If you ever get the desire to read some critical and accessible hip-hop commentary, check out a friend of mine, Dr. Lester K. Spence and his web page, Blacksmythe.
One of his recent posts is a review of Charise Cheney's book Brothers Gonna Work It Out. His review takes Cheney to task on the issue of how golden the golden age of hip-hop was, and on its possibilities for the future. While pegging the book as generally acceptable, he draws out the book's shortcomings offering an alternative view which positions the hip-hop of that time being influenced by larger social movements, i.e. the black student movement of the late 80s/early 90s.
He also focuses on the mere content of hip-hop then as, while a meaningful and important medium in black self-discovery, largely devoid of real substance (in so far as we tend to hold that era up as superior to rap today). The hip-hop of then seemed to offer no viable alternative to dominant black ideas of that time.
Don't sleep on this man's works. If hip-hop theory today is unsatisfying, if Chuck D isn't saying what you want (no offense Chuck!), then check out Blacksmythe,