Rap has changed greatly from the being in the 1970's in New York. It is now all over the country and the world. In the United States, there are four regions rap is placed in: the East Coast, the South, the Midwest, and the West Coast (the Bay Area). For years New York has been the Mecca of rap, it has changed over the past five years. The South has for many reasons taken the seat, for most part Atlanta, GA. The other three regions still have a strong force on the game, but Atlanta is where rap lives.
New York, New York big city of dreams is not what it was in the 1990's it has taken back seat to other areas of the country for a number of reasons. Most of the rappers on the East Coast do not have the hunger like they once had years ago. They put out music just to make money, and the listeners see that. Another big problem is that they do not come together and put out music as a whole, they lack unity and it holds them back as a group. Finally, they do not have a king and more. When Jay-Z retired, it put a damper on the quality of music they put out. Others in different areas of the country notice that and are trying to take the throne.
The Dirty South, the name the streets have given the South has put its stamp on the rap game. Areas like Virginia, the Carolinas, Nashville, Houston, Memphis, and Atlanta. Houston and Memphis are holding there own, Memphis has developed from being just a city of soul/blues into a city of hip-hop legends. However, the headquarters of rap has moved from New York to Atlanta, GA. It is not just, because of what the East Coast is lacking but because of what rappers in the South are doing. They come together and show that they get along, for the most part, you can see the unity in the videos, in the magazines, and any other place you see them.
Secondly, more of the rappers in the South understand that this is a business and that you need to be marketable to get to the next level in the rap industry. To be able to get a major deal a rapper must be presentable to the media as well as the listeners. Lastly, they must have diversity, and the rappers in the South realize that and are using it for their benefit. It also does not hurt to have T.I. and Lil' Wayne, which most people would say are the new kings of the game.
In the Midwest and the West Coast, things are very similar. Majority of the rappers are independent and do things together. The Midwest and the West Coast put out a lot of music together. Rappers in Kansas City and the Bay Area are like one, you can hear a K.C. rapper on a Bay Area record whenever you hear a new record. They have unity, but they do not have marketability; they are strictly for the streets. They put out music most major labels would not put their stamp on, and that is why the majority of them stay underground.
All four of these regions put out music that different listeners like for many different reasons. It is hard to say which regions are doing better than the others are, because to those it that area they are in the game for a different reason. For the most part the rap game is for making money and it is plain to see who is doing that these days.