Oldschool

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See also: Original Gangsta | Retro | Subculture | Popularity

Also: Oldskool

A term applied to a things that are no longer at the fore-front of public consciousness. People who have experienced these things are considered "oldschool", or part of the old school of a community. The term came into popular usage with the hip-hop and rave music subcultures during the 1980s and 1990s, As audio production quality for these genres increased, oldschool sounds began to sound more like beatboxes and videogames than music. For example, the "Beverly Hills Cop" theme music by Harold Faltermeyer was innovative and unique in the 1984 but, if produced today, would seem almost comedic. However, they still hold a place in contemporary mixes.

This term can describe both a lost or closed "art", and certain types of revived or retro subjects. Because of the "coolness" of associating with a the strong history of an art, some either misuse the term "oldschool" or use it with uncomfortable frequency.

Some examples of "oldschool" include:
  • Spraypainting - gang taglines as art and not graffiti
  • DOS, 16-bit and 8-bit demos and intros
  • cbmscii art - the Commodore 64's text art
  • BBSes - before full-screen editing. Before hotkeys, before ANSI colour, before zterm. Think "text" and "kermit" as file transfer types.
  • Packet Radio BBSes
  • Demo group competitions
  • Hercules video cards, using a software driver (simcga) for CGA emulation.
  • Amber monochrome text monitors.
  • Crystal-overclocking an 8086
  • IRC is sometimes called oldschool
  • The punk/77 age.

One could call "Old Country" "Oldschool Country", or 70s reggae "Oldschool Reggae". The term "oldschool" is quite flexible.

Conversely, one could also use the term "newschool" to describe the newness or publicness of a current topic. "Newschool" can also imply the derivitive nature of the item in question, as in "Newschool Punk", which is usually used in a derogatory fashion.