lyricism

"People still try and emulate John Peel," says David Gedge, leader of The Wedding Present and one of the last true survivors of the British music scene of the 1980s. "His work as a musicologist put everything into context."
I've always found it a bit embarrassing telling people I'm a rapper. I'm very aware of some of the connotations that can accompany rap music, and I've often worried that people would develop an inaccurate opinion of me if they viewed me as a 'rapper', without actually hearing my music.
Why do I get the sense that spoken word remains a niche cultural avenue? I'm not here to pose the tired question, 'Is poetry dead?' but rather: Have we become unreceptive to the word?