It is no surprise that the OG’s are not afraid to express their angst against the new school of Hip-Hop who according to them have diluted the significance of lyricism. They come from the Hip-Hop loving generation of folks listening to Eminem, Nas, Jay-Z, Tech N9ne, KXNG Crooked, Slaughterhouse, Bone Thugs and Harmony and although all the mentioned artists have their own styles but one thing which is common between them is that all of them are known lyricists and known for their bars.
Many old school heads have openly hated the whole new school of hip-hop which includes names like Royce Da 5”9, Joe Budden and Ebro Daren (from Hot 97) just to name a few. A few of these old school heads such as Cassidy have a unique opinion that they do mind the genre but hate it when it gets categorised under Hip-Hop. However, rappers like T.I, Kendrick Lamar have come out in support of the genre and mentioned that change is essential and without change the game will become monotonous and predictable.
Ask a millennial about his reasons to listen to Mumble rap and he will say it is more suited to get ‘lit’ to Lil Yachty or Migos than a track having complex word plays and double entendre when you are inside a club or at a party. A few OG’s like Joe Budden are treating Mumble Rap like a punching bag. Calling these new artists to their shows just to put them down and tell them they are trash.
Strangely, on doing further research you will find that mumble rap might not be new after all. In fact, it has its traces back in 90’s as well. It was not as popular back in the day as it is now and there is momentous difference in the production, today’s mumble music is unaffectedly trap influenced and back then it was on boom bap.
I had never heard of someone like Fu-Schnickens and their single “True Fushnick.” Believe it or not but they had bars like, “The super the cola the fraja the listic expialadope Chip/When the mic is gripped in ridobidobip bip da be bong de dang, bo!”. If the language they used is called English then I am clueless about the language I am using right now. Mind you, Fu-Schnickens were also critiqued back then.
Check out “True Fushnick” by Fu-Schnickens right here –
As a matter of fact, most of the folks listening to this kind of Hip-Hop are teens or in early twenties. The very same generation is also fanatic about EDM which thrives upon electronic production. Not to generalise, but this is a population which pays more attention to the way a track sounds than what it means. Most of the mumble trap bangers come with really hard hitting beats and you see the listener going ham even before the artist delivers the first word. Even if the track is not hard then it has some really ambient elements to it.
Would it be fair to admit that it seems mumble rap is rather production driven? Undoubtedly, the instrumentals which these artists use are wicked and allow a wicked display of flows, technicalities as well as delivery. Most of the popular mumble rap songs get unofficially remixed by a great rapper within a few days of its release probably due to the above mentioned reasons.
Check out this verse by Hopsin on the ‘Bodak Yellow’ instrumental. Is it better than the original track by Cardi B?
Many still stand with the fact that lyricism is of pivotal importance when it comes to Hip-Hop music and rappers like Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole are probably the torch bearers for it. Nevertheless, there are rappers who have mastered the new school flow without negotiating with lyricism. G-Eazy and Chance The Rapper are probably good examples of this. Jaden Smith’s new project, ‘SYRE’ is also fire and is a good specimen of meaningful new school music.
In conclusion, love it or hate it, Hip-Hop is undergoing a transition from bars and lyricism to vibes. Those who have to hate the genre will hate it regardless. This drift of trap beats with muddled stanzas, multicoloured hair and pop culture clothing may or may not become a thing of the past. There is however plenty of new school Hip-Hop to go around and there are so many artists that there is always going to be something for someone. It will be interesting to see if and when this trend does fade away, what will be the next one?