“backpack rap” is a term, often but not always used derogitoraly, used to refer to the style of underground rap that is generally done by white people that is very emotional and metaphorical and almost like poetry. Or thats how I use it. I wouldnt put ATCQ, DLS, HBMS, etc. in that category, they are more old-school/classic. As you can see, there is no clear definition.
By the way, the term comes from the backpacks that white kids wear to these shows.
I suppose but also to some people it is any type of rap that isn’t currently in the mainstream.
A lot of people who actually wear back packs to the shows usually have it for a purpose they might be a graff artist carrying spray cans or a DJ with records.
Normally these people tend to stay away from the Top 40 rap and so the lesser known mainstream artists and Underground artists that they listen to are often referred to as backpack rappers because of their fan base.
Same thing for me, I own three rap albums and I haven’t been able to appreciate much else since hearing “Fear of a Black Planet”. Rap reached its apex at that point and hasn’t touched it since. I also miss the likes of Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. In short astro, I am with you on this one.