People who are on mainstream places like the tv and radio rap about absolutely nothing. They rap about money, women, and drugs. Only in the beginning did they truly express the struggle of getting to where they are now. People think that beats define the music. "Oh this beat's good. Let me rap about turning up." You can rap on a nice beat and talk about something important. What about war? Chicago's nickname isn't even Chi-Town anymore, it's Chiraq (Shy-Rack, pronunciation). Rap about the failing youth and how society is messed up. Seems like all these rappers want society like this instead of making it better. They seem like they want to be like everyone else instead of starting their own movement. Make a change.
The same cycle happens with every form of music. First, it is done by the people who truly
love the music and do it for the love.
Later, the masses catch on to the music and if becomes popular. Then, a lot of people with no sincere
interest in the music do it just to make money.
This is commercialization, and this is what has happened to hip-hop.
That this question is even being asked is a good indicator that hip-hop is already thoroughly commercialized. It's mainstream, and part of the American musical cultural landscape. Music labels can't make money on obscure releases, if it's not selling, it's not relevant. The artists themselves, names such as Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, are renowned for their business acumen as they are for their musical talent. Hip-hop commercialization is not over the top, it's exactly where it wants to be.