It is kind of funny to see us talk about conscious rap so much where there is a big lack of that in today’s Music. According to billboard.com, the top seven Hip Hop songs are ‘Up’ by LoveRance, ‘Leave you Alone’ by Young Jeezy, ‘Another Round’ by Fat Joe, ‘Drank in my cup’ Kirko Bangz, ‘Cashin out’ by cashout, ‘Ayy Ladies’ by Travis Porter, and ‘The Motto’ by Drake; none of which are conscious rap songs. All of the songs today are mainly about money, sex and girls, and lack lyrical content.
The song "Dumb it Down" is one of the few examples of today’s Conscious rap. In the song, Lupe Fiasco is expressing the idea of dumbing down his music to make it more appealing to his audiences. He showed how uneducated black people listen to and enjoy music more when the songs are about money, cars and clothes, because they are not able to grasp more complicated themes.
You going over niggas heads, Lu (Dumb it down!)ExplainThey telling me that they don't feel you (Dumb it down!)We ain't graduate from school, nigga (Dumb it down!)Them big words ain't cool, nigga (Dumb it down!)Yeah I heard "Mean and Vicious", nigga (Dumb it down!)Make a song for the bitches, nigga! (Dumb it down!)We don't care about the weather nigga (Dumb it down!)You'll sell more records if you (Dumb it down!)
He also expresses the persona of a racist white male.
You've been shedding too much light, Lu (Dumb it down!)You make'em wanna do right, Lu (Dumb it down!)They're gettin self-esteem, Lu (Dumb it down!)These girls are trying to be queens, Lu (Dumb it down!)They're trying to graduate from school, Lu (Dumb it down!)They're startin to think that smart is cool, Lu (Dumb it down!)They're trying to get up out the hood, Lu (Dumb it down!)I'll tell you what you should do (Dumb it down!)
Here Lupe uses a white male to represent “the man”. The Man is trying to tell Lupe to refrain from enlightening Black people so they can continue to be held down in society.
Lupe shows two reasons why conscious rap is unsuccessful in “Dumb it Down”. Uneducated people are not able to understand it, and The Man is not able to deal with the advancement of black people. In my opinion, I think Lupe is right. More are more records that lack lyrical content are being sold today, while conscious rappers are overlooked in the music industry. Even conscious rappers have reverted to rapping about meaningless things, Kanye West, for example. I think we are becoming more tolerant of nonsense which is a possible cause for the lack of conscious rap. The fact that Up is number 3 on the billboard charts speaks volumes to this.