Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
New school hip hop
New school hip hop is a rarely-heard term referring to hip hop created later in the form's development, contrasted with old school hip hop. There is no exact division, with the dividing line being variously placed in the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. Run-D.M.C.'s Run-D.M.C. (1984, 1984 in music) is one oft-cited boundary marker. The track "Sucker MC's" by Run-D.M.C. is often seen as the first new school track, although nowadays most people see it as old school rap because it is from the (first half) of the 1980s.
Unlike old school rap, which was first based on disco hits (e.g. Rapper's Delight was based on Good Times by Chic) and later consisted of electronic grooves (e.g. Planet Rock, the first electro funk track) while still often retaining melodies, new school rap first focused on simple electronic beats (Sucker MC's) and later samples from Ultimate Breaks and Beats became more important (eg Peter Piper by Run-D.M.C.).
Around 1990, groups like Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force were seen as old school rap groups; groups like Run DMC, Eric B and Rakim and EPMD were seen as new school rap groups whereas groups like Kwamé and the New Beginning and De La Soul were seen as now school or next school rap groups.
During the mid-1990s, many people began to view all rap from the eighties as old school rap. This is not a very useful definition, because it does not do justice to the different styles developed during the 1980s.
among those are:
- early old school rap: usually, party raps backed by a live disco band (eg Zulu Nation Throwdown by Afrika Bambaataa, The Breaks by Kurtis Blow)
- electro funk: usually, melodies and electronic beats accompanied by fast rapping (eg, Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa; but also The Message by Grandmaster Flash)
- golden age of rap: beats and other samples by James Brown and other artists featured on the Ultimate Breaks and Beats series; sampling was not used in early old school rap, but became common pratice in the so-called golden age; earlier known as new school rap. examples: Strictly Business by EPMD, Public Enemy, Run DMC, Beastie Boys, Kid N Play, Salt N Pepa, Heavy D, MC Shan, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane.
- miami bass: mainly electro-based, bass-heavy kind of rap, originally from Miami. The style can be seen as the mother of late 90s crunk music.
- gangster rap: pioneered by Schoolly D, Boogie Down Productions, Ice T and NWA, this term refers to rap music with lyrics that deal with crime. The style became especially popular in the south of the U.S., with groups like the Geto Boys and later, in the 1990s, Three Six Mafia and Master P.
- ragga rap/raggamuffin hip hop: pioneered by Boogie Down Productions, Asher D and Daddy Freddy and others.
- in 1989, De La Soul's first tracks and their album Three Feet High and Rising came out. De La Soul and others, such as the Jungle Brothers, Kwamé, A Tribe Called Quest, Masters of Ceremony began experimenting with different styles; they came to be seen as the next school or now school of rap; a term which is now of course only of historical interest.
The main differences between old school rap and new school rap may be characterised thus: old school rap didn't use any samples - the technique was only made widely available in the mid-1980s - and was based mainly on disco and funk hits, played by live bands, new school rap became to be characterised by an abundance of samples, especially from funk records, but also from many other genres.
During the mid-90s, old school rap became to be a term used for all rap of the 1980s - making it a rather useless term.
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