Jay Smooth of Hip-Hop Music breaks it on down. Here's a passage:
There's no such thing as "real hip-hop" or "fake hip-hop." There's only hip-hop you like, and hip-hop you don't like.Word.
That doesn't mean there's no place for blunt, honest critique of our artists/industry/culture. If Thug Life Clone #228 spends his whole album glorifying stupidity and self-destruction, he (and whoever's running the clone factory) needs to get called out for that. But framing our critique in the language of "fake" and "real" hip-hop will always be self-defeating. It does nothing but alienate and insult the intelligence of everyone we hope to reach.