Hip Hop is a declining genre. Thought is steady generating income for the major labels, on the underground it's becoming dried out with an over abundance of poor marketing, horrible singles and scam artist showcases. The urban marketing departments of these record labels leave any of your artist mind-locked into thinking using their marketing tactics is the only way to success and that it consist of creating t-shirt buttons, rolling with a street team and talking to shady A&Rs.
Japan has a fetish for Hip Hop and underground music. You have people from Japan who walk the streets of New York and became big in New York, only to create most of their revenue in Japan. Sounds weird, but it is happening all the time. It's like moving to a new city -- look how quickly you adapt and become attached. It's your new home while the only thing keeping you going back to your hometown is two things: guilt or love.
If you ever watched Japanese anime porn called Henti(genre of Japanese anime porn) you will hear Hip Hop music at the end. I can assure you the owners of the copyright of that song are being paid a licensing fee. Licensing is basically when in this case an artist gives another company permission to your their material for a fee. This process usually develops residual income. This is not about money as much as it's about getting your music overseas to places like Japan. It's the easiest way. All you have to do is find a struggling anime and send them a proposal. Make it look fancy, show them your are a business and that you have an audience.
Japan is also hot for artist going on store. The Yen is strong! Yen is the currency of Japan. It's what people over there use to pay people like you might use the United States Dollar, they use the Yen. Again, as I suspect most of you are from Staten Island -- just look at Wu-Tang. They went international and I could have sworn I heard a Sunz of Man track on the ending credits of one of those animes.