In-depth discussion of rap-is-not-poetry argument summarizing the basic themes and focusing on this online ghostwriting business model that we, perhaps too-harshly, called out in the past. If anything that initial reaction serves as proof of what the idea evokes to those foolish enough to develop a complex, identity-piercing stake in Rap and it’s discontents (I’m getting over it, thanks for asking). Wish this article added a bit more context to the discussion and articulated how the commonly asserted, media-friendly argument of rap as street poetry is not as widely accepted in scholarly circles. Fresh in my mind is Noz’s fairly recent mind dump on this very issue, in response to a Jay-z quote:

When I first started working on this book, I told my editor that I wanted it to do three important things. The first was to make the case that hip-hop lyrics—not just my lyrics, but those of every great MC—are poetry if you look at them closely enough. – Jay-Z, about his forthcoming book Decoded.
Except they’re not. They are rap lyrics and are meant to be rapped. As soon as you strip them of a voice they lose a large part of their power and purpose. Jay’s lyrics on a page is no more a poem than Lil Wayne reading William Blake aloud would constitute a rap song (at least not without significant editing and re-purposing). The whole lyrics are poetry, maaan angle has been pushed for decades, across genres, by people who either aren’t smart enough to engage lyricism on its own terms or who are simply trying to impress and/or profit off those types. It’s really an insult to both poets and lyricists.

Also somewhat disappointing here is the take on Rap-Rebirth as legitimate or as constituting a significant business without citing specific numbers. Yes there are percentages thrown at us but are we to simply believe these numbers are meaningful without knowing the size of the site’s clientele? What is 60% of 12, including three cousins and and old roommate? Don’t mean to imply anything but it’d be nice to know. Also not addressed here is that although Rap isn’t poetry, it can be poetic, which I would argue is a big chunk of the reason why we sometimes feel the need to treat them similarly. And lastly, cause I’m starting to hear myself rant, I would point out that Caz’s unwilling contribution to Rapper’s Delight is widely known and not really “gray”. If you’re interested you can read a recounting from Charlie Chase in That’s The Joint!, explaining how the rhymes weren’t stolen, as asserted, they were openly shared, which, retrospectively may have been naive but only because it’s difficult now to imagine an era before the commercialization of rap.