The phony 'lets blame hip hop for everything shit' that was sparked a few months back, after a career-racist-radio-guy named Don Imus decided to call a group of Black, female college students "nappy headed hoes" - had nothing to do with hip hop and I'm not going to argue or even entertain that point of view. For a long time, most of us "real hip hop headz" have been tired of not just the "bs" and "ns" but also the gross materialism, false concepts of manhood, advocation of black on black violence, selling of crack, pimps and hoes glorification, and flat out lack of lyrical and musical creativity.
All that said - while there has always been a slightly above ground (Mos Def, Little Brother, Talib Kweli, Dead Presidents, Black Thought), and an underground - it will take established artists like Nas, to help create spaces for a movement. And it can happen. At the end of the day it's about dollars to the industry. Labels could care less if they are pedaling Public Enemy or T.I. or 50 Cent. As long as it makes money, they really don't give a fuck. But - it's got to be good - not just good - but great.
All this to say I'm putting my faith in an artist that me and a friend discovered in cyberspace a while ago named NYOIL (http://www.myspace.com/nyoil). The buzz is already there, and the "underground" backing is strong...now it's time to help this movement blow. The music is tight. The content is challenging. The time is right. I'm insisting you support, listen, pass the word, and just enjoy. And if anyone is wondering - no I don't know this artist, or anyone affiliated w/him.