Music Briefs – Old School Hip Hop


Hip-Hop is a musical and cultural movement that emerged in the late 1970s in New York City’s black communities. Hip-hop has no official anniversary. However, the first hip-hop event occurred on August 11, 1973, in The Bronx, New York. The concert, organized by DJ Kool Herc, is considered a historical turning point in hip-hop history and is celebrated as the International Day of Hip-Hop.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the cultural movement that still defines society today.


History of the genre

Hip-hop emerged in the late 1970s in African American communities of New York City as a synthesis of several sources and inspirations, including funk, soul, jazz, reggae, and Afro-Caribbean music.

Keith Cowboy, a member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, is considered the creator of the term “hip hop.” Afrika Bambaataa, a DJ and hip-hop pioneer, popularized the word by using it to describe the entire culture and movement. Over time, the term “hip hop” came to refer to the music and the associated dance, art, and fashion.


DJ Kool Herc

DJ Kool Herc is a Jamaican-American DJ and music producer generally regarded as a forefather of hip-hop music and culture. Kool Herc mixed music on two turntables, looking for the track’s most rhythmically exciting and danceable parts. He then included these passages in his set and used them in loops, which he played repeatedly to give dancers more time to dance. This mixing approach enabled Herc to produce a new sound that became the cornerstone of hip-hop music.

Old School Hip-Hop

Old School Hip-Hop is the first era of hip-hop music, emerging in the 1970s and 1980s. Its socially conscious lyrics addressed topics such as poverty, racism, and crime in the streets of New York, combined with samples from funk, soul, and disco records. Looping these lyrics and sounds together created the basic beat that defined the genre.

As the genre grew, the artists later used drum machines, synthesizers, and other electronic instruments to generate beats, and the genre evolved into New School in the mid-80s, using more complex rhythms and rhymes, focusing more on personal experiences, wealth, and fame, more complex beats, etc.


Pond5 Library Examples of Old School Hip Hop

Check out some examples in the Pond5 library to inspire your submissions.


Submission ideas

  • Submit tracks in length between 2 and 5 minutes.
  • The tempo should be between 80 and 120 BPM.
  • Rap or beatboxing is a great advantage and addition to the Pond5 library.
  • Don’t limit yourself. Instrumental tracks are also in demand if you don’t have any vocals available!
  • Use samplers, electronic drums, multiple vocals, beat samples, groovy drum samples, or minimal simple beats that define old-school hip hop.



  • Take advantage of the 50-keyword limit and add both broad and specific keywords.
  • Please do not use recognizable band or artist names!
  • We also encourage you to submit separate :15 and :30 versions of these tracks for social media use.
  • Please note you can apply tags to existing tracks in your portfolio.

Top image: The Beastie Boys Mike Diamond Adam Horowitz And Adam Yauch (Second From Right) by AssociatedNews.

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