Hip hop music came into being in the 1970s, and since then it has undergone immense growth and changes. Most people know it by its present form, few understand its origin and the revolutionary process that led to it being the way it is currently. The revolutionary transformation of hip hop led to the development of ‘old school’ and ‘new school’ versions of it, which are inspired by different motivations. They’ve got some similarities and differences, here are some of the differences between them:

Image‘old school’ hip hop developed in the early 1970s inspired by funk music, which soon afterwards turned into disco fever after influencing the hip hop fraternity. Not long after the inception of hip hop, many artists split from the disco movement inspired by funk music and started creating music based on funk base line. While ‘new school’ on the other hand, developed between 1983 and 1985 with records of Run-D.M.C and LL Cool J being among the first. Most of its artists came from New York City and their music had drum machine led minimalism tinged with some elements of rock. The music style was assertive and aggressive, with consistent taunts and boasting in it. ‘New school’ artists and music projected a tough street boy attitude, which was very different from the funk and disco themed songs that were there before. New school artists were able to produce shorter songs that played more easily on radio than the novelty hits, live bands and party rhymes that are old school.

ImageOld school artists mainly used samples whereas new school ones started producing live drum sets and complex melodies having been influenced by the many music styles of the mid-1980s. The hard lyrics that characterized the old school and new school music during its inception, began to change and artists started replacing them with life values, positive messages and calls for good causes. Therefore new school music became more refined than old school or the state it were in before the 1990s. New artists like Dr. Dre, Jay Z, Cypress Hill, Tupac and others contributed immensely to the growth of new school by expressing varied emotions in their music.

ImageOld school mostly used simple kick snare or boom bap pattern while new school hip hop uses more complex patterns. The use of synthesizers also brought in some differences in melody and other instrumental aspects in the two forms of hip hop music. Whereas old school was often characterized by very simple or no melody at all, new school adopted the use of live instruments and computer-generated sounds. The most pronounced difference between the two forms of hip hop has been brought about by the rapid and consistent changes in lyrics. The lyrics of old school were influenced by the spiteful attitude people had on hip hop at the time, making many artists angry and compose lines to attack those who criticized them. While new school hip hop developed a positive undertone after hip hop music finally got high approval rates among the public.


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