When I first heard the term “mumble rappers” I thought it was in reference to Future, his step brother Desiigner, and Young Thug who sounds like “Mushmouth” from Fat Albert and Charlie Brown’s teacher after they both smoked a blunt. Sober you can’t understand anything they’re rapping, and “mumble rappers” literally sound like a dishwasher hitting the rinse cycle when high.
But in addition to sounding like motorboats. apparently there are more qualifications to being a “mumble rapper” than just mumbling, mainly lack of talent and/or lyrical skill are a part of the equation as well.
With all the supposed sub-genres of hip hop: gangsta rap, conscious, horrorcore, and trap I am by far upset with “mumble rap” the most. “Mumble rap” is nothing more than a built in excuse for wackness, wrapped in a beat that gets people turnt. Instead of calling it what it is, “mumble rap” now is a term that excuses rappers who have no business anywhere near a mic.
Rather than say that “mumble rappers” are wack the term “mumble rap” allows them comfort in their lack of talent, just as long as they “keep doing them” as Lil Yachty is famous for saying. This in itself is hella problematic; it causes a false sense of invincibility in a way that promotes overlooking one of if not the most important element of Hip Hop, lyrics.
When employees enter the workforce with the idea of not performing the job duties they were hired to do that leads to a lot of wasted time, energy, and money. So why do some of today’s rappers think rapping would be any different? Insisting, no bragging even on not wanting to perfect their craft?
I’m not saying that someone has to be the illegitimate child of Rakim, or a master story teller like Slick Rick, but at least care about what you are doing and the culture of Hip Hop. Now, this isn’t to say that all of today’s rappers are garbage, on the contrary, there are quiet a few that revere the importance of lyrics while still making music for them and their peers.
But for some reason a lot of today’s rappers will brag about how lyrics, or lack there of are not important and that they could care less about saying anything beyond elementary level rhyming, just as long as people can relate.
Another argument that I hear frequently is that sometimes people want to escape from the worries of the world and may not want to hear songs about social injustice all the time and just want to party and have a good time. While I agree that music and other forms of entertainment are escapism, this argument lets those that make “mumble rap” off the hook from making understandable songs which evoke a range feelings other than wanting to party and bullshit all the time.
I know some will call my way of thinking “hating” and that’s ok with me, I am just an avid Hip Hop fan that was partially raised by Hip Hop, along with my parents teachings and what I learned in school; so I have a vested interest in something that means so much to me. Is it hating for wanting rappers to take pride in their craft? Is it hating for me to expect rappers to say more than 1,2,3 look at me over a hot beat? Or is it hating for me to want today’s rappers to make dope shit?
What do you think? Am I being an “old head” that has nothing but criticism for today’s rappers? What is your opinion of today’s hip hop?
Talk to me, I’ll talk back.
Breazy 5 Freddy