Ice-T's documentary The Art of Rap has gotten a tremendous amount of buzz from hip hop fans and critics. In a recent interview, the rapper/actor/director shared his opinion on contemporary hip hop and its pop-oriented approach.
"In the movie Mos Def quotes Q-Tip: ‘Rap is not pop. If you call it that, then stop.’ The true origin of rap is counter-culture. The true origin of rap is say something that they’re not saying on the radio," he explained. "When you kind of blend into what popular culture is doing, you’re losing the power of hip hop. We’ve got to keep rocking the boat. We’ve got unemployed people, we’ve got a black President, we’ve got election year, we’ve got Occupy Wall Street. If you’re just going to rap about ‘I got money and we balling,’ and all that, you’re not doing with it what it was meant to do. It’s meant to rock a party, but it was meant to change the world."
"I think that a rap aficionado, the hardcore rap fan, will always go away from pop, in the same way a hardcore jazz fan will never think Kenny G is really a jazz artist," he continued. "You gotta kind of know there’s always going to be that purist who’s going to be like if it ain’t beats and rhymes, if there ain’t a DJ, then that ain’t Hip Hop."