The art of Hip-Hop is a lifestyle. It takes a lot to grow from a "street freestyler", into the image of a hip-hop icon.
Those who try to make a living doing it know it's a very competitive field., very few make it.
It's the same with any art, the difference is that hip-hop may not cross as many cultures as certain other arts, so it's arguably even more challenging.
Some rappers make it by being great lyricists; others by simply having the right image, attitude, or a combination of all three.
Out of the many artists on the radio nowaydays, I would much rather listen to my friend Emac for example, who is a great lyricist.
"Check out this Promo for Emaculent!!! Betta get ready, cause he's comming!!!"