The unfortunate rise of “Mumble Rap”

I was watching TV the other day, some MTV countdown chart on the Top Ten Best Rappers of today.
As I watched one of the videos, I realised I had no clue what the rapper was actually saying. Putting on the subtitles made no difference either.
All I heard was unintelligible, auto tuned, garbled nonsense.

And they called this Rap?
I grew up listening to Biggie, Tupac, Naughty By Nature, KRS One, NWA, Public Enemy, Ice T, and  many others.
All provided a social commentary on issues of the time: police brutality, injustice, racism, poverty, corruption.
I’m aware that from time to time, rappers of the era bragged about money or sex, and objectified women, and I’m clearly not excusing that.

But for the most part, Rap music told a story, wove a tale, showed off a lyrical dexterity.
Researching this new trend for “Mumble Rap” (which basically meant sitting through a LOT of awful songs on YouTube) I came across many names: Fetty Wap, Bankroll Fresh, Young Thug, YFN Lucci, Johnny Cinco, Rich Homie Quan, Chief Keef, Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty, the list went on.
All had the same thing in common. Lyrical dexterity clearly meant rhyming “cat” with “hat,” even if it made no sense in the context of the song.

I’d have more joy hearing a coherent song if I gave a random 5 year old a pen, paper and a microphone, and paid for some studio time.
If this is the future of Rap, then we are all doomed.
I’m off to listen to “Straight Outta Compton.”
Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 2017
All rights reserved.


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