Hip-hop has grown beyond what it was at its core in the 1970s. These days, the genre is a multi-million dollar empire. It's a multi-faceted industry full of rappers from all walks of life: from the "nerd rap" of folks like Kansas' XV to the super commercialized song-rap of Atlanta's Future. Hip-hop can be infinitely diverse, especially once you turn off the radio for a bit and explore what's popping outside of the charts.

As fans of the culture, sometimes it seems overwhelmingly put-on -- hip-hop went from strictly organic to much of it being a race to put out the next hit that sounds like the last. Or wear some variation of what the last chart topper wore. Or make the same headline the last big rapper did.

Following hip-hop can be frustrating, even tedious at times, but fans often get their kicks poking fun at the formulaic strategies the artists take to "make it big." Here, TheDrop.fm highlights 10 Things Hip-Hop Can't Live Without.