I'll keep this short and simple: HIP HOP, as I know it, is NOT dead. Here's proof.
Q-Tip, EPMD, Naughty By Nature, Public Enemy, Charles Hamilton, Big Daddy Kane, The Roots, Kanye West, Common, Nas, Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Blu, Nicolay & Kay, Ludacris, Outkast, Busta Rhymes, Talib, Evidence, Mos Def, Sean Price, EMC, KRS-One, Rakim, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Premier, MCLyte, Black Milk, Little Brother, 9th Wonder, Illa J., De La Soul, Dead Prez, Tonedeff, Jadakiss, Wu-Tang, The Harlem James Gang, Eminem, Redman, K'Naan, 88-Keys, Bishop Lamont, Mike Phillips, The Pharcyde, Souls of Mischief, Cypress Hill, The Cool Kids, Gym Class Heroes, Kidz in the Hall, Wyclef, Royce Da 5'9, Large Professor, PETE ROCK, Heavy D., C.L. Smooth, Black Violin, D-Nice, Willy Northpole, DJ Honda, Jean Grae, Black Spade, Erykah Badu, LL Cool J., DJ Mick Boogie, Buckshot, MF Doom, etc...
This is a list of artists who have performed recently or have shows scheduled and/or released full length albums or mixtapes. Some of them are also involved in Hip Hop in other artisticcapacities (film, photography, art, books).
Seriously, if Hip Hop is dead...then I must be heaven.
As always, thanks for taking the time...