Does anyone else feel like hip-hop has an incredible amount of unexplored potential as a genre? Rappers have the entire canon of poetry to work with, and yet fucking Enter the Wu-Tang Clan - with all its silly ninja shit - is often considered the GOAT hip-hop album. Not to mention all the misogyny, homophobia and materialism that pervades the genre. Gangsta rap is the bane of hip-hop.
Start listening to actual good hip hop.
Yeah man honestly, I think that hip-hop is obviously a more compelling medium for rhyme and wordplay than merlot-sipping blank verse nonsense you'll find in the New Yorker and unread poetry journals.
With that said, the conflation of rap music with the larger "hip-hop culture" has made it difficult for more lyrically inclined artists to break, especially since almost the entire hip-hop market has a preconceived notion of what rap music ought to sound like.
With that said, just because someone has lofty goals to dip into the "poetic canon" as you say, doesn't mean they can. Would Whitman or Shakespeare have good flow? Probably not. What you're looking for is a rare combination of erudition, technical prowess, and artistic sensibility. A hard combination to come by, and the most acclaimed rappers usually only ever master one, or two of those areas.
Great artist. OK technical rapper. But he doesn't read books.
>Aceyalone and Aesop Rock
Great artists. Try very hard to be intelligent, but they're technically not great rappers and lack variety in their delivery
One of the best technical rappers, artistically so-so, lyric content is adolescent and hasn't changed since the 90s. Yet he's the best selling rap artist of all time.
Eventually hip-hop *will* get its Shakespeare and its Whitman, and it's not going to be Nas or Rakim or Kendrick. None of those rappers are well-read enough to produce something truly timeless.
>not technically great
Niggas been biting Freestyle Fellowship flows.