There is so much to respond to from you post, but I'd like to get some sleep tonight, so I'm not going to possibly try to respond to all of it. A couple of quick points I'd like to get to, though ....
Although you effectively made it a point to assume a lot about my perspective of hip hop as a whole, I will reiterate that I don't find the entire concept of hip hop as a total undesireable entity. I will go into it more pointedly later, but I know many that fall within the boundries of the hip hop generation that are well-adjusted and successfully navigating life right now. Most of them are in college getting an education. Many of them look at but do not imitate the negative stereotypical images sold to them by the record industry, perpetuated by their artists, and broadcast as an example of "success" to viturally every nook and cranny of the world. They do not present themselves as thugs, hos, and hoodrats. Additionally, they don't try to vehemently defend those that do present themselves as such. Accordingly, they are afforded, by me, all the respect that that deserves.
I do know how to appreciate that that deserves appreciation. But I simply cannot appreciate (I believe I heard it was 50 cent) or any other artist swiping a credit card down the crack of a girl's ass, and then being told there's nothing wrong with that and that I should understand the sentiment behind it.
You continue to say, "yeah, there's negatism, but ... " or "Yes, some of what is going on may not be quite moralistically acceptable, but ..." or "Yes, we allow ourselves to be exploited, and will even exploit ourselves, but ..." And I would submit that if you were to defend what comes before the "but ..." as intensely as you defend what comes after it, then perhaps this generation would be able get a little bit farther toward actually making this movement move, on their own even, (due to the negligence of the preceding generation to educate) -- taking into account the high level of talent and prowess that does exist within this generation.
I don't think you can have it both ways. You can't have young women that will revere a song that celebrates being a "baby momma" and expect that they will recognize the socially rewarding quality of building strong family units for positive uplift as a community and the benefits of rasing your children with the father as an intergral part of the family. Touting the new wave of entrepeneurs within the generation, but failing to express that, since most them are not the Puffys and the Jay'Zs, many of these new "start-ups" are not and are never going to be careers or mega money making ventures. Selling bootleg CDs/DVDs on the street is not the same as buying into a storefront property and opening up an entertainment shop.
Yes, we need to pick up that baton and pass it on to you. But, as both you and HeruStar have said ... how many of people in your generation even want to listen to these things we have to say ... let alone actually do it. Yes, there are some that we do teach and that do listen. But what about the "thug" or "gangster" that sees nothing wrong with his/her perspective. In tryin to "teach" such a person that that there is actually a better way, who do you think the true thug is going to believe ... me or the person on that video with tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry on, driving the Benz, simulating having sex on it, that tells them the easy way is the best way?
As a rebel, that question should be a no-brainer. It has been for every rebel generation that has preceded the both of us.