From the type of honest and revealing storytelling that some have mastered to the wit-centric, mind-bending lines that ooze with double entendres and third, fourth, and fifth meanings, the best hip-hop will forever be contingent on the power of its lyrics. Here, PopMatters takes a look at 10 of the best lyricists the rap form has to offer.
At a recent gig at the Sound Academy in Toronto, perennial PopMatters fave Talib Kweli debuted a new song in tribute to the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch, who recently passed away. Word is, his sixth album Prisoner of Conscious will be on the way this year, but no release date has been announced yet. We are eagerly awaiting it.
Talib Kweli is clearly struggling between the underground's 'values-based' approach and the mainstream's love of the crook and the hook, trying to find a third way that negates the either/or tug-of-war between 'consciousness raising' and big pimpin'.
Audiotistic isn't/wasn't meant to be purely hip-hop, though. Billed as the Future Sound Festival in Southern Cali, it's typically been a cutting edge sort of venue with electronica and house at the center of its agenda.