Conscious hip hop or socially conscious hip hop, or conscious rap is a sub-genre of hip hop that focuses on social issues. It is not necessarily overtly political, but it discusses social issues and conflicts. Themes of conscious hip hop include religion, aversion to violence, culture, the economy, or simple depictions the struggles of ordinary people. Grandmaster Flash's "The Message" was an early and hugely influential political and conscious hip hop track, decrying the poverty, violence, and dead-end lives of the black youth of the time.

The audience for conscious rap is largely underground.[1] Most conscious hip hop artists have not attained the same level of commercial success as mainstream hip-hop [2], though there are some notable exceptions to this such as Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Nas, 2Pac, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, Lupe Fiasco and Common.

Two sub-genres of conscious hip hop are political hip hop and Christian hip hop. Christian hip hop is a genre of conscious rap that does not contain violence, while some political rap contains violence.



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