By Juan Carlos Ramirez ’18
Lil Uzi Vert’s and Lil Yachty’s rise to fame is questionable in the rap industry because of their form of art, known as mumble rap, focuses on the beat and feeling rather than the lyrics.
Moderator of the Freestyle club Mr. Quentin Orem said that this is not something new in the industry.
“For all of history, lyrics like [One night by Lil Yachty] have sold records,” Mr. Orem said. “Like early rock and rap musicians talk about sex and escapades. A part of me doesn’t believe this is all brand new. This is certainly not the type of music I would listen to.”
Mr. Orem added that he began freestyle rap his senior year in high school after a broken heart.
He said that rapping served as an outlet for the emotions that he experienced through that break up.
Others rap connoisseurs believe that the prominence beat and feeling our words is the new and something that bring you life.
Moderator of the Vinyl club Mr. Steve Smith ’96 said that music by Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty are fun.
“I don’t know if it [mumble rapping] will be the next evolution of rap or just a fade,” Mr. Smith said. “That is for the rappers and consumer to decide. When something new comes out, it is very easy to dismiss it as not good enough. I think we are always thinking that older is better.”
Mr. Smith added that he currently enjoy it and believes that it is positive for rap because it continues to evolve the genre.
Robert Baransaka ’18 said he believes that mumble rapping is perfectly fine, but he wouldn’t define it as having substance.
“The content and the sustenance within the lyrics is not really there,” Baransaka said. “The music is just all for hype.”
He added that this type of rapping is not affecting negatively the rap industry because rap is always being redefined.
“Rap is always changing,” Baransaka said. “ People are always going have to adapt to how music is branded, the way music is sold and the way music is made. I feel kind of proud that artists like that are making a name for themselves and are doing big things.”
Although rapping has strong language, Mr. Orem said he believes that there is a difference in usage of profanity.
“That is one thing important about distinguishing swear words that are exclamations or swear words that are denigration of the people and woman,” Mr. Orem said. “ It impossible to justify that language.”
Although Mr. Smith does enjoy the mumble rapping genre, he said that his favorite rapper is Kendrick Lamar because he is a genius in his lyrics and vocabulary.
“I don’t think a genius has to have two super rich parents, a certain race or gender,” Mr. Smith said. “I think a genius can be born anywhere. I don’t think he ever went to college, but I do know he is from Compton… Yet his music is brilliant. His lyrics are insightful. He uses metaphor, and his vocabulary is rich.”
He added that his music is almost futuristic because it doesn’t instantly hit your soul until after a few month of listening to the lyrics.
Baransaka said that rappers who have rich lyricism are usually the ones that are remembered.
He added that some mumble rappers do not get enough credit for their work while other rappers are given too much credit for the little work that they do.