ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context: TheWorldOfHipHop, AutoCroon, RapConsideredHarmful

Quora Answer : Will there be an end to this disastrous "mumble rap" phase?

Mar 22, 2018

Clearly there will be an end to it, because all phases have an ending.

But don't cheer too soon. Mumble rap is to hip-hop what punk was to rock. It's a deliberate reaction against, and rejection of, a focus on virtuosity at the cost of "feel" that had taken over the scene. It's an attempt to return it to its raw, youth and "street" roots.

Too much hip-hop had become about rich and established artists, posing around their mansions, congratulating themselves about how clever and successful they were.

While there's still an awful lot of boasting in mumble rap, by NOT celebrating verbal fireworks, it's as much a deliberate break with the past as punk's "three chord" simplicity. It rejects the older generation's core values. Just as punk did to "dinosaur rock" of the 70s.

What happened after punk was a last flowering of creativity within the rock genre (post-punk, new-wave, goth) before it finally burned itself out and passed the baton on to new genres of music that superseded it : the disco / house / EDM continuum; various versions of heavy metal, plus of course hip-hop.

What happens after mumble rap will be a similar final disintegration of a unified hip-hop "genre".

There will, of course, be new genres that come next. Some of them will have funky beats, or rap, or other elements from hip-hop's history.

Some of them will be wonderful.

But we'll stop thinking of there being a single thing called hip-hop. There'll be X and Y and Z as styles of music people either love or hate or define themselves by. But just as by the 90s, the various offshoots of rock (metal, emo / indie, country) felt they had very little in common with each other. So the various offshoots of hip-hop will feel increasingly distinct.

There will, of course, be "classic rap", just as there's "classic rock". Classic rock is a grab bag of everything in rock that has survived from the 60s through to the 80s. So classic rap will contain everything from the 80s to the early 2010s.

But the future belongs to something else ... the post-mumble generations.

Quora Answer : Why should you not be narrow-minded to the new generation of hip-hop?

Jul 5, 2017

Because, you know the moment you're saying "all this new music is rubbish. It's just not as good as when I was a lad / lass" you've become the stereotype.

Every generation HATES the music of the next generation on principle. (Just as the younger generation find the older generation's music stultifyingly boring on principle)

You just have to accept that every generation needs to differentiate itself with something that is unlike the music of its parents (or older brothers and sisters).

And that to be different may mean adding a new thing, or may mean taking away a thing that you'd got used to thinking of as crucial.

So, in the case of hip-hop it's kind of hilarious. For 30 years, haters were going "This isn't music! These people don't know how to play their instruments! They're just using other people's records. And there's no tune or harmonic development!"

And all the people who loved hip-hop were responding with "ah ... but listen to the verbal dexterity, and the rhythmic brilliance of the rappers, and the huuugge vocabulary. And the poetry and storytelling. THAT is what you should be paying attention to."

So, of course, out of great cosmic irony and human perversity, the next generation of rappers decides that they can do without all that and get by on obsessive compulsive repetition of some dumb, incomprehensible catchphrase that never goes anywhere or says anything. This is rap reduced to a syncretism of mantra and prosperity theology, where repeatedly mumbling the word "dollar" seems to make you rich, while grunting the word "bitch" seems to make you sexually attractive.

And, you know what? Thank The Secret, or some weird alchemical interaction between human psychology and social media, the damned thing "works". The rappers doing this are the ones getting the success.

There's no point getting upset about it. The kids have found a new thing. And they're happy with it; precisely because it's not the old thing that you liked. And that's fine.

Backlinks (3 items)