The first song off B.O.B's new album, "Bombs away", begins with an, as always, epic and majestic Morgan Freeman narration, talking about the duality of human nature and of society. The comparison between dark and light and good and evil are themes throughout the album, as well as a social commentary.
"But if anything, what you finna see is a change, don't be alarmed
And whoever they are, well I think that it's time we start takin' charge
Fuck rules, fuck boss
You can be whatever you want"
"Two middle fingers straight at the law
Sincerely yours, for petty your lord
Cause this is a war, ain't talkin' 'bout bullets and swords"
With a "fuck the system" type attitude, B.O.B could be commenting on the social injustices that the black community has faced throughout time and instead of fighting back with violence, he talks about a verbal approach to making a change. The spread of words and ideas can sometimes be more powerful that actual action itself. Another song that stresses the need for social equality is "All black everything" by Lupe.
"Hip-hop ain't got a section called conscious
Everybody rappin like crack never happened
Crips never occurred nor bloods to attack them
Matter of fact no hood to attack in"
Lupe creates a fictional reality where everyone was equal and there was no enslavement or violence. There would be no section of "conscious hip hop" because the disparities and struggles that it spawns from, wouldn't be there. Lupe goes on to say that the gangs that populated the hoods would never have formed and started to provoke violence within the black communities. Additionally, there would be no rise of gangster rap because without the difficulties of living in the ghettos, the artists would have no material to reference.
Both these songs show that conscious hip hop can delve into the mainstream realm, even if it doesn't receive as much attention as more materialistic and "gangster" songs. Does conscious hip hop lose its meaning if it's using the system with a message to go against it?