And the answer to that is no, modern rap is not very good at all. Lots of the soul and meaning behind rap (as well as most modern musical genres) has now vanished. Nowadays, it's mostly about sex, money, etc., and is repetitive and mindless. However, to say rap in itself is bad is not correct. Rap originated as a very creative, expressive form of music. The lyrics had emotion and told stories, and there was a lot more originality than most of today's music, unlike the repetitive sex, money, drugs, etc. of most modern rap. So I will say that modern rap is not very good at all (in my opinion, as music is all subjective). But I think rap is a great genre, especially the classical/old school rappers.
Music is a compilation of singing and/or instruments. Music without instruments is called a Capella, music without singing is called an instrumental. Seeing that the performers of rap do not sing (as in using musical notes in their voice) and they do not play an instrument (a phonograph and a drum machine are not instruments). Then clearly rap is not music.
Some people claim that the music bits from other peoples recording are music so that makes rap music, right? Wrong. Does hitting the play button on your CD player make you a musician? Of course not, so why would playing someone else's music make them musicians? Though a drum is an instrument, a drum machine does not require any musical talent so it is not and instrument.
So what is rap? Actually it is a relative of the beatnik poetry that was popular back in the 50's to mid 60's. Back then, people would speak poetry to the rhythm of a bongo in coffee houses and the pretentious audience would snap their fingers instead of applaud. Actually, beatnik was closer to being actual music because at least someone actually played an instrument.
In the long run, rap is just another shortcut some have taken to being a music star without actually having any musical talent. No wonder when a new game comes out for a game system, the first things kids do is see if they can find a cheat for it. Sometimes they look for the cheat before they even buy the game. Unfortunately for them, life does not have a cheat code and looking for a shortcut to wealth will often put you behind bars and not just crash your video game if it goes wrong.
Rap erodes our youth's moral values. I like some rap, so don't get me wrong. Rap music is just like Islam in a self-destructive way. The last thing the US needs is a false sense of entitlement, in which it could never support. Most rap promotes just that, a parasitic under class that will contribute nothing to society.