Change in perspective on hip-hop

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Mumble rap. You either love it or hate it. Hip-hop has even evolved or devolved, depending on your perspective on the matter. Instead of witty wordplay and storytelling, hip-hop now focuses more on catchy beats and “lazy rhymes.” Yet, if you give it a chance, there is much to appreciate and enjoy about mumble rap.

The most common complaint against the style of rap is the form’s incomprehensible lyrics and the lackluster content. What listeners fail to hear, however, is that there are positive aspects to the genre, as hard as it may seem to believe.

To truly understand where mumble rap came from, we have to go back to when it became popular. Rappers like Gucci Mane, Chief Keef and, most prominently, Future, helped spur this style of rapping. Future’s “Tony Montana,” a song featuring a chorus consisting of the name  “Tony Montana” said over and over again in a barely decipherable voice, became a smash hit. When listening to it, you can almost tell that his lips are barely moving.

Rappers like Lil Pump and the Migos have done the same thing with “Gucci Gang” and “Versace,” respectively. Hip hop legends like Snoop Dogg and Eminem have stated how mumble rappers sound the same and have no lyrical content in their songs.

At one time, I was just like everyone else, wondering how these rappers became successful with such little talent. Then I changed my viewpoint. Yes, their songs may not be as well thought out or as high quality as older rap, but with these types of songs you do not listen for lyrics. You listen for their catchy beats.

Playboi Carti is a prime example of this. I began to enjoy his music as soon as I started listening to his beats rather than his lyrical content, because I honestly can barely understand what Carti is saying most of the time. His selection of beats is unparalleled and while they are similar, they are addicting, nevertheless.

Melodies also enhance the hip hop experience for many, including myself. People like Lil Uzi Vert and Juice Wrld have shot to the top of the Billboard charts with songs like “XO TOUR Llif3” and “Lucid Dreams,” respectively, all thanks to their superior melodies. In Lil Uzi Vert’s case, his voice fits perfectly with the beats of his songs, creating an entrancing and catchy flow. In my opinion, Uzi’s melodies are his best feature as an artist, as opposed to his lyrical content in general.

Though I recognize its flaws, I still enjoy mumble rap. I see no problem with it, as long as there are still lyrical rappers out there. Rappers that are genuinely talented in being witty with their wordplay will always be refreshing to listen to. It is just a matter of looking hard enough for them. Whenever Carti or Gunna gets a little stale, I’ll be listening to guys like A$AP Rocky and Joey Bada$$. I’m not worried.