Short Paper 6: Mumble Rappers
Language shapes our reality. I remember seeing that somewhere, and the quote stuck with me. The words we use do really matter because anything we say can be taken as truth. So, what happens when those words we use don’t really become words at all. This is the basic concept behind the “mumble rap,” a new era of “hip/hop” music that has begun to surface, and has a lot of “old-heads” our rages at this new, young, and “hip” movement.
In a recent blog post, I posted a video titled “The Evolution of Mumble Rap,” and the beginning of the video begins with rapper Future sitting in the studio with a reporter analyze his song titled “Tony Montana.” In the video, the song is playing and the lyrics are, well, simple. Essentially, all you really hear is the words tony montana being sung over-and-over again, but Futures real artistic touch is that each “tony montana” is just a little bit different. “I remember recorded that, man, and I was so high, I just kept singing tewny mantana, toony montana, tony montana.” Here, pretty much admitting to just not even trying to make anything with lyrics or substance, but just producing the equivalent of a painter doodling on a napkin.
The video goes on and on, showing different variations of the same old thing. It’s another artist rapping along to a loud beat, and their lyrics are all a different sequence of things like drugs, having lots of expensive jewelry, big houses, nice cars, hot women, and all seem to be trying to “out do” one another in this sense. Because I mean why else put out all these songs about the same ol shit. I genuinely believe all these rappers are just trying to one up each other. This, of course, is an extremely dangerous game. When you really listen to a lot of this music it kind of gets sad at a point. How any of these idolized attributes (i.e the drug-filled party lifestyle) became the obsession of young artists today is a fascinating phenomenon. These artists are painting a picture for young kids, who listen to this sort of rap (and trust me there is a lot more than you think), that is portraying a skewed image of what “the good life” looks like. In one way or another, we are all trying to make it, to make the big bucks. So, could these rappers just have a different image of what the american dream is for them? The answer is I don’t know because I have no clue what’s running around in their brains. However, what I do know is that the way in which the reality of how fame, popularity, and “being cool” are being framed by rappers like the Migos, Lil Pump, Future, and so many more is that it presents a distorted image of what young children to aspire to be. Keep in mind, children are very impressionable, so when the artists that they listen to begin idolizing a lifestyle filled with women, drugs, and in some cases gang violence, the kids that idolize these artists then try emulate these same things in their own life. The epidemic that is currently sweeping over the music industry is the disappearance of real language in Rap music, and is beginning to be replaced with nonsensical rhetoric – changing our perception of our reality.