Mumble rap vs lyrical rap


Tahir Springs, Review Staff

Feature photo by: Tahir Springs- Seniors Ryan Ongala (left) shows Sophia Bambury (right) a Kodak Black song titled “transportin.” The song was released back in August.

Since the music genre “hip-hop” was born in the 70’s in Bronx, New York, many would say it has taken over the music industry while adding on different styles of rap. With rappers like: Tupac, Nas, The Notorious B.I.G, and rap groups like N.W.A, Eric B. and Rakim, along with Wu-Tang Clan dominating the 80’s and 90’s, early hip-hop was all about storytelling, good rhyme schemes, and of course a little bit of party music.

Although once the 21st century began, so did a new wave of rap. With most of the hits from that time being songs you would hear in a club like: “In Da Club” by 50 cent, “Drop It Like It’s Hot” by Snoop Dogg, and “Hot In Here” by Nelly, it began a different style of rapping because the rules were no longer being followed. Many believe Rappers started to care less about their bars and more about having a good time. As time progressed, the genre would operate even more freely leading to the current style of rap known as “mumble rap”.

For those who don’t listen to rap music and wouldn’t understand why the term “mumble rap” would be used to describe this style of rap, most believe rappers these days don’t say actual words in their raps or repeat the same words to make it sound like they’re rhyming. Which brings up the word “mumble” in front of rap.

Rapper Lil Uzi Vert described his own music saying,That’s all I do. I say yeah. I tell myself that I’m not gon’ go over 80. I say like 79 yeahs and it works. We what you call a mumble rapper. So you say yeah after everything and make it rhyme no matter what it is.”

As far as who was the first person to bring the term about, Wiz Khalifa first said it during an interview with “Hot 97” after being asked about current rap songs.

Senior Ryan Ongala shows the camera a video with Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti discussing the term “mumble rap”. Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti are considered as some of the creators of “mumble rap”. (Tahir Springs)

“We call it mumble rap, me and my homies… it’s cool for now it will evolve and those artists will figure out the next thing to do.”

When wondering which artist first started mumbling in their raps, the answer could be anyone from: Chief Keef, Young Thug, Future, Migos, and more. While some of the popular mumble rappers at the moment are: Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, Lil Pump, Kodak Black, and 21 Savage, most have mixed feelings about this new age of rap.

Senior Sophia Bambury says, “This new rapping style is pretty lazy and basic because every time you turn on the radio it’s like you can’t tell the difference between each rapper… the flow, beat, and lyrics are all the same.”

Even though this new style has taken over in recent years, many hip-hop fans haven’t forgotten about the old style of rap that was more lyrical and meaningful. There are also artists that still have that feel like Joey Bada$$, Dave East, and of course, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole.

Senior Jachai Derritt says, “I like listening to the old style of rap because it’s more thought-provoking and lyrical.”

It’s no question that each style of rap gives off different vibes and makes you feel a certain way. Most of the old rap songs have a chill vibe that makes you feel relaxed and most of the newer rap songs have an upbeat vibe that makes you want to dance.

Junior Francis Ntumy says, “I think mumble rap in some cases is good because it’s for entertainment and to get you hyped up… I’d rather listen to lyrical rap in the mornings because it starts my day off in a chill way.”

When it comes to debating if lyrical rap or mumble rap is the better style of rap, many people are either on one side or the other. Although, what you can’t debate is the facts, and and based on the top charts, mumble rap is winning.

On Apple Music’s top charts, the top three songs: “Rockstar”, “Ric Flair Drip” and “Motorsport” all have a mumble rapper on the track.

As long as mumble rap is on top, the debate will never end. So in the meantime, let’s not forget to celebrate and appreciate hip-hop.