I read this p4k article last night, and its quite good.
Heres the last paragraph which sums it up pretty well:
"In the end, hip-hop is recalibrating, from a pop sensation back into an underground movement. People are making music for specialized, dedicated audiences, knowing that these audiences probably won't make them rich. Sometimes they're holding down day jobs or figuring out alternate ways of making money. Touring is important. And listeners have to go deeper than the most obvious stuff, digging through various localized underground scenes to find the worthwhile stuff. Sound familiar? From certain angles, rap's current moment doesn't look too different from, say, indie rock circa 1985. That's a good place to be."
I have been excited about rap again over the last couple years, probably for the above reason, the artists seem hungry again and skill is being valued higher than gimmicks (for the most part). You have to grind to get it, as the title states.