For the most part, 2010 was another down year for the music business seeing overall sales dip another 12.8% compared to 2009’s figures. But not everyone refused to part with some cash for their music. Fans of rap showed their support and helped that genre actually see an increase in sales for the year. The gain was only 3% but in this economy and in this industry any increase is something to celebrate.

In 2010 rap records moved 27.3 million units compared to the 26.4 million the genre sold in the previous year. A lot of the thanks for this can go to one of the biggest names in the music’s history and two rookies. Eminem, Drake, and Nicki Minaj all saw their 2010 releases reach platinum status, with Slim Shady beating all comers regardless of genre by reaching sales well in excess of 3 million units. Hip Hop sales also received help from Kanye West and a double dip by Lil Wayne.

The upswing in sales is also worth noting because it is the first time since 2005 that rap has seen an increase in units sold. For more complete analysis and exact numbers check out