The world is at a place it’s never been, where anything from the government to the secret lives of celebrities are being exposed. Conspiracy theories are everywhere, even rap! The ability to be able to reveal what may or may not be going on in the world, without being righteous overkill, is a lyrical ability that hasn’t been matched since Tupac. Some of today’s artist, like Lupe Fiasco, Ab-Soul, and Immortal Technique have mastered this, but since the context can be over people’s head, and extremely controversial they often get overlooked by the mass public. I came across a tweet that labeled these artists in the genre of conspiracy theory rap, but I would consider it real rap that needs to be understood by all.
Lupe Fiasco, started off as a radio friendly rapper with songs like “Kick, Push”, “Superstar” and “Out Of My Head.” His career became rocky when he started having record label problems due to wanting to have more creative control with his music. He wanted to have the power to express his anti-establishment views. He has stated in interviews, that he is totally against terrorism, and this includes the violent acts of the US government. As Lupe became more open about his views, he was instantly labeled as crazy and became the butt of joke by comedians like D.L Hugely. He has even gone as far as to performing, an extended version of “Words I Never Said” with anti-Obama lyrics at an Obama inauguration party, saying “Limbaugh is a racist/Glenn Beck is a racist/Gaza strip was getting bombed/Obama didn’t say sh*t.” As extreme as this bar is, hasn’t hip-hop always been a controversial genre? Since it’s birth it has been used as an outlet, for artist to express issues like racism didn’t Flavor Flav say motherf*ck Elvis and John Wayne on “Fight The Power?” It’s no problem when rappers express their thoughts on sex, money and drugs, which I can jiggy to. But why the total outrage when a rapper says he’s against an establishment, causing Lupe to get slowly blackballed from the industry. As of late Lupe has even been speaking out on the extreme violence going on in his hometown Chicago, outwardly speaking against the young rapper Chief Keef who promotes this. Just last week he dropped a record about a 6-month-old baby that died in Chicago called for “Jonylah Forever.” That’s how you put on for you city.
Ab-Soul, a California rapper who is ¼ of Black Hippy, and a part of TDE. He has created a name for himself with his controversial bars. He openly states in his music how he believes the government does things, to hinder its people from ever being truly being powerful. On Ab-Soul’s latest album “Control System” he spits bars about the pineal gland, fluoride, and how our minds are being controlled. Things we would never expect from a rapper, so much so he questions himself on the popular song “Terrorist Threats” asking “What I’m doing talking about pineal gland?” Which is a cone shaped gland that is, very powerful for intuition, but according to conspiracy theorist it is often dormant in the human brain, because of the use of fluoride. He does this over great beats, and with a cool flow, spitting on multiple songs “he’s stimulating the h*es/and educating my n*ggas.” Although it’s not just conspiracy rap there is also drinking, drugging, and female talk on here too, he has found the perfect way to mesh the two. But I think Ab-Soul’s number one message is what he says on “Book of Soul”: “Don’t be dethroned by these systems of control/just keep your fingers crossed/and get them locks off your soul.” Simply put we should all be who we want to be and not what society wants us to be.
Immortal Technique is not just a rapper, but a political activist and revolutionary. He speaks on problems in the hood as well, as well as political problems. He stresses in an interview that he would never conform to a major record label, because he rather have creative control. This allows him to teach his listeners. Letting us know what he believes to be the truth about the 9/11, and the illuminati. On his song “Cause of Death” Technique sets the stage for us, saying things like: “Just like the CIA trained terrorists to the fight/Build bombs and sneak box cutters onto a flight” he knows are these are things that mainstream media would not want us to know, but he continues to teach. He also spits “And you can’t fathom the truth, so you don’t hear me/You think Illuminati’s just a f*cking conspiracy theory” letting us know the truth is hard to accept, and these are not conspiracy raps. Living out his cause Immortal Technique visits prisons, and fights for immigrant raps, proving he is as real as it gets.
3 Rappers, with similar causes, great bars, and arguably no care about becoming mainstream. With hope to not only stimulate the mind of listeners, but to stir up a revolution. Some say their raps are over listener’s heads, other say its conspiracy rap, I say it’s real rap. Take time to not only hear but also listen to these young guys messages, it’s for everyone.