borne out of genuine frustrations of their own poverty, brush with crime & the 'law,' and general bad choices mired by both very much real AND PERCEIVED oppression at the hands of the state and accumulated, bad individual choices.
Real OG homies like Ricky Ross (NOT the fake ass pussy rapper who stole his name), who was literally at the beginning of the CIA-crack importation & cartelization operation pandemic, KRS-One, and Professor Griff know all too well, what's truly going on.
Plus, they, as you stated, had real RAW energy that most current poseur rappers/'musicians' in general cannot imitate, which clearly communicated the reality that they actually LIVED through what they were rapping about, unlike most modern rappers and frankly most in the pop music industry, who literally sing about nothing and 'their' wholly fictitious lives.
Besides, I know first hand, having a sibling IN the music biz (producer side), that most 'musicians' don't really make money at the levels that few high echelon "earners" (how Sopranos of them, right? lol) do, like Jay-Z.
Everything in the music video are RENTAL: wonder if kids watching music videos actually know that just because a rapper raps about Benz, Bentley and Lamborghini and multiple ho-s on his lap gulping down Cristal, don't mean he actually does, nor can he actually afford the girls, or to live that way, for that matter.
It's literally like everything about 'our' "modern" society is wholly built on fiction, facade, and utter lies, from banking on down to your local street hustler/peddler.
PS. Just read that, wow, do I sound like an old fogie! LOL. Truly though, I'm a cautiously optimistic person! No really, really! xD
Predictions in due Time...
"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul