Gangsta rap drew attention to the pressing issue of African American poverty, Kanye West draws attention to himself.
Conceit at the Top of Hip-Hop
by Noah Gataveckas
It seems like aeons ago when Ice Cube spoke:
I don’t want to see no dancin’, I’m
Sick of that shit – listen to hit! ‘Cause
Y’all ever look and see another brotha on the
Video, tryin’ to outdance each other? 
Really it was only 1990. Now here we are, 20 years later in an age where acts like T-Pain and the Black Eyed Peas are considered “hip” by most young people and top 40 countdowns around the world. Hip-hop, it seems, has regressed to its pre-1990s identity. Can you recall what this was like? Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, Tag Team, Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch, etc. Videos of anonymous fools dancing in parking garages, and dopey rappers repeating catchphrases hypnotically, often advertising the very title of the song you were listening to. The genre of ‘dance rap’ was a predominant manifestation of what “hip-hop” or “rap” meant in the common vernacular of 1989 or so. And it looked like this creatively bankrupt trend might prevail unabated to the end of time, until gangstas, circa 1992 and 1993 – thank god for gangstas! – pulled a drive-by and murdered them niggas.Click to Keep Reading . . .