I also don't believe in that "real" hip hop vs "mainstream" hip hop. Common put out some of the dopest underground music ever IMO and just because he collabs with Kanye and produces "Be" he blows up. Doesn't mean that album was not "real" anymore. However, there is good hip hop and trash. This verse from Moment of Clarity - Jay Z says it all..
"The music business hate me 'cause the industry ain't make me
Hustlers and boosters embrace me and the music I be makin'
I dumb down for my audience and double my dollars
They criticize me for it yet they all yell, "Holla"
If skills sold, truth be told, I'd probably be lyricly Talib Kweli
Truthfully, I wanna rhyme like common sense
But I did five mil, I ain't been rhymin' like common since
When your sense got that much in common
And you been hustlin' since your inception, fuck perception
Go with what makes sense since I know what I'm up against
We as rappers must decide what's most important
And I can't help the poor if I'm one of them
So I got rich and gave back to me that's the win, win
So the next time you see the homie and his rims spin
Just know my mind is workin' just like them, the rims that is"
And my list.
Common - Like Water for Chocolate
Tribe Called Question - Anthology.. too much dope not to put it on even though it's a greatest hits album
Mos Def And Talib are Blackstar
Mos Def - Black on Both Sides
Jurassic 5 - Quality