Mumble rap

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Mumble rap (also known as SoundCloud rap)[1] is a music scene and microgenre that originated on the online audio distribution platform SoundCloud.[2] It is characterized for its simple beats and lyrics that range from the egocentric and nihilistic to containing discussion of sex and drugs (usually Xanax and lean).[2]


Todd Moscowitz, the founder of Alamo Records, has called the genre a "lo-fi movement" noting the heavily distorted bass and intentional lack of polish in the sound. When Ski Mask the Slump God discussed the genre's sound and recording techniques, he noted that "It was like the worst recording set up, [but] you could set it up anywhere and that was the wave we were on," and "The raw energy of that – the distortion – is our speciality and we used that to our advantage."[3]

Controversy of the term[edit]

The term "mumble rap" has been described as being a derogatory term, in reference to a perceived incoherence of the artist's lyrics,[4][5] because of this, musicians such as Lil Yachty have rejected their association with the term.[6] Oscar Harold of the Cardinal Times has even stated that the term "mumble rap" is misleading, arguing that the rappers such as Future rely more upon pop melodies and vocal affects, such as Auto-Tune, than mumbling.[7]

Media attention[edit]

Music critic Jon Caramanica of The New York Times opined in a 2017 article that SoundCloud rap "in the last year has become the most vital and disruptive new movement in hip-hop".[8] Complex magazine mentioned SoundCloud rap in an article about rappers on SoundCloud,[8] and Spin noted that the SoundCloud company has not been able to leverage the popularity of SoundCloud rap to improve its financial problems.[9]

Notable artists[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (April 5, 2018). "Lil Xan: Total Xanarchy review – moronic rap to make you feel old". The Guardian. Retrieved August 6, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "An Aging Hip-Hop Fan and WW's Resident Hypebeast Debate the New Sound of Rap". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2018-01-29. 
  3. ^ Turner, David (June 1, 2017). "Look At Me!: The Noisy, Blown-Out SoundCloud Revolution Redefining Rap". Rolling Stone. 
  4. ^ HINEBAUGH, JONAH. "Mumble rap is abstract expressionism for hip hop". Retrieved 7 August 2018. 
  5. ^ Lyons, Patrick. "Lil Yachty's "Teenage Emotions" (Review)". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 7 August 2018. 
  6. ^ COWEN, TRACE WILLIAM. "Lil Yachty Doesn't Consider Himself Part of Mumble Rap: 'My Voice Is Different'". Complex. Retrieved 7 August 2018. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Harold, Oscar. "Review: 'Mumble Rap' is a poor label for new Hip-Hop". Retrieved 7 August 2018. 
  8. ^ a b c d Caramanica, Jon (June 22, 2017). "The Rowdy World of Rap's New Underground". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ Sargent, Jordan (July 14, 2017). "Why Soundcloud Rap Couldn't Save Soundcloud". Spin. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Burford, Corinna. "Your Cheat Sheet for Telling All the SoundCloud Rappers Apart". Retrieved 17 July 2018. 
  11. ^ a b Turner, David. "They Came From SoundCloud: Lil Uzi Vert and the 6 Rappers Who Could Be Rock Stars". Retrieved 17 July 2018. 
  12. ^ a b Madden, Ben. "How Soundcloud rap outgrew itself and found the mainstream". Red Bull. Retrieved 17 July 2018.