Fans have talked about 2014 as being a fairly dry year for Hip Hop on the mainstream front, especially when compared to 2013. Nielsen Music's end of the year sales numbers support this.
Their analysis shows that Hip Hop sales fell 24.1% overall, with CD sales down 29.6% and digital sales down 21.8%. Sales dropped 11.2 in all genres. On a positive note, Hip Hop streaming is up 54%, although that doesn't do as good of a job paying the bills.
2015 is setting up to be a strong year for rap with big names like Kendrick Lamar and Drake releasing albums. So the downward trend could reverse itself. As fans, we need to support artists a little more. Quality music deserves a purchase.