Black Thought: ‘I Essentially Invented Mumble Rap’
Long regarded as one of the best lyricists ever, Black Thought has found himself at the center of Top 5 debates once more, as fans freaked out over his dizzying freestyle (it's since racked up over 2 million views on YouTube).
Rolling Stone recently caught up with The Roots frontman, and asked him about the attention he's received as of late, and of course, his thoughts on the current state of hip-hp.
“I think hip-hop, the culture, is at a crossroads right now, and there's not very much that people who are older than millennials have to identify with,” the Philly rapper told the publication.
“There isn't much that's reaching the mainstream that is hip-hop in the sense that people my age know it as, if that makes any sense. The game has changed. It's different. The standards are different, the criteria that's taken into consideration in determining validity is different. We're at a point in history where lyricism almost comes last in very many regards. So for someone from my school, who has come from the ilk of lyricism being held in far higher regard, it brings a different sort of urgency to every performance.”
But things got pretty interesting when he was asked about so-called "mumble rap." In fact, he says he invented it.
"Lots of people are saying that I shut down mumble rap in one 10-minute setting. But that wasn't my intention, because mumble rap – if we go back – that's something I invented,” Thought reasoned “I invented rapping without actually using the words. With songs like Don't Say Nuthin', freestyles like New Year's At Jay Dee's, I essentially invented mumble rap, where you go for many bars without saying any words. And when I did it, it came from a place of being inspired by scatting.”
Now that's definitely food for thought (no pun intended). Check out the rest of what Black Thought had to say over at Rolling Stone.