Remember loving those Hip Hop mixtapes your friends made back in the day? Well, this Spotify playlist is just like those, but almost 3 hours long!
If you’re dissatisfied with the state of Hip-Hop the past 20 years or so, then I think you’ll love this Spotify playlist because it’s focused on the old school Hip-Hop from “Rappers’ Delight” through to Jurassic 5, and beyond. You’ll get a bunch of great Hip-Hop songs from the dopest underground rappers of the past several years too, and some new Hip-Hop as well.
I chose songs that are funky, faster (but sometimes cool, jazzy & mellow), happy, tell a cool story, boast clever rhyming skills, utilize real instruments or imaginative sampling, and make you feel good when you listen to them. I mostly picked groups over individual rappers. I avoided rap songs about drama in the hood and mostly negative focused tracks because I always liked the abstract story songs better.
Enjoy the top Hip Hop songs from the 80s & 90s Hip Hop, as well as some underground Hip-Hop you might not have hear (but I hope you love)…
Listen to & follow this Old School Rap and Underground Hip Hop Spotify playlist…
If you don’t have Spotify listen to some of these superb songs here…
The Best Hip Hop Songs — Underground Rappers & Old School Hip Hop
Chali 2Na is my favorite rapper so he starts it off with a Fela Kuti Afrobeat sample, “Let’s Start,” one of his more recent songs. And he appears with Jurassic 5 on “Day At The Races,” as well as in a Breakestra tune.
I love A Tribe Called Quest too so they get in this Spotify playlist with two tracks from The Low End Theory because I think it’s the best Hip-Hop record ever made. Hard to believe it’s been 25 years!
Ohmega Watts, an underground rapper who I admire for making two amazing albums on Ubiquity, appears here with the funky live instruments version of “That Sound” with the Quantic Soul Orchestra. I hope he gets back to making music like this.
My favorite song ever from The Roots, “Proceed,” on their first album appears here. Then, underground rapper, RaceCar, calls out to it on “Return of the Dig Fu” with fabulous French producer, Grant Phabao.
Of course the Beastie Boys are in this epic old school Hip-Hop Spotify playlist because they are my favorite band ever. Paul’s Boutique is my favorite album of all time because of its abundant creativity with samples and ingenious rhyme schemes. It’s my desert island album, and I think of it as much more than a Hip-Hop record since it turned me on to so much Funk & Reggae, and hid samples from Black Flag to Johnny Cash.
So, the Beastie Boys appear here with a favorite from Paul’s Boutique, “Shake Your Rump” and 2004’s “Triple Trouble,” a New York old school Hip-Hop style throwback to the days of Sugar Hill Gang.
There are several jazzy type Hip-Hop songs here, like a couple from Guru’s Jazzmatazz series. And, very underground Hip-Hop songs like “Black Birds” from ArtOfficial, a Miami band I liked when I lived there. Also, hear a couple of jazzy recent Hip-Hop songs from Marquis Hill and The Rongetz Foundation. And, of course, the Stetsasonic classic, “Talkin’ All That Jazz”.
The Quantic Soul Orchestra comes through again. This time with J-Live rhyming about a wild night over a hard Salsa groove.
DJ Nu Mark & SlimKid3 sample super soul singer, Darondo, on the smooth, “I Know, Didn’t I.”
One of my favorite Hip-Hop songs ever made is “Gimme The Music” from Nickodemus & The Real Live Show because of its African Funk sample by T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rhytmo, and its ode to a profound love of music.
At its best, Hip-Hop is humorous. That’s why I love People Under The Stairs. These dudes always come through with fresh beats & clever rhymes, never taking themselves too seriously. “Hang Loose” is one of my all-time favorite underground Hip-Hop classics.
The Wu Tang Clan gets in here too with “Uzi” and ODB’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.”
This Hip-Hop playlist wouldn’t be complete without “Rebirth of Slick” from Digable Planets — a song that saw these underground rappers go mainstream in the early 90s.
Lyrics Born can “Turn It Up” with the help of The Bamboos, one of Australia’s funkiest bands.
“Step Into A World” with KRS-One and some smart sampling. Then, Eric B. & Rakim drop their old school Hip-Hop masterpiece, “I Know You Got Soul.”
Run DMC show the new rappers these days what rhymin’ really is on “Peter Piper.”
Hear Kurtis Blow rap a great story about a bad day, on “The Breaks.” Then, enjoy the 14+ minute version of “Rappers’ Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang!
Marcelo D2 is my favorite Brazilian rapper, so he’s here with “Pilotando O Bonde Da Excursao”. I think Portuguese is well suited to Hip-Hop, and he’s the best of them all down there. He’s also a talented Samba singer, and one of the best artists in contemporary Brazilian music.
If you’re like me, and wondered why you can’t find De la Soul’s old school Hip Hop on Spotify (or anywhere else online)…this interesting article in The New York Times explains the sad details.
Fortunately, there’s a new De La Soul album for 2016 — And, the Anonymous Nobody. They produced the record themselves & funded it with one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns for an album ever. Watch a cool interview with their classic producer, Prince Paul, in Wax Poetics. Listen to their funky new single “Pain” featuring Snoop Dogg here.
The Pharcyde was always one of my favorite Hip-Hop groups for its imagination & weirdness. Here, they team up with The Brand New Heavies for one of the funkiest Hip-Hop songs ever recorded — “Soul Flower.”
Then, The Funk Ark lays down the dope instrumental Funk flavor for Asheru on “Funky DC.”
Finally, we have “Alphabet Aerobics” by Blackalicious & Lateef The Truth Speaker — one of the most rapid rap recitals of the ABCs with the most clever & remarkable rhymes.
So, here you have it nearly 3 hours of my favorite underground rappers and old school Hip-Hop music. I’m sure I must have left some off, and I’ll add to this in future.
What underground Hip-Hop and old school best rap songs would you want to add if this were one of your ideal hip hop mixtapes?
Let us know in the comments below…
Now listen to an old school Hip-Hop throwback for 2016 featuring the rhymes of Emskee, Audessey & Oxygen — and set to the genre-bending French Funk of Afro Latin Vintage Orchestra.
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