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Is there a genre of music in the last decade more polarizing than mumble rap? Defined by its lack of lyrical quality, mumble rap has grown to dominate the hip-hop scene and has made its way from the Soundcloud sub-basement to the mainstream. Like most other popular media, mumble rap has attracted its share of haters. Unlike most other popular media, mumble rap may have more haters than fans. It is, by and large, the most shit-on genre of music since nu-metal.

The argument against mumble-rap is simple: you can’t understand what the artist is saying — and even when you can understand what they’re saying, it’s often base and uninspired. Does that make it bad hip-hop? To many, yes. To me, no. I think a lot of people fundamentally misunderstand what makes a hip-hop song good (note: I did not use the word “great” here). …


Taylor John Bruck

Archivist by trade, historian by appointment, poet by design, rapper by mistake. Find more at

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