A Respectful Response to the Divide Between Conscious Rap and Party Rap

By now Lupe Fiasco and Talib Kweli's response to a recent article from Complex writer Angel Diaz has the hip-hop world buzzing.

The comments were in response to Diaz's message to "real-rap" fans following their distaste for Future and Drake's What A Time To Be Alive.

Diaz stated that all the real-rap fans need to stop hating on What A Time To Be Alive because "Can't be listening to Talib Kweli rap off beat and Lupe Fiasco deep cuts at BBQ's." He later on created a playlist for Kweli and Fiasco fans to listen to at a BBQ.

This clearly shows a divide in the different styles of hip-hop.

Is there really a divide between conscious/real rap and party rap? Yes. Are they both necessary? Yes. So, how can they exist respectably the answer is very simple. Conscious/real rap, however you like to distinguish it is a deeply rooted and very necessary art form.

It tells stories, it opens your mind and most of all it makes you feel as if you are listening to something that will stimulate your mind and make you more aware of real situations going on in the world. Hearing rappers like Lupe Fiasco, Talib Kweli, J. Cole and Logic tell stories through their music is enrichment and skill. They are all necessary when it comes to the history of rap and what it stands for in terms of enlightenment and educating the listener.

On the other spectrum, there is the party-rap or street-rap that glorifies hustling in the streets, bragging about money, cars, women and sometimes sensationalizing drugs and alcohol. They'll most likely be hyped up with bouncy production that is geared towards radio play or spun by club DJ's.

Artists like Future, Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan and Drake are just some of the artists that feed the fans who enjoy that style of rap.

They are necessary because it represents a separate lifestyle that still lives within the genre and only continues to grow.

It's like battle rappers who are just in it for the punchlines and making the other MC look soft and the fan who spends hours watching battle rap videos because they love the style.

Then there is the overlap. Incredible production paired with a mixture conscious lyrics and party/street rap references. Case in point Fiasco's "Chopper" featuring Billy Blue, Buk of Psychodrama, Trouble, Trae Tha Truth, Fam Lay & Glasses Malone.

Fiasco and the feature artists discuss social issues regarding gun control, the exploitation of food stamps and life in the streets all in one track. Just as there is an overlap in lyrics, there is also an overlap when it comes to the fan who can appreciate both styles of the the art form that is hip-hop.

There are many fans who might have an entire Drake discography in their iTunes library along with the entire Kweli discography simply because they like both styles of rap.

Both styles are trying to accomplish something different, that's what makes hip-hop a a whole so interesting, because within one genre there is diversity.

Fans of either style bashing each other really doesn't change the fact that everyone has their own palettes, but opinions exist to be shared. It really is a question of to each his own. If you don't like Drake and Future's bouncy style of trap music you should be able to say that.

If you don't like conscious rap you should also be allowed to say that. It's worth noting that calling the different styles within a genre "trash" is like loving Picasso's style of painting but not quite taking to Jean-Michel Basquiat's style because you're strictly into Picasso.

Lupe Fiasco and Talib Kweli are great at creating art and so are Drake and Future in their style and approach. It's a matter of personal preference, always has and always will be.