Ever heard "How to kill a radio consultant" by Public Enemy? S L A M M IN , SLAMMIN. I miss PE. They combined insanely dope soundtracks with sharp lyrics about topics more socially relevant than wack MCs and ho's bedded in various motels. Not to say politically-oriented rappers don't exist today, but I can't think of any *popular* ones. If the currency is popular relevance then politickin' ain't worth much.
I'm continually amazed by hip-hop's global reach. Two small examples:
1) in Granta magazine I saw a photo-essay depicting a ruined African city, somewhere in Liberia I think. In one photo, plastered on the bullet-ridden walls of a convenience store, you could make out dozens of promotional posters for Master P's "Charge It To Da Game."
2) the indian guy who works the indian grocery store across the street from my apt turns out to be a rapper. I found out because I saw a car parked outside the store, with his likeness painted on the hood in garish bling-bling style. The car said "PID - 2004". I asked what PID was and he said it was his MC name. I asked what it stood for and he said "Politickin' Indian Dude."