Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicRap and Hip-Hop · 8 years ago

Do You Think Political Rappers Are Smart?

I don't mean smart based on writing, rhyming and spitting, rather on their being able to defend the opinions they themselves espouse via their songs. I've noticed many rappers giving interviews, either to web sites or television stations like RT, MSNBC, Fox News, whatever and they always seem to think they can handle political and/or questions on society (wealth inequality, corporations, OWS). IMHO they also fail, yet people always comment on, oh how smart they are and how inspirational, or "deep" they are. When all they've really said or done is look down and say, "Um, yeah, you know um, yeah... [insert basic political platitude or conspiracy theory here]. I'm generalizing, but it is not far at all from the truth. It just amazes me. See for yourself with a simple YouTube search of your favorite political rapper. And, aimlessly name-dropping political/revolutionary figures or referencing important historical events with context does not count, it just means you can read and memorize,


Mos Def is dumb as all hell, his Bill Maher appearance was it for me. Lowkey and Immortal Technique speak out against imperialism, dictatorship of this American system, and want freedom for all (I would guess). Yet, they support dictators like Castro and Chavez. And, NO I have not been brainwashed by America into thinking communism is bad and still around and we must be scared of Cuba and Venezuela, it's just a fact. Castro and Chavez have dictatorial power yet IT and Lowkey "like" them. This is exactly what I am talking about. And no, personally I've seen enough IT interviews, I don't think he's the genius people think he is. Who am I talking about? Mos Def, IT, Lowkey, Lupe Fiasco, Nas, Vinnie Paz, Chino XL, Sage Francis, the list goes on.

Update 2:

To the Mos Def fan who got hurt by what I said, I guarantee you if I got asked about nuclear proliferation I would have a far better answer than Mos Def. Why, why do you insist on defending an ignorant man? Are you that much in love with him and his music?

8 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Black on Both Sides and Black Star are both very on-point albums, whether or not Mos Def kind of acts like a fool in like all the interviews I've seen him in...Immortal Technique was always an idiot, Lupe Fiasco isn't really particularly politically intelligent he just has good wordplay and has a sort of pretentious persona.

    Nas' strength was never his political accuracy, it was his powerful depictions of ghetto life. If someone thinks Nas can touch heads with the best of them concerning policy, they're probably sadly mistaken...

    I was never really impressed with Vinnie Paz on anything, and I don't really know enough about Chino XL from a political perspective or seen any of his interviews, but Sage Francis?

    I can tell you from personal experience that Sage Francis is a smart person just based on conversations I have had with him and have seen him talk about. I also wouldn't really call him a political rapper; he has touched upon political topics but most of what he raps about are social phenomena, personal authenticity, and people's responsibilities. He can come off as pretentious because he has grounded himself almost completely in the world that he sees so he refuses to acknowledge things like religion and respect for opinions which are prejudiced using his view as an objective basis.

    In political terms he's obviously very leftist, as are most rappers, and he has a passionate hatred for corporate favoritism and wants a more democratically based government; equal voice and equal representation for everyone. His beliefs are that corporations and certain governmental trends cause that to be inhibited (smaller government regulations which gives huge organization's leading members more freedom to influence political spheres) Chances are he flipped two shits when the Citizens United case ruled that corporation can be considered people when contributing money to political campaigns.

    He and B. Dolan even made a website based around lifting consciousness of the ethics or corporations, an admirable effort even though it might be wasted on the majority of the population.

    Arbitrarily I really can't believe they did that...the McCain-Feingold act may have had that stupid radio editing clause, as nice as it might have been for that to be constitutional, but the parts of it that affected campaign contributions were in protection of the ideas of equal representation.


    Aesop Rock also has some pretty well developed political ideas. He's essentially a socialist, but that doesn't detract from his stability.

    Prolyphic isn't really political...but all his societal criticisms are remarkably on point within The Ugly Truth. He seems to be a little overly self-righteous, but of course it takes a certain personality to be able to release music to the masses criticizing the general society and not feel neurotic about it.

  • Lisa
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Based on Immortal Technique's lyrics, he seems like a socialist-lover which is something I'm not down with. It would be interesting to debate him on his "revolutionary" lyrics. I'm not doubting the man's knowledge, but he may be misled. The same would go with dead prez. I've always believed GZA was a smart person and a deep-thinker. I'm not a deep-thinker, so I'd like to see what kind of things he has in his mind. Defari was a high school teacher, so he might know a few things here and there. Otherwise, I believe most rappers aren't knowledgeable in general subjects.

  • 8 years ago

    Hmmm, interesting. While you make a good point, remember that these artist are voicing there opinions on the subject matter that is relevant to them, right or wrong. While you have a point that when debating issues, they might not be the scholars they claim to be on their songs, I would still rather listen to all the artist listed over the crap that these more contemporary wack rappers spit.

  • SLIM
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    Anyone can come up with theories about america's government, wether their a rapper or not. Does that make them smart? No because they took that information from someone else who studies the secrets of the government, and put it in a rap song.

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  • 8 years ago

    Chamillionaire's alright checkout his song The Morning News.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    depends lowkey is smart he quit rapping to give speeches with noran finklestein immortal techque is idk who your talkin bout yes mos def doesnt always no what to say and ya flavor flav isnt the smartes either but most of them are but at the same time the wise man knows himself to be a fool

  • Ian
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    "Mos Def is dumb as hell"


    I Guarantee that Mos Def is quite a bit more intelligent than you.

  • 8 years ago

    Not all of them

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