Playboi Carti’s Rebuttal: A Review of “R.I.P”
The rap genre is currently in a divide between what some would refer to as “mindful rap,” or work that provokes intellectual thoughts, versus so-called “mumble rap.” Mumble rap, as many may already know due to the high volume of discussions regarding the topic, is exactly what the name implies: mumbled verses that are typically compensated by well-produced beats. As many things go, in the division of style lies a division of age, too. Mumble rappers tend to be of the millennial generation, young teens and individuals in their twenties, while those who scrutinize these rappers tend to come from ages thirty or older. Although this is a common trait, this does not exactly hold true across the board, as mumble rappers come in all ages and demographics, and rappers of the intellectual kind alike.
What has sparked influence for the creation of this article is rap star Playboi Carti’s track “R.I.P,” the second song off his most recent album Die Lit. Carti has solidified himself as a prominent figure in the rap game, and his most pronounced feature is that he is what would be considered a mumble rapper. That trait is exactly what Carti asserts over and over again in “R.I.P,” stating:
Bought that crib for my mama off that mumblin' sh*t
Made a mil' off that, uh / Off that mumblin' sh*t.
The statement in these lyrics tells us that
1) Carti could care less about what people -- such as J. Cole -- have to say about his approach to rap, and
2) mumble rap may just be what sells best. As many know, rap is the dominant genre in America now, topping rock ‘n roll for the first time over the past year. This is largely due to the fact that a majority of music is consumed via streaming services. If one identifies the primary user of such services, they would find the majority in younger generations. When these two constructs are combined, it is understood that rap is the most popular genre for younger crowds, so it’s no wonder that rap sells more than any other genre. This is exactly what Carti thrives off of, and he throws it right in the face of his haters.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I feel that this is the attitude that Carti has embraced, and it is apparent through his work. Since the beginning of his career, Playboi Carti has been judged by his unconventional mumble approach, but this style may be just what has solidified him as an influential artist. It is known now more than ever that Carti prospers off mumble rap, especially since he berates it in the vibrant anthem “R.I.P.” Check out this track below and tell me what you think, along with the entire album Die Lit