By Adam Robles
When looking at the current generation of rap music, there has been a noticeable decrease in overall quality. It’s hard not to seem like an old person yelling at the newer generation of music for not being as good as their own. But when analyzed, there is without a doubt that lyrical quality has taken a huge nosedive.
The fanbase of rap music is currently more divided than it ever has been due to this situation. It’s not only the fanbase, but most of the older rappers have admitted to not being fans of what the young talent is up to. Rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem have made it very clear that they don’t like what the genre is becoming.
A lot of older rappers have no tolerance to what they refer to as “mumble rap”. It’s what some of the new singers are referred to as because it sounds like they mumble when they sing. A lot of the mumble rappers have a similar look with tattoos on their faces and longer, sometimes dyed hair.
There are people who lean more towards artists who have better beats in their music. A lot of rappers know this and abuse that fact. It’s very apparent when taking the time to break down their lyrics.
This generation of rappers tend to reuse the same themes of drugs, sex and money in many of their songs which is lazy and not creative. All they care to do is throw in their limited vocabulary and reuse the same cadence as everyone else just to make their hit song.
Proper rhyming is too much to ask for, so they just throw in some autotune and hope it works out. It’s a very telling display of how untalented new rappers are because they often rhyme by repeating the same phrase. This isn’t the case with all rappers though.
There are a few rappers who have completely separated themselves from that crowd and often destroy the mumble rappers lyrically on their tracks. The very fact that they pull themselves out of the crowd shows that their music really means something to them. It’s the complete opposite to what the “mumble” rappers do.
On December 15, 2017, Eminem dropped a new album, “Revival,” after taking a four-year break from making music. Although his album reached platinum sales, it was not well received by the media . Lots of the mumble rappers and journalists began to say Eminem was now boring and out of touch with how things are in the new generation.
He made songs that were lyrically advanced and discussed real life issues such as his to fame and the stress that put on him, a typical American cheating story. Other issues he talks about are the fact that people see him as a god while he knows he’s only human, discussing the unfair fact that he’s “untouchable” by police compared to African Americans just because he’s white, and even the recent presidential election.
Eminem really vented in this album and made sure that it was clear how much he hates our current president. His opinions on our current president were heard. Because in his surprise album, “Kamikaze,”released only months later, he claimed that the secret service was sent to his house. They wanted to check if he was actually planning on hurting the president or linked to terrorists in any way.
“Kamikaze” was released August 31, 2018. The album was much more well received by its audience and critics because the focus was shifted from Eminem being upset with society to being upset with critics and other rappers.
He very explicitly pointed out the flaws within the current generation of rap. He name dropped rappers like Tyler, the Creator, Machine Gun Kelly, Joe Budden, Lil Yachty, Lil Pump, Lil Xan, Ja Rule, Migos, and Drake. He rapped about not being able to understand what half of them are talking about due to mumbling their lyrics. Even calling them out for having ghostwriters, people hired to write song lyrics without receiving credit, and not actually wanting to make meaningful statements through their songs.
Eminem has been using his fame to elevate other singers that really need the mainstream attention. People who actually make statements and can storytell in their music rather than sticking to the same formulas that are played to death at this point. People like Royce da 5’9″, Joyner Lucas, Ed Sheeran, Logic and Boogie are just a few he has recently collaborated with to make beautiful masterpieces.
In a song called “Lucky You,” featuring Joyner Lucas, on Eminem’s most recent album, the two made a very bold statement. Joyner talked about how he wished he had a grammy because he wants fame and feels like he has earned it. Eminem was on the opposing side though, he dissed the grammys and mentioned that they mean nothing because they’re rigged. They also poked at the other rappers for being unoriginal in their music video by having black shadows copying every movement they did.
In Logic’s recently released album, there was a dream come true collaboration track. Eminem featured on the song “Homicide.” Both demonstrated how advanced they are compared to everyone else by dissing rappers who use auto tune to digitally enhance their voices. They once again pointed out the idiotic natures of mumble rappers repeatedly flexing their expensive purchases.
This is exactly what the genre needed because it was a public service announcement to all rappers which made it known that raps new style is no good and needs to die out. Eminem is just an example of what most people need to do in today’s society though.
Everyone just wants to fit in with what’s easy, figuratively standing outside of the fire. The crossing of the threshold is always a difficult task, but it’s what separates legends from common people. People have seemingly lost the will to be entrepreneurs in a society that needs more leaders.
For rap to continue to evolve, there needs to be people who are willing to change and stand out from the rest. That’s how rap can evolve and change which needs to happen to end the decrease of overall quality in rap music.