The 80s was the era that gave birth to hip hop music as we know it today. It was a time when DJs, MCs, graffiti artists, and breakdancers came together to create the culture that has influenced generations of music and fashion lovers. The 80s hip hop legacy lives on today as it continues to inspire contemporary hip hop artists and enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will explore the contributions of some of the most iconic 80s hip hop artists and how their influence still lingers in the music industry.
Run DMC – The Kings of Rock
Run DMC was a hip hop group that emerged in the early 80s and took the music industry by storm. The group consisted of Joseph “Run” Simmons, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels, and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell. Their fusion of rock and hip hop was a groundbreaking innovation that changed the sound of hip hop forever.
Run DMC’s music videos were a hit with young people in the 80s. The group’s fashion sense was also influential, as they popularized the tracksuit and introduced Adidas sneakers with no laces. Run DMC’s influence is still felt today as their music is often sampled by contemporary hip hop artists.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – The Pioneers of Hip Hop
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were a hip hop group that emerged in the 70s but enjoyed immense success in the 80s. The group consisted of Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, Keith Cowboy, Kid Creole, Scorpio, and Rahiem. Their hit song “The Message” was a social commentary that addressed issues faced by African Americans in the 80s.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were instrumental in introducing the art of DJing to the hip hop world. They also created a new style of rapping that was heavily influenced by spoken word poetry. Their music has been sampled by many contemporary hip hop artists, and their influence is felt in the genre’s political and social commentary.
LL Cool J – The Ladies’ Love
LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith, was a teenager when he emerged on the hip hop scene in the mid-80s. He quickly became known for his swagger, charm, and way with words. He was also one of the first hip hop artists to bring a sexy vibe to the genre.
LL Cool J’s music was all about the ladies, as his moniker “Ladies’ Love” implies. His songs had catchy beats that were perfect for dancing, and his lyrics were a mix of braggadocio and romance. LL Cool J’s influence is felt in contemporary hip hop music that also celebrates women and relationships.
Salt-N-Pepa – The Queens of Hip Hop
Salt-N-Pepa were an all-female hip hop group consisting of Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton, and Deidra “DJ Spinderella” Roper. They emerged in the mid-80s and quickly gained a following with their mix of rap, R&B, and dance music.
Salt-N-Pepa’s music was all about female empowerment, as their lyrics tackled issues like sexual liberation, independence, and self-esteem. Their fashion sense was also influential, as they popularized the colorful, bold fashion that is still associated with hip hop culture today. Salt-N-Pepa’s influence can be seen in contemporary hip hop music that also celebrates women’s rights and female empowerment.
The 80s hip hop legacy lives on today as the music and culture continue to inspire contemporary hip hop artists and enthusiasts. Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, LL Cool J, and Salt-N-Pepa all made significant contributions to the genre and influenced the sound, fashion, and politics of hip hop music.
As we look back on the 80s hip hop legacy, we are reminded of the genre’s power to bring people together, break down barriers, and create something new and exciting. If you are a hip hop fan, take a moment to appreciate the contributions of the 80s hip hop artists and the continued influence of their legacy today.