My old friend Homeboy Sandman has posted a scathing dissection of the popular argument that all of today's hip hop is violent and hateful because "that's what sells." He argues that, in fact, hip hop record sales are at an all-time low due to an unreceptive audience and the industry's promotion of commercialism over talent. Violent hip hop is "the music that sells other things [cars, liquor, drugs, jewelry, etc.] best."
Truly a must-read for any lamenting the death of good popular hip hop.