What do Lil Yachty, 21 Savage and Desiigner all have in common? Apart from being 3 of the most well known names in the current hip hop world, they all fall under the category of ‘Mumble Rapper’. But what is ‘Mumble Rap’?
This definition from urbandictionary.com just about hits the nail on the head:
“A style of rap that originated in the South [United States] and spread to other places like Chicago and the New York/New Jersey area. The style usually consists of ‘mumbling’ rap lyrics and sacrificing pronunciation clarity.
The mumble style likely is influenced from the following elements: the Southern drawl & pronunciation, the drinking of the drug ‘lean’ which can slur speech patterns, and the wearing of gold teeth which affects pronunciation.”
The growing popularity has received a world of criticism on the internet. Facebook seems to be the main outlet for hate of these rappers. Comments on articles about them are flooded with negativity and backlash. So technically, considering the incredibly high amount of negativity and lack of positivity aimed at the rising stars, you’d think that they’d be having trouble finding success in the music industry. Well you’d be wrong, the founding fathers of this new style of rap have experienced an incredible year of success in 2016, with 19 year old Brooklyn born Desiigners single ‘Panda’ sitting comfortably at the top of the Hot 100 chart for 2 weeks and Big Baby D.R.A.M’s melodic banger ‘Broccoli’ featuring Lil Yachty receiving a grammy. This new style of rap and the next stage of hip hops evolution is doing incredibly well.
Naturally, it has received negative backlash from those more acquainted with older hip hop styles, particularly of the 90’s era that gave birth to gangsta rap and saw the rise and fall of legends such as Biggie Smalls and notorious group N.W.A. One of these people is Pete Rock an American rapper,DJ and producer who saw success in the early 90’s. Rock threw shade at 19 year old Atlanta born Lil Yachty, a new age hip hop star known for his simple melodic beats that have an air of happiness and positivity surrounding them. Over instagram, Rock wrote that Yachty “sucks mud on a rainy day” but Yachty stayed calm and replied with “personally ion [I don’t] like his music either”.
Hip Hop, like every other genre of music, evolves. Look at the founding years of hip hop. Rhymes were basic in the 80’s, the time of Kurtis Blow. They started off with a simple AABB rhyming pattern every 4 beats. But as time moved on, so did hip hop. Rhyming greatly evolved through the 90’s with the introduction of ‘internal rhymes’ and ‘breaking the line’ used popularly by Biggie Smalls in Hypnotize. 70’s-80’s Hip Hop evolved from jazz, and 90’s gangsta rap evolved from that. Music doesn’t stay the same and will constantly change to fit the ever growing culture around it. People may not like it but you can’t dwell on the past.
Opinions are just that, opinions. They don’t affect popularity (unless aired by someone abundantly powerful) so these young ‘mumble rappers’ do what teenagers are supposed to do and have fun. What would you do if you were a 19 year old millionaire making money doing what you love? Probably the same as me, enjoying yourself and your hard-earned success.