ALL: Hip-Hop 1980s

The 60 Best Rap Singles of 1984

Hip-hop in 1984 brought Fresh Fest superstars Run-DMC and Whodini, Melle Mel’s breakout year, and the beginning of the Roxanne wars.

Best Rap Singles: Class of 1983

These nine artists were early sprouts of what would soon be called the “new school,” a generation of musicians who’d remake hip-hop culture.

The 60 Best Rap Singles of 1983

In a year defined by electro kingdoms and fresh wild styles, Run-D.M.C., Afrika Bambaataa and others sought to explore rap’s future.

The 50 Best Rap Singles of 1981

Most of the best hip-hop of 1981 didn’t appear on rap records — with Grandmaster Flash’s “Wheels of Steel” a gloriously historic exception.


More than just a doc of an indestructible pop act, Wham! offers an instructive look at how early rap penetrated the mainstream.

The 50 Best Rap Singles of 1982

The year brought classics like “Planet Rock” and “The Message,” and hip-hop seemed to grow out of its prepubescent phase overnight.