuted in 1984 with popular singles “Fat Boys” and “Stick ‘em.” The trio appeared in film “Krush Groove” with artists Run-D.M.C. and L.L. Cool J. Original member, Darren Robinson, died of a heart attack in 1995.
  2. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5. Members of the group include Joseph "Grandmaster Flash" Saddler, Melvin "Melle Mel" Glover, Nathaniel "Kidd Creole" Glover, Eddie "Mr. Ness/Scorpio" Morris, Robert Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins and Guy "Rahiem" Williams. The early hip hop artists formed in 1979 and blended funk along with hip hop. Their first album, “The Message,” had a single with the same name that labeled the performers as hip hop royalty. In 2007, the group was admitted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
  3. Public Enemy. The group Public Enemy had many members including Carlton Douglas “Chuck D” Ridenhour, William Jonathan “Flavor Flav” Drayton, and Jrand Norman “DJ Terminator X” Rogers. An addition to the New York based group was Professor Griff and his unit, S1W. These early hip hop artists' first album was the 1987, “Yo! Bum Rush the Show,” and they became known for their politically enhanced aggressive lyrics. Two of their most popular works include the songs “Fear of a Black Planet” and “Fight the Power.”
  4. De La Soul. The trio of De La Soul includes Kelvin “Posdnuos”Mercer, David Jude “Trujgoy the Dove” Jude and Vincent “Pacemaster Mace” Mason. These early hip hop artists formed in 1987 in Staton Island, New York. Their first album, “3 Feet High and Rising,” first appeared in 1989 and featured the single “Me, Myself and I.” The group is highly regarded due to their smart lyrics conveyed with humor. The group is a pioneer of alternative hip hop that infused jazz and a message of peace.
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