This is a question many hip hop enthusiasts have been debating for a long time and the resolution wont be here anytime soon. However, I have my own answer to the question I would like to share with hip hop fans and artists everywhere.
What is "real" hip hop? The question in itself is a way to find the "best" or most "talented" artists. By asking what is "real" hip hop, we are looking to separate the real from the fake, the good from the bad, the dope from the wack. The issue with that is, everyone has different tastes in music. We can argue all day but you cannot indefinitely tell someone else how they should feel about music.
To answer this question, I think it just needs to be re imagined. I believe "real" hip hop is what causes the hip hop fan base to take action. "Real" hip hop is also authentic, the speaker has experience in the stories they tell. Hip hop music can motivate you to volunteer in your community, dress a certain way, dance, question society, etc. When an artist can create a song and use that to influence others to "act" in the real world, there is no greater accomplishment.
Furthermore, this proves why "trap" music or "gangsta" rap is a genre we need today. There are some people in the world today that live in abandoned homes, impoverished areas, and areas filled with crime. If this is their daily situation, their music is going to reflect how they live. It isnt in efforts to "promote" violence all the time, it is in a actual depiction of their surroundings.
In closing, if the lyrics and messages in trap music offend you, really think on what you're offended about. Is it the fact music is portraying these images, or that these images exist? On the other side, just because an artist can paint a grammatically correct picture that you agree with, is it truth? "Real" hip hop is authentic, and motivates you to take action, regardless of the lyrical presentation.
What do you think?