Well anyways, to keep this thread bumped, I'm going to have throw in some input on the current state of rap, which is definitely not a pretty sight. Rap really has fallen off, most significantly seen after the West Coast scene died in the aftermath of Tupac's death. Sure, there are still a few notable rappers in the West, such as Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, WC, and the Game, but the truth is that as the influence that the West once had in its heyday (the 90's) was lost, other areas of the USA have fought to claim and mold the broad genre of rap. After the West pretty much fell off we saw the rise of Dre and his protege, Eminem, who represented the North (Detriot), as well as 50 Cent, who hails from New York. Then with the rise of Aftermath and G-Unit, rap was more heading into the mainstream with rap artists that want to pretty much jump into the industry to make money.
Pretty much with the end of "gangsta" age of rap, the world of rap has been slowly deterioating into the "hip-pop" scene that we all know (and hate, at least for the real rap advocates). For instance, compare present day "rappers" such as Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Soulja Boy, Mims, Hurricane Chris, and of course cry-baby Kanye West. Then again, there are some rappers out there trying to keep with the old, but are still adding too much of a "pop-ish" feel in their music, such as Lupe Fiasco and Jay-Z. Nonetheless, there are still many underground rappers who refuse to be or are not yet in the spotlight that still hold onto the true roots of rap.
However you look at it though, rap has evolved and whether you like it or not is completely up to you. I personally dabble in the rap scene every now and then to enjoy the success of rappers that are still keeping rap alive, like Dre, Eminem, Nas, and Ice Cube, but for the most part its very safe to assume that hip-hop, or rap is dead.