Old School Rap/Hip-Hop
The label Old School is a compliment and a curse, given to any artist whose style is influential yet passé. Originally, it referred to the South Bronx, New York youth who created hip-hop culture in the mid-to-late-'70s. Hip-hop consisted of what was later called "the four elements" -- DJ'ing, graffiti, MC'ing and breakdancing. The music was influenced by Jamaican sound system culture: The DJ was the star who rocked the block party with a mix of heavy funk, and the MCs complemented the DJ with light-hearted disco rhymes. This era culminated in the genre's first hit single, Sugarhill Gang's 1979 classic "Rapper's Delight." In the early '80s, hip-hop's pioneers recorded early successes like Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock," Kurtis Blow's "The Breaks" and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The Message." However, they were quickly superseded by the "new school" of younger artists like the Fat Boys and Whodini, who made hip-hop's first gold and platinum albums. Run-D.M.C. claimed on its 1985 classic "King of Rock," "all brand new, never ever old school!" Of course, Run-D.M.C. is now Old School, too.