Conscious Rap is a LIE!
Conscious; outside of the spook-ism, it simply means to be aware. With the amount of content being shared around social media and the net, it is nearly impossible for a musician to say, they lack the resources to gain a better scope of the issues our planet faces.
Yet, I find that the "conscious" sides of Hip-Hop are the weakest they've ever been. Meanwhile, this sector consistently complains that MUMBLE and other forms of mainstream rap, have been slowly killing their market. To me that is just a lame excuse for lacking the know-how to connect with their own audiences properly. Hopsin is probably the most conscious rap artist on the scene right now, but he too like many others before him, has lost focus of his mission. He now quarrels with old business partners over money percentages in his new music instead. I have to say that the conscious sides of rap simply just aren't as conscious as they personally believe they are. Making music that coincides with media narratives meant to manipulate their audience into staying inactive. Parroting falsely proven perspectives that push divisive propaganda, instead of exposing obscure TRUTHs that would unify the righteous once and for all. Conscious Rappers are always consumed with fighting to push social justice rhetoric, when our entire planet is at a point of complete destruction.
This picture here is an over head shot of a debris-island formed in the Pacific Ocean, approaching the N. American west coast as we speak. Yes an ISLAND. The 2011 Fukushima Nuclear plant meltdowns that contaminated the entire Pacific seems to be of no concern to mainstream or underground Conscious Rappers. This catastrophe happened over 6 years ago, so I can no longer believe that this subject matter is on a 'soon to mention' list. This leads me to believe that Conscious Rappers are as self-absorbed as the rest of the Rappers they critique for lacking the fortitude to speak up on major social issues. I understand that social justice is of great importance, but if we lose our entire ecosystem, then we will have no life left here to be socially aware of, for the sake of creating justice. It's just an issue of priorities at this point.
Here's another picture of the Pacific Ocean to give you a better grasp of how bad this contamination situation is. Realistically over 1/3 of our planet's oceans have been contaminated.
For those who still don't understand, our human bodies are at least 75% water, and our planet is the only ecosystem available for us to receive this needed water to maintain hydration. Water is also needed for plant life and for us to grow crops. Water is how every piece of life in and out of the oceans are able to exist. No clean water = instant death. Already since this catastrophic event, Canada has lost much of their local fish populations and scientists have recorded 300% increase in radiation along their western coast.
To believe that every rapper and celeb, has been able to make music or commentary attacking Donald Trump, but lack the understanding to attack all our world leaders for failing to prioritize this ocean clean-up, is beyond my comprehension. Again, don't get me wrong. I believe we can fix multiple issues simultaneously, but even Flint, Michigan still has contaminated water. Consciousness within the conscious community is clearly at an all time low. It's actually disgusting to believe we can insult other rap artists who have never claimed to be advocates of consciousness, while the "conscious" ones aren't even up to par themselves.
S/O to all those making memes trying to push the truth online, yall the real MVPs
This area is Hip-Hop's greatest piece of confusion. In 2008, everybody exclaimed how Obama had the support of Hip-Hop and Black America which ensured his presidency. How could the very same populous, only 8 years later, vote in someone the media considers to be a bigoted racist?
Now while you think up your answer to that question, understand that the elders of the conscious community do not believe that countries are run by the motives of politicians anyways. Instead our lives are controlled by the corporations who endorse their campaigns, and there is much proof to support this thesis. Yet, Conscious Rappers have consistently failed to bring to light the exact politicians their fans should lobby behind instead. Conscious Hip-Hop has failed to shine the spotlight to expose representatives who work for the elite instead of their constituents, and instead get caught up in partisan ideology. This is across the board, whether in North America or anywhere else around the world. Most Rappers simply do not educate themselves on what makes the world go round intrinsically, so even these conscious musicians are chained to the program of the elite.
I actually believe that mainstream Rappers who remain politically silent on issues and continue to "coon" out to increase their revenue stream, are actually more aware of the economic strings that effect change in our communities. Meanwhile, Conscious Rappers remain in a middle ground of trying to be "positive", while participating in the same economy that creates the negativity they criticize so much.
My tone is rarely this negatively judgemental, but this subject is too deep for me to come at it lighthearted. Many Hip-Hop figures, over the years, have come out exposing industry wide conspiracies. Conspiracies of executives demanding the creation of negatively driven music over positively driven music. If this is the case, why do we still expect Rappers to be markers of consciousness at all? We need to look at rap for the genre that it is; Entertainment. To complain that popular Rappers are killing the conscious movement is comparable to Classical Music singers complaining that Broadway shows are ruining their ability to work and push their genre. Even if it were true, this is the world of capitalism. The entire system is built on competition and greed. Conscious Rap just isn't entertaining or fun to dance to. To believe that major entertainment companies would purposely request an abundance of content that lacks the ability to entertain their audiences is completely in opposition for what you signed up for, and that's really the core message.
Don't get me wrong, I do understand that there is still a major market for Conscious Rap. Social Media has become a major platform for lyricism to be recognized again. But, that arena is still maturing and developing. Meaning the revenue streams available for that side of the art-form is limited. Artists who understand economics and want to be able to use their talents for greater influence have to participate in the major markets. Markets which fuel Club Venues, Pop Radio, Major Festivals and even Viral MEMEs. These platforms are best designed to showcase music & culture over lyricism & awareness. The blame for this disadvantaged is not to be placed on MUMBLE Rap artists, but the human psyche instead. I am not a psychologist, but have studied up on the cultural norms that have plagued society since the dawn of modern civilization.
If a real change is going to happen, Conscious Rappers, need to become Teachers, Lawyers, Health Practitioners and other roles in the community that influence the daily lives of the populous. They must create income while they educate and help their communities to prosper as a unit. The rap game is not built for that kind of work. We can continue to believe that previous eras of Hip-Hop were able to play those roles, but that would be disingenuous to the reality of how success has always been generated in the music industry. I haven't even touched on the fact that music is based on the natural demand of the consumer more than the supposed promotion of new ideas. You can try to sell me an umbrella all you want, but if I don't truly believe it's going to rain, I'll never buy it.
All this to say, if our community wants to see Hip-Hop music reflect a different narrative and be mostly of a conscious nature, we will have to admit that we no longer want to be entertained by Hip-Hop. We will have to admit that we no longer want to economically empower artists who are meant to keep us docile and ignorant, and instead we will focus on those who take the effort to research and bring forth the harsh truth. TRUTHs that are controversial and uncomfortable to swallow. We will have to admit that conscious & lyrical rap have simply become intellectual masturbation and that a new renaissance for our genre is needed. We will have to make purposed decisions to throw income towards those who champion open dialogue for the sake of finding the answers to life's most challenging situations. We will ultimately have to look at ourselves as the problem, but also the conduits to saving our world.