"Hip hop was set out in the dark, they used to do it out in the park", MC Shan rapped in 1988. What started as a rough and tumble street (and park) culture is big business today. The money flow into hip-hop started picking up in what today is referred to as the Golden Era in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
It was 2nd generation producers such as Sean Combs, then known as Puff Daddy (P. Diddy or just Diddy today), who didn't just produce dope beats but also knew how to play the biz side of the game, in such a way as to source major revenue from unruly rhymes. Today, he's hip-hop's richest, according to Forbes.
Make no mistake, even though it might have been "all about the Benjamins" ever since, the rules of hip-hop culture are clear: you're sure to be faking it, not be true to the game, if you simply set out to spit for dollars. Hip-hop might have made it from a park in the Bronx to Park Avenue, but there's still no need to sell out completely. Peace.