1 Doug E Fresh (1983) is best known for pioneering 20th century American beatboxing and for forming the hip hop group, the Get Fresh Crew. He is also known as "The Human Beat Box."
2 RUN DMC (1983) is best known for pioneering new school hip hop and being one of the first hip hop groups to show the importance of the MC and DJ relationship. Members include Jam Master Jay, Rev Run, and DMC.
3 Slick Rick (1984) is best known for being a member of "The Get Fresh Crew" and for the hit single "La Di Da Di" which is the most sampled song in history. He was also the third artist signed to Def Jam Records.
4 LL Cool J (1984) is best known for his albums Bigger and Deffer, Mama Said Knock You Out, and more. He is also a successful actor, 2 time Grammy winner and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2021.
5 Salt and Pepa (1985) are best known for their hit single "Push It" from their debut album "Hot, Cool, Vicious" and being the first female rap act to win a Grammy Award. Members include Salt, Pepa, and DJ Spindrella.
6 A Tribe Called Quest (1985) is best known for their hit single "Can I Kick It?" and "Bonita Applebum" for pioneering alternative hip hop and inspiring many hip hop and RnB artists of today. Members include Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and others.
7 Public Enemy (1985) is best known for their debut album "Yo! Bum Rush The Show" and for their political rap style. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2013 and were honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Members include Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X, and others.
8 Boogie Down Productions (1986) is best known for their debut album "Criminal Minded" which is considered to be the foundation for "gangsta rap" and they were the first to combined reggae and hip hop music. Members include KRS-One, DJ Scott La Rock, D Nice, and others.
9 DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (1986) are best known for their hit single "Summertime" and being the first group to receive a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance.
10 Gang Starr (1986) is best known for their album "Mass Appeal", pioneering jazz rap, and being considered one of the best MC and Producer duos in hip hop history. Members Include DJ Premier and Guru.
11 Eric. B and Rakim (1986) is best known for their debut album "Paid In Full" and being considered the premier DJ/MC combo in all of hip-hop. Rolling Stone ranked them number 5 on the 20 Greatest Duos Of All Time.
12 MC Lyte (1987) is best known for being one of the pioneers for female rap and is the first solo female rapper to release a full album, "Lyte As A Rock."
13 N.W.A (1987) is best known for their debut album "Straight Outta Compton" and they are considered one of the greatest most influential groups in hip hop music. Members include Eazy E, Ice Cube, Dr Dre, and others
14 De La Soul (1988) is best known for their debut album "3 Feet High And Rising" which is known as a "hip hop masterpiece" and for contributing to the evolution of jazz rap and alternative hip hop. They won a Grammy Award for their collaboration with the Gorillaz on the single "Feel Good Inc." Members include Posdnuos, Maseo, and Trugoy.
15 Queen Latifah (1989) is best known for her hit singles "Ladies First" "All Hail The Queen" and "U.N.I.T.Y" which won a Grammy Award. She is also the first hip hop artist to receive a star on the "Hollywood Walk Of Fame" and has won many awards like an Emmy award, Golden Globe Award, and more.