Music - Don't Worry, Be Happy - Mumble Rap is just a fad - hip hop has always had them.
Lately there has been a lot of press dedicated to more old-school rappers decrying the death of hip-hop in the form of mumblerap. The same hip-hop thats been dying since it was born by the sounds of it. But is it really dying? Or just a new phase in the ever-gestating art-form that is rap?
Much attention has been given to Eminem and his blistering return to form in the shape of the new Kamikaze album, a portion of which is dedicated to portraying Eminem as the man returning to kill mumblerap.
While it is understandable that such a talented lyricist as Eminem would be pissed off by a lack of lyrical dexterity on tracks such as "Gucci Gang" and "Wasted". Is it really that big a worry?
Each generation decries the latest trend that succeeds them - Folk fans cried folk is dead when Bob Dylan plugged in an electric guitar, Punk came around as a direct reaction to the onslaught of Disco RUN DMC and early-80's rappers cried foul when gangsta rap took over the scene in the 90's, everyone took a step back when horrorcore rap became prominent from The Geto Boys "Mind Playin Tricks" to the Gravediggaz and The Flatlinerz becoming big as a palate-cleanser to the slew of gangsta rap and releasing horror movies under the guise of a music video.
The early 2000's saw every rapper and his mother trying to recreate the dirty south sound a la Nelly and Ludacris. Is it any surprise that mumblerap has come to the fore in an era where the Oxford English dictionary is starting to compile emoji-speak and webtext? And if an artist is passionate about their craft but lack the lyrical skills of an Eminem or a Vinnie Paz should that excluse them from trying to make a name for themselves?
Personally speaking I grew up listening to Jay-Z, Biggie, Wu-Tang etc but to todays youth in an era of instant feedback on social media and tldr responses is mumblerap any less valid to their cultural experience than the first time you heard C.R.E.A.M on a walkman? Time will tell. Maybe the next flash-in-the-pan will be a reaction to mumblerap with a slew of hyper-lyrical young MC's.
But then again this has been true of just about every musical genre in this day and age - Ed Sheeran reigns supreme in the pop charts while artists like The Tallest Man on Earth and struggle for Spotify streams, Radiohead release their albums for free and nobody outside of Boston has heard of Diabolic. The point is if you are looking for true artistry or true lyricism than you will not find it in the charts but it is always out there. The fact that it is not in the charts is irrelevant if you are a fan of music - go find what you like rather than decry the trend you dislike.
I'll still be sitting here with my iPod touch listening to Jay-Z "Meet the Parents" but thats a preference not a prejudice.