By  Lauren Carter

Hip hop fans, let’s be clear about a few things.

Wiz Khalifa can’t rap for shxt.

Rick Ross is an impostor whose fabricated identity is based on betraying his own people.

And 2 Chainz has little to offer besides swag and stereotypes.

And no, this is not hate, this is the informed opinion of a hip hop junkie who has watched the art form devolve from a beautiful and necessarily display of skill and innovation, an outlet for a wide array of black perspectives, a voice for a community that previously had none — the Black CNN, as Chuck D said — to a collection of negative, one-dimensional stereotypes that send destructive messages about who we are and what we should be as black people.

Commercial rap — or Crap for short — is no longer about skill, creativity or authenticity. It is, by and large, a means to a paycheck for rappers who are willing to embody the worst that black culture has to offer and advocate for the destruction of our women, our bodies and our futures under the guise of power, partying and popping champagne.

Urban violence claims lives every day. In fact, recent violence in Chicago has claimed more lives than recent foreign wars. Blacks make up nearly half the prison population, even though we’re only about 12 percent of the national population. Educational quality in the inner-city is a constant and pressing problem. The list goes on.

Yet no one in hip hop, save for a select few, is discussing or even addressing these problems. Songs like Jay-Z & Kanye West’s “Murder to Excellence” and Lupe Fiasco’s “Bitch Bad” challenge the destructive elements of our community, but they are few and far between, and in the case of the latter, they are attacked by white male critics who fail to see that their attacks are merely an attempt to maintain their inherent privilege.

On the radio, on TV and in concert, commercial rap does not serve the black community; commercial rap betrays the community in favor of a corporate master who is quite content to see rap stars shout out brands of liquor and expensive cars, promote casual sex and casual violence, call our women bitches and hoes and generally keep black people focused on sex, materialism and false goals that distract us from uniting, creating a movement on par with Civil Rights and solving the many problems we still face.

Corporations don’t care if the social fabric of the black community steadily decays while rappers promote a whips-and-chains brand of rap that helps to keep us mentally enslaved. We need to take back our art form.

Lauren Carter is a writer and editor based in the Boston area. Follow her on Twitter and check out her blog at