In How To Steal Like A Panda: Desiigner’s Future Heist, Noisy Images argues that mumble rap is akin to scat singing from the jazz era.
Jump to the 2 minute mark to see the comparison (and a dope video of Louis Armstrong).
Here’s my problem with that comparison: the jazz greats of that era did more than just scat sing. They sang. They played instruments. Even scat singing itself includes stringing melodies and harmonies.
Mumble rap is just… emotional mumbling? Most of the credit for the powerful emotions of a good mumble rap song, it seems, really belongs with the producer who creates the moving beats.
And that’s where this analogy completely falls apart for me. Because mumble rappers are interchangeable. Desiigner and Future are impossible to tell apart. Same goes for Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty.
Copying other people’s styles and building on them is part of the artistic process. No debate there.
But the real artist in mumble rap is not the rapper.