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I’m talking specifically about MCs in these pages, not the general category of rappers. Every MC raps, but not every rapper is an MC. Truth told, there are scores of successful rappers who have never met an actual MC. Like Madison-Avenued, focus-grouped novelties, rappers are created in accord with the reigning flavor of the nanosecond. Right about now, most rappers exist as living product placements, their gear, their rides, their whole set-up as deliberately schemed as that can of Coke downed by your favorite action hero before he splits to do battle with the special-effected forces of evil. Only the mad niche-marketers of American hypercapitalism could conceive of the modern rap video— basically a commercial in which products advertise other products. It would be easy to freestyle on the soul-nullifying effects of capitalism on art, but the point is that the music, the art of hip hop, has to be understood as distinct from the cellophane-shrouded rap products sitting in the music bin at Wal-Mart. Flip on your TV, turn on the rad