80s Hip Hop Music: The Best of the Decade

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for the best 80s hip hop music? Look no further than this comprehensive list of the top songs of the decade. From N.W.A. to Run-D.M.C., these are the tracks that defined a generation.


The 1980s saw the rise of hip hop music and culture. This decade is often considered the Golden Age of Hip Hop, with artists like Run DMC, LL Cool J, and the Beastie Boys becoming household names. Hip hop became more than just music during this time; it was a movement that changed the landscape of pop culture.

Today, we look back at the best hip hop music of the 1980s. From classic tracks to iconic albums, these are the essential 80s hip hop songs that defined a decade.

The Golden Age of Hip Hop

The 1980s was a defining time for hip hop music. It was the decade when the genre first emerged and began to gain popularity. Artists like Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy helped to shape the sound of hip hop and make it the phenomenon it is today. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best 80s hip hop tracks.

The Birth of Hip Hop

In the early 1970s, hip hop music began to form in the streets of New York City. DJs would play popular songs and talk over them, creating a new style of music. This new type of music quickly spread throughout the city, and soon other DJs began to experiment with it. By the late 1970s, hip hop had become a very popular genre in the United States, with many different artists beginning to release albums and singles.

The 1980s is often considered the golden age of hip hop music. This was a time when many different artists and groups were able to achieve mainstream success. In addition, the 80s saw the development of several subgenres of hip hop, such as electro and graffiti. Many of the most iconic hip hop songs and albums were released during this decade.

The Rise of Gangsta Rap

In the late 1980s, a new style of hip hop emerged from the West Coast of the United States. This new style, which came to be known as gangsta rap, was characterized by its aggressive lyrics and themes. Gangsta rap artists often rapped about the violence and poverty that they experienced in their inner-city neighborhoods.

One of the most famous gangsta rap songs of all time is ” Straight Outta Compton” by N.W.A. This song, which was released in 1988, describes the conditions in Compton, California, which was one of the most violent and crime-ridden neighborhoods in America at the time. “Straight Outta Compton” helped to launch the careers of several members of N.W.A., including Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, who would go on to become two of the most successful and influential hip hop artists of all time.

The Commercialization of Hip Hop

In the 1980s, Hip Hop music became more popular and mainstream with the help of the media. This was the decade when Hip Hop music was commercialized and turned into a billion-dollar industry. This commercialization of Hip Hop music had both positive and negative effects on the music and the culture.

The Death of Hip Hop

In the early 1980s, hip hop was becoming more mainstream with the release of commercially successful songs like “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang. However, many purists argue that this was the beginning of the death of true hip hop, as it became more commercialized and focused on making money rather than art.

The 1990s saw a further decline in the quality of hip hop, as gangsta rap became the dominant force in the genre. This type of rap often glorified violence and drug use, and many believe that it contributed to the real-life violence that plagued many urban communities during this decade.

By the 2000s, hip hop was largely dominated by pop music sensibilities, and many argue that it has lost its way completely. Some believe that hip hop is no longer a viable form of artistic expression, while others maintain that it still has potential if it can return to its roots.

The Legacy of Hip Hop

Hip hop is a genre of music that was created by African American and Latino youth in the 1970s. It is characterized by its use of sampled beats and rhythms, often from funk and soul music. Rap, a style of vocals that is spoken or chanted over the beats, is also a key element of hip hop. Hip hop has been commercialized in the past few decades, with artists such as Jay-Z and Kanye West becoming some of the biggest names in popular music. However, the genre has also been criticized for its portrayal of violence and drug use, as well as its objectification of women.

Similar Posts