I’m an old school rock guy in love with Bowie, Beatles and Queen. A lot of the time that musical heritage discounts rap as a pathetic attempt to talk over a pre-recorded beat (can you feel my bias already?). I’m not entirely in the rap camp, though I do understand the way that the musical discourse of rap countered the racial aspects of musical success (to an extent). I also find many rappers very talented in wordplay.
MC Paul Barman displays a grand example of the intellectual discourse that rap can achieve (and the depths that wordplay for the sake of wordplay can sink to), along with Jurassic 5 (who don’t sink to those depths, as far as I’m aware) and numerous others, but my favourite by far is Baba Brinkman. He has a whole album entitled the Rap Guide to Human Nature (it’s literally free, FREE). And it is fucking brilliant. It’s old(ish) now, but it’s still a genius work of popular culture attempting to integrate itself with the current level of human knowledge. My favourite song from Baba is Performance, Feedback, Revision (though it’s not on the Rap Guide to Human Evolution album).
He has some (what I consider, at least) flaws in his music, especially to do with feminism (although it requires a close listen to pick them out) but overall it’s an awesome attempt to integrate the latest art with the latest science and I couldn’t knock him for the world. Listen and cum.