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Mumble rap is a pejorative for a vague subgenre of hip hop music, originating in the mid-2010s in the United States.



The term was coined by Wiz Khalifa in a June 2016 interview with WQHT, stating, "We call it mumble rap. It ain't no disrespect to the lil homies, they don't want to rap. It's cool for now; it's going to evolve."[1] Artists commonly referred to as "mumble rappers" include Desiigner, Future, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, and Young Thug.[2][3][4][5]


A perceived lyrical incomprehensibility, or lack of lyricism, has been attributed to "mumble rap", hence its name. This claim has been challenged and largely denied by critics of the term. [1]

In September 2016, record producer Pete Rock responded to Lil Yachty's claim that he "honestly couldn't name five songs" by Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. by strongly criticizing "mumble rappers" and their fans.[2][6][7]

Jasmine Alise, of Vibe magazine, points to 1990s rap groups such as Das Efx and Fu-Schnickens as early proponents of a cartoonish, nonsensical style, indicating that the alleged unintelligibility of "mumble rap" is not unique to recent artists.[8]

Justin Charity, a staff writer at The Ringer, argues that the term "mumble rap" is unnecessarily reductive and does not in fact refer to one specific type of music. He points out that neither Lil Yachty nor Young Thug, two of the artists most often scapegoated in conversations about the subgenre, actually mumbles, which "is the red flag that the term isn’t a useful subcategorization." Charity also notes a lack of aesthetic similarity between artists considered "mumble rappers," indicating that while "mumble rap" can be used to describe an amorphous contemporary phenomenon, it is also used as "a reclaimed pejorative that fails as a musical description, and that gets trickier to define the more rappers it encompasses."[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Landoli, Kathy (December 21, 2016). "The Rise of 'Mumble Rap': Did Lyricism Take a Hit in 2016?". Billboard. Retrieved May 14, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Charity, Justin (April 18, 2017). "Declaring a Moratorium on the Term “Mumble Rap”". The Ringer. Retrieved May 14, 2017. 
  3. ^ Coleman III, C. Vernon (March 4, 2017). "Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti Talk About What It Means to Be Mumble Rappers". XXL. Retrieved May 14, 2017. 
  4. ^ Mooney, Terry (March 29, 2017). "A Beginner's Guide to Mumble Rap". Study Breaks. Retrieved May 14, 2017. 
  5. ^ Hunte, Justin (February 25, 2017). "Maybe This Is Why Modern Mumble Rap Exists". HipHopDX. Retrieved May 14, 2017. 
  6. ^ Martins, Chris (August 25, 2016). "Lil Yachty, Rap's Next Big Thing, on His Unapologetic Approach to Hip-Hop: 'I Honestly Couldn't Name Five Songs' By Tupac & Biggie". Billboard. Retrieved May 14, 2017. 
  7. ^ Walaszek, John (September 9, 2016). "The Term Mumble Rap is More Popular Than Ever". Complex. Retrieved May 14, 2017. 
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