The challenge for hip-hop is not being accepted as a culture, but being understood as a culture.
That's the gospel according to iconic Bronx MC KRS-One, who you could argue is one of the best placed in the world to comment on the topic.
With one of the most instantly recognisable voices in hip-hop, KRS-One - or knowledge reigns supreme over nearly everyone - has seen it all. The 46-year-old has received recognition for not only his tireless contribution musically to the genre (he is about to release his 20th album) but also his staunch promotion and defence of the culture as a whole.
Forming the group Boogie Down Productions in 1987 with friend Scott La Rock, who would later be shot dead, the Bronx duo infamously went on to feud with Queensbridge icons DJ Marley Marl and MC Shan in what would become known as the bridge wars. Playing up to his moniker, the blastmaster, KRS famously ended the feud with a live performance that devastated MC Shan. The legendary performance would later be cited by many as the first time two rappers had attacked each other during a verbal exchange rather than simply hyping up the crowd.
After five albums under the Boogie Down Production name, KRS set out alone, with his first album, Return of the Boom Bap, producing the single Sound of Da Police that remains a crowd favourite today.
But perhaps his most "successful" song in the mainstream charts came in 1997 with the album I Got Next, featuring the single Step into a World (Rapture's Delight). The song, which contained a sample from the pop group Blondie, was released alongside a remix featuring commercial icon Puff Daddy.
This collaboration drew some criticism from KRS's underground fans but he wasn't swayed, going on to appear on one of R.E.M's songs and even having an acoustic song named after him by popular ska/punk band Sublime.
But for such a successful and knowledgeable individual, it has taken a monumental effort to get KRS Down Under for the first time in his decade-spanning career.
The problem? It has nothing to do with the location, he assures us.
In fact, he's loving Australia and is just about to head to Canberra for his last show where he is also hoping to visit the aboriginal tent city which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
All the travel has been done by van in Australia, where he arrived by cruise ship. Yes, cruise ship.
KRS does not fly, or at least he doesn't fly like most of us do.
It's not a fear being high up in the air that spooks the talkative MC, but rather an intense dislike of travelling cattle class.
"I love to fly, I'll fly anywhere. In fact if you've got a private jet that'll get me going." The issue rather is private space. A train with a private booth works, as does a cruise ship. But a commercial plane is a no-go.
He is also the type who prefers to experience and learn while he is in a country. He insists he's not interested in the fly in/fly out scenario. "I want to drive, get on the land, see museums, go to zoos, check out the culture and see what's going on." It's this kind of deep-thinking, introspective attitude that has seen KRS take on the mantle of "The Teacha" in hip-hop culture and seen him invited to countless universities and educational institutes to speak.
A respected philosopher with a focus on metaphysics - a branch of the discipline dedicated to explaining the nature of being and the world - the MC often appears with a panel of other scholars to debate topics.
But he is also in hot demand for his knowledge of hip-hop and where he sees it and its four elements of MCing, DJing, breakdancing and graffiti-writing heading in the future.
Initially struggling for acceptance, KRS says hip-hop's importance is no longer a question that is debated academically.
"Hip-hop is immune to globalisation, it's already a global culture, a global movement ... it's something you can watch on a DVD and go home and see if you can do it to. It's like an ethnicity, hip-hop is an ethnicity in itself."
But the general public's perceptions of what hip-hop is, where it came from and why it still exists are still muddled, not helped by its embrace by mainstream pop culture, he says. "What you turn on and see on TV, that's not hip-hop."
It's these points that KRS hopes to educate New Zealand crowds on and he warns those attending to expect a raw performance rather than an orchestrated one.
"It's going to be savagery, straight savagery. Loincloth and spear. You can expect to leave out of that building, that night, that experience, feeling you should take hip-hop a bit more serious.
"Now, it's going to be really savage because I've got my act together and you guys are like the last show. Oh, this is, you're gonna get it, you're gonna get it, you're gonna get it. I'm so energised, I've worked out all the kinks, I know what I'm doing. It's gonna be good."
KRS-One with support from Footsouljahs, plays Wellington Town Hall, tomorrow night and Auckland, The Cloud on Saturday.