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Some of you reading this are probably confused by the title, don't be. Contrary to what BET, MTV, mainstream radio and publications like XXL, Hip Hop Weekly, etc.., lead you to believe there is a difference between the two. You wouldn't consider Mos Def or Talib Kweli a "rapper" anymore than you would consider Waka Flocka or Gunplay an emcee. The difference, as with most things in life, is intention. Whether you agree with it or not Hip Hop is about spreading a message and raising awareness, whereas Rap is about selling a persona or product. Still confused, when was the last time you saw Diddy without a bottle of Ciroc in his hand?
Still think its not about marketing. Example, Dr. Dre and 50 Cent have made millions together, so much so that Dre was able to look the other way while 50 disrespected artists that Dre has relationships with, business or otherwise ( Game, Jay-Z, Nas, I'm sure theres more) and even while he took shots at Jimmy "The Real Mr. Interscope" Iovine. Yet the moment 50 announced his own line of headphones, there was tension. Why do you ask? Not because Dre thought SMS Audio would in any way cut into the Beats by Dre brand, but because by doing that 50 was letting Dre know that he would no longer be available to Dre to use as a marketing tool. If you look into the Game vs. 50 beef, it all started with Game refusing to be in G-Unit clothing ads without being paid for his time.
Why has the industry been able to ignore the past life of the fraud that is Rick Ross? Is it because he makes good music? So did R. Kelly and Mystikal at one point. Its because Rick Ross promotes a materialistic lifestyle conducive to selling things, from Maybach's to jewelry, and he does so without seeking any compensation for himself. MMG? You don't think Daimler ( the company that owns Maybach and Mercedes) would let him get away with using the name of a brand they owned since the 1930's if he put out music like Common or Immortal Technique do you. The fact that Boot Camp Clik was sued in the 90's by Smith & Wesson over the use of the name should answer that for you. Don't even get me started on Nicki Minaj and the whole "Barbie" thing.
So when people ask, I say I am a Hip Hop, not a Rap fan. I can interact with and feed into ignorant nixxaz without buying their music. So the question I put to you is which do you support? And if your answer is Hip Hop, name the last 5 albums you actually paid for.