This isn't the column that you think it is. This isn't a chance to hear your biases confirmed. Oh, you think 2Pac is overrated? You think Lil Wayne never touched Jay-Z's legacy? You think that Ghostface's best LP was actually Fishscale?
Good for you, but this is about the harsher truths—the underlying conflicts that define every argument in hip-hop in 2012. Because however much people believe that rappers are explicitly honest, the game is undeniably political, and never more than it is right now. The rap industry is a business, and as such, people don't always say what's on their minds, they say what will help to put food on the table.
We're here to clear the air, to explain what's really going on, and to try to shed some light on some of the things that everyone thinks, but no one really expresses. What's actually going on in hip-hop right now? Does anybody really like "conscious rap"? Does hip-hop actually glorify violence? Which rapper really dominated in 2011? Sometimes, the human brain takes shortcuts.
This list is designed to force you to confront the things you, deep down, know are true, but dismiss to avoid hurting feelings, to paper over urgent conflicts, and to justify our own selfish ends. These are the 25 Things Everyone Thinks About Hip-Hop (But Nobody Will Say).