Reign of the MUMBLE

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published May 21, 2018, 12:00 am IST
Updated May 21, 2018, 12:12 am IST
Scores of young Bengalureans are gushing over a new sub-genre of rap. But, is the hype worth it?
Travis Scott at a concert.
 Travis Scott at a concert.

Mumble rap is trending and how! You either love it or hate it, but there is no in between. Hip hop and pop music have always created a space and audience for rap. Mumble rap is sub-genre of rap and involves the usage of adlibs (uh, yeah, aye) which coordinate with EDM notes and makes it difficult to understand. The debate about it is amongst avid music lovers who have different opinions about how it could be a breakthrough for rappers or just the lack of creativity leading to using of words that are onomatopoeic to create an extra beat or so. A few of mumble rappers gaining popularity include Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert and Cardi B. Wiz Khalifa is credited for coining the term “Mumble Rap” in June 2016.

‘Rap needs to be listened to, not just heard’: Lekha Gopi, a Bengaluru-based musician,  expresses, “My  love for lyrics will be unconditional because of which  I’ll never stop loving rap. I believe that the crowd needs to listen to artists carefully, for, they have really good stories. I also plan on collaborating with TuRhymez, a local rapper in Bengaluru for my upcoming projects.” 

 

Adhithya Shankar, a prospective student of Berkley College of music, Boston, says, “As long as the art makes you think or even feel a certain way when exposed to, it means the artist has done something right.” He is a professionally trained carnatic music and mridangam artist, who  was trained with western drums for a couple of years, performs solos and features in bands in and around Chennai and Bengaluru. He believes, “Mumble rap within itself needs a lot of specificity and skills and appreciates most kinds of art due to the fact that they have their own inception and evolution over the years.” 

An alumni of The Trinity school of music, London, Tanya Banik has finished 7 grades of piano and 6 grades of rock and pop vocals with distinction. She appreciates the need of mumble rap to exist as a form of freedom of expression and as a form of art. She implies, “As a musician, I don’t enjoy mumble rap as much as I would like to. In terms of uniqueness and originality, mumble rap falls short as not much effort is taken into writing lyrics and the delivery of the song.”

The emotion portrayed through a rap is made much more dramatic by the repetitive use of words and concentrating on melody rather than lyricism. Even though there are a lot of musicians who are unable to “identify” themselves as rappers due to the recent innovations and personalities like Eminem having degrading opinions about it, mumble rappers seem to have a lot of fan following, most of it being youngsters who enjoy EDM music and enjoy the rhythm that the rap produces. 

— Aditi Jayakumar

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