Let's look at this from the perspective of "art."
Hip Hop is a vehicle. We use this vehicle to escape into an eye opening experience of life, success, and passion. Not all hip hop artist observe the significance of passion. However, the good artist, through their passion really put the "soul" in hip hop. That's right, Soul.
The sons and daughters of soul have not deviated from soul. If you listen like blackoutloud said, you'll hear artist bear their soul on ol' skool "soul" tracks. We have a serious appreciation, and affinity for the music our mothers and fathers brought us up in. We don't borrow your "soul", we revere it, and it lives through our art.
As far as leadership goes; I don't see why hip hop has to be used to promote or distribute a Black Renaissance. Hip hop is how we enjoy ourselves. Just like the "blues" in the south, or "swing" in the midwest, "funk" in the west, and "jazz" in the east, it's all good times. This "positive movement" wasn't grasped when we listened to our parents music. So why should this unneccessary burden be placed on us. I love my old school, but the "positive" was few and far between. The closest thing we have to a Black Renaissance or positive movement is reggae.
Hip hop is a "movement" whether you desire it to be or think it so or not. Thus, it should be going somewhere. "Good times", yes, but music has always been the way we spoke to each other, from slave times to now. It has always been our expression, our tool, our motivation. From jazz, blues, swing, r&b, to now, hip hop makes me ask, where is this going? In what direction, and why? Which is what I'm trying to understand when I as these questions.
"Unnessary burden"? Do you really think the struggle is over and we, as a people have nowhere else to go? And if it is not you, our youth, who is going to take us there, then who do you supposed we look up to?
This whole paranoia of whites manipulating black youth by giving them rope to create their own noose is laughable. If we're hanging, then so are white sons and daughters, and all other forms of nationalities across the world.
Let's play a game. You name some old school songs with these messages in mind, and I'll give you a hip-hop song with equal or greater attributes.
Now, please don't mistake me as saying that I find nothing good about the hip hop generation! I can respect it for what it is, try to understand it, and see the potential for it to evolve into all that you young people are trying to convince me that it is! It's not that it's a bad idea, but it lacks a certain wisdom, that really, most youth can't be expected to grasp the concept of, because, in truth, wisdom is definitely something that comes with age!! It still amazes me how many hip hop artists come of age and totally change their whole tune about how they related to their fans. How many of them say, What I was doing back then wasn't really cool ... and now I'm about to do something else!
But, being ever the optimist, I'm still keeping the faith! And will continue to do so, especially where my youth are concerned.