Lately one of the hottest terms in music has been the dreaded "mumble rap." Once Wiz Khalifa went on Hot 97 in June, the term has been inescapable. "We call it mumble rap. It ain't no disrespect to the lil homies, they don't want to rap. It's cool for now, it's going to evolve. Those artists, if they want to stay around, they'll figure out the next thing to do. But right now, that's what's poppin," Wiz told Ebro.
This week Pete Rock went on record calling out mumble rappers, Lil Yachty specifically. “They dont match the world that we live in making this kinda nonsense or not reppin the culture right,” he wrote. “They breeding these stupid ass fans with no f—ing brains. So we gonna have a world full of that?? Really???”
This new conversation has made the term more popular than ever. For the most part people use it to describe new rappers like Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, and Desiigner.
if you prefer yachty/uzi/desiigner/any other mumble rapper over vince staples, I don't care for your opinion on rap music.— d hof (@DrakeHofer) August 26, 2016
Yatchy, Uzi, Desiigner.. 🗑 idgaf that mumble rap shit sound dumb asf.— Favorite Dreadhead♏ (@ChosenBy_Chance) September 8, 2016
But is mumble rap a new thing? According to Twitter, it's not. In fact, almost any rapper on the come up has been deemed a mumble rapper.
I like when Drake ACTUALLY sings and doesnt do that weird mumble rap thing....— Tyy. (@Ty_isdope) September 10, 2011
I hate when Gucci mumble rap— A.L.L.D.A.Y (@chrisjALLDAY) April 16, 2011
kid cudi is the mumble rap king, wish he would fxckkin enunciate, timid mothafxckkah !— mike honcho (@Lunahhh) March 25, 2011
bumping this new Lord Infamous, he was mumble rapping before Bone and Kendrick Lamar was doing mumble rap— Double EntenTRE (@thampto1) August 19, 2013
Busta's fast mumble rap is starting to get played out now...spit another way now.— Ro$e City Pharaoh (@GODspeedTheRuLR) October 21, 2011
Some keep an open mind and recognize there is space for both "mumble rap" and "real hip-hop" to coexist.
I love mumble Rap and conscious Rap. But they both got a time and a place. Respect music for music.— Don Juan (@mixtape_music) September 9, 2016
I love mumble rap. shit goes hard. I hate how people feel like rap should be one specific way— cj (@cochinomonster) September 1, 2016
I love hip hop, all of it. From the old gems all the way to the mumble rap shit, I love hip hop! & just music in general, it's all we have!— Freddy (@SupaBwe) August 27, 2016
So is mumble rap a new genre? Or a convenient umbrella used to label all new hip-hop you don't like?
It's totally understandable that some rap fans don't like certain new rappers because of a lack of lyricism, technical skill, and/or enunciation, but we've got to move past calling it all mumble rap.