Instigator / Pro

Wikipedia and mainstream timeline of Mumble-Rap evolution is wrong. Mumble rap was an evolution of a style of rap that Lil Wayne invented.


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Lil Wayne is the actual founder of mumble rap, I will prove the entire Wikipedia page wrong as well as most mumble-rap-lovers as well as MR haters. MR was genuinely founded by Lil Wayne, no one ever rapped in that way before him and the ones who are accredited as being the first mumble-rappers are NOT THE FIRST AT ALL, MR was invented long before 2011 despite what most people think.

Round 1
Just to be clear this is not a conspiracy theory, at least 50% of Mumble rappers themselves pay homage to Lil Wayne for inventing the theme and stylistic nature of rapping they use.

This is not a debate about whether or not Lil Wayne is a complete mumble rapper or not. He obviously isn't, he's lyrical when he feels like being it but he was the absolute founder, pioneer and revolutionary in rap to make 'trash rap' become an actual thing that people either hated or loved and he killed it so much that the following undisputed mumble rappers named themselves after him:

Lil Pump being the biggest and most devout fan of Lil Wayne other than 21 Savage and XXXTentacion (rest in agony, scumbag) let's move onto the others...

  • Lil Peep
  • Lil Mosey
  • Lil Tracy
  • Lil Uzi Vert
  • Lil Xan
  • Lil Yachty
Note: 'Mosey' and 'Yachty' are paying homage to Wayne's alternate rap name which is Lil Weezy and 'Tracy' is simple to Tunechi (pronounced toon'shee)

You cannot possibly argue that they all genuinely had reasons for their names and it's coincidence, some of them are very average if not tall, Wayne named himself Lil because he actually is short and unashamed of it.

Aside from the naming, let's get into the nitty-gritty. I am one of the world's deepest fans of rap (literally world's top-tier of rap fans) I have followed the rap game for years in depth. I know it all from the Pac beef with both Biggie and Diddy to the modern day beef between MGK and Em as well as lowkey beef involving Minaj and Remy Ma. I know it all and if I don't it means it didn't really matter to the rap game overall. I knew Lil Wayne from before he was big to now, I was a real rap fan from ages when my parents would have freaked out if they knew what I listened to to now. I am not some wannabe and not AT ALL a poser saying 'look at me I love rap so much' I have actually studied, followed, appreciated and understood all forms of (or schools of depending how you see it) rap, grime and hip-hop (grime is the British rap-game).

Until Lil Wayne got into drugs and all that I don't deny he was a lyrical rapper. He was a fantastic poet-esque rapper who had real depth to his metaphors. This is why it's so important to understand that Wayne is literally the Daddy of mumble rap because he had both the actual skills and connections in the industry to make it as a lyrical rapper but CHOSE to explore the concept of rap that doesn't really focus on lyrics so much as purely on delivery and flow. He INVENTED the idea that lyrics don't matter and had many haters and lovers. At first it was unclear if the drugs had permanently damaged his brain or something intentional was going on but unfortunately it does seem like the former even though he 'tries to be lyrical' nowadays to a degree have you noticed how ALL HIS RECENT collabs are with mumble rappers? He hasn't released a song with Drake, Minaj or Em for years and he was really close with all three (Em the least and frankly I think they will never make-up because Em hates mumble rap and everything it stands for).

There is a reason why even Em will never say Wayne's name or subliminally diss him when hitting mumble-rappers. Wayne is beyond mumble rap, he is a god of it. This is extremely important to grasp; mumble rappers do it because they are too bad at lyrical rap, Wayne invented it by choice and also because he's only been semi-good at lyrical rap post-drugs. He's different to usual mumble rappers and capable of delivery actual metaphors and puns, nonetheless he founded the entire concept and his first, biggest example of doing so is the following:

Lil Wayne - Lollipop ft. Static

If you don't have Spotify Premium or want a dirty version without constant censoring so you can properly hear the mumbling and invention of the concept that lyrics matter less than delivery in his form of rap check out this video:

^ It's sped up to avoid and higher pitched to avoid copyright claims

This was in 2008 but the first "Mumble Rapper" apparently came out in 2011... Please, Gucci Mane and whoever else were not inventing anything. The only thing that got invented was adding a type of music called Trap music to the beat and I'll go into that in Round 2 if need be. The melody and technology of beat-making is the only way Wayne got outdone by his progeny, the actual stylistic nature and theme? He invented it all.

Gold teeth? Lil Wayne did it first. Money-seeking? Lil Wayne did it first, if anything rap was about being poor before Wayne entered the game.

Let's look at other places where Wayne not only uses Mumble rap but starts getting partners on his YoungMoney label (he called himself Cash Money at times but the label was Young Money and he was one of the two founding fathers of it) to join him in mumble rapping.

Truly listen to this song:

Click the link with the timestamp attached and listen to Birdman rapping, he doesn't normally slur or mumble like this, Wayne encouraged him to try (it's quite obvious if you know who was above who in the hierarchy in Young Money) and then wait for Lil Wayne's verse after. This is literally the first innovation of rap where mumbling is not just ok, it's literally the way one flows and delivers and the nihilism and hedonism are in every other line.

Rhyming everything with everything? Using it three lines later? This is not normal for Birdman to do, Wayne encouraged him to try this flow and style and simply observe the Wayne verse, just literally listen and wait for it...

3:26 timestamp.

Sure, it's lyrical I get that. What you don't realise is that the line between mumble rap and lyrical rap is far blurrier than people think. I will admit it, this isn't really mumbling but notice something, as he evolves this 'style'...

A song with Drake, Kanye AND Eminem... A real deal rap and what does Wayne do? Slurs and mumbles and smiles while doing it.

This is absolutely where he begins to explore without any autotune or technology, 

^ this is pre-2008, this was literal tha carter 2. He is mumbling and delivering in a way that you can barely hear what he's saying and he 'sings and voice-shakes' the words before autotune was even invented or remotely mainstream. He INSPIRED artists to even begin autotuning because his voice NATURALLY swings in the way people like T-Pain make theirs do artificially.

As technology and autotune evolved Wayne had not only. 

Here is a 2010 song, observe not just his flow but his STYLE and THEME to the lyrics. Nihilism, Hedonism with singy-songy type slurring mumbling rap even going 'errrrr' to make the flow sicker at parts:

He half rhymes repeating words over and over again while altering the other word in the rhyming phrase.

Wayne invented this entire idea and caused so much controversy. Soulja Boy? Dead, didn't take the singy-songy style to make his gun-loving style appeal to audiences. T-Pain, inspired by Wayne in all ways without the clout in the rap game to be capable of pulling off what Wayne did and also lacking lyrics.

I want you to listen to the world's official first mumble rapper but unofficially second, Gucci Mane.

^ This is just in 2017 but I want to explain something.

Because Mane was neither the pioneer nor best at mumble rap at ANY STAGE despite being so ancient in the mumble-rap-game, he is still so terrible at it. There is an idea that if someone is terrible at it, they are more so it but this is a lie. Look at Wayne doing mumble rap in this day and age. Because he is the only mumble rapper who NATURALLY mumble-rapped, he kills it in ways NO OTHER MUMBLE RAPPER can. Others mumble as a convenience and imitation, Wayne mumbles as his brain and voice naturally suited it.

He is not just the best mumble rapper, he is the only actual mumble rapper because he naturally mumbles and slurs and likes the topics others lose their souls pursuing. 

Wayne is the best worst rapper and that's a fucking fact.

First I'd like to thank RM for starting this debate. Even though I believe (and will show) that his argument is wrong on all counts I think it's important to analyze what is growing into a dominant subgenre in modern hip hop.

I will first deconstruct and negate the Pro's line of argumentation and then provide my own brief timeline/analysis of the formation of "mumble rap".


Pro's first argument relates to the monikers that some so-called mumble rappers have taken up. Examples include lil' yachty, lil' uzi, and lil' xan. He then proceeds to ponder how these prefixes could possibly be a coincidence before settling on their names as necessarily being tributes to lil Wayne as the originator of their preferred style.

This argument might be convincing if lil Wayne was the one to start the trend of using a "lil" at the beginning of his stage name. Unfortunately for Pro this couldn't be farther from the truth. Cursory research reveals the commonality of this moniker starting in the 80's. The first known rapper to employ the name was Lil Troy (known for his song "Wanna Be a Baller"). 

Other well known rappers to employ the name include Lil Kim, Lil Jon, Lil Dirk, Lil B, Lil Boosie, and Lil Reese. These rappers came up from all over the country, heralding from Atlanta to Chicago. None of these artists are so-called mumble rappers and a few predate Carter's entry into hip hop entirely. The name has been employed so popularly it even inspired the parody rapper Lil dicky to don the name in 2013 before the rise of the SoundCloud generation.

Pro fails to account for the popularity of the lil moniker before the entrance of lil Wayne to the hip hop stage. It's not lil Wayne, it just happens to be an immensely popular prefix like "Young"(Yung) or MC. 

[Flow/Delivery over Lyrics]

Pro's next argument contends that Lil Wayne was the progenitor of a hip hop style which prefers the style of delivery and aesthetic flow to specific lyrical content. This (he claims) is what mumble rap uniquely is and therefore Lil Wayne invented it. He claims that Lil Wayne invented a style of rap which prioritizes talking about money and drugs to more substantive subject matter.

Again, these stylistics pre-date Wayne and are not either unique to so-called mumble rap or what defines it. Going back to Lil troy, his most famous single "Wanna Be a Baller" definitely pre-dates Wayne's entry into hip hop and employs only lyrics of fame and drug consumption. According to Pro's line of argument I suppose it was actually Lil Troy who invented mumble rap.

Although I don't find it necessary see Snoop Dogg, P Diddy, Dr. Dre, Xzibit, etc. etc. as rappers who predate Wayne that dealt with the aforementioned subject matter.

As to the argument prioritizing style to substance, this has never been what strictly defines mumble rap. Since the inception of hip hop there have been artists who prioritized one over the other. even restrictions myself to the "Lil" moniker, on Pro's argumentation it would seem that Lil Jon must be one of the creative forefathers of mumble rap.

Pro also makes reference to some songs predating the rise of mumbe rap where Wayne employs a style of delivery that is difficult to decipher (he might be said to be "mumbling"). I won't dwell on this point too much. I'll simply reference that specific trait in artists pre-dating Wayne: Das EFX's "They Want EFX" and  FU-Schnicken's "True Fuschnick" all more resemble modern mumble rap techniques than the Wayne examples Pro provided and were released in the mid-1990's. The latter also employs the use of onomatopea "sound effects" at the end of various lines, predating another "mumble rap" trait found in Migos, 21Savage, and Desiigner.

[Deconstruction Conclusion]

To summarize my deconstruction of the Pro argument, Lil Wayne was not the originator of any of the individual elements Pro believes consistitute so-called mumble rap. Whether that be the "lil" moniker, the prioritization of style over substance (or delivery over lyrics), money and fame as lyrical inspiration, or even (perhaps the most well known mumble rap trait) onomatopean outbursts.

[What is Mumble Rap]

To define mumble rap we must define what is unique to it. As a subgenre it exists in a specific time with specific attributes which we must be careful to define lest we cross into generalization and definitions ambiguity.

I forward a simple definition of mumble rap (beginning in the 2010's) which employs lo-fi production, trap influences, emphasis on personal aesthetics, and an evolving lyrical style which either employs onomatopean outbursts or highly emotional and vulnerable language. Two classes can be descended from within the genre depending on which of the last two lyrical traits are most present with Lil Uzi, XXXTentacion, and Lil Xan employing the latter and 21Savage and Migos embodying the former.

As a genre "mumble rap" has roots in varying hip hop genres. No single artist originated it but a multitude of trends and styles meshed at a specific to give rise to the genre. The ascension of trap and Gucci Mane's prolific output along with the DIY nature of Chief Keef's production and aesthetic were major influences but the late 2000's alternative rock scene also played a part in the development of some lyrical content. These trends coalesced (initially) around the SoundCloud community in the 2010's with artists like Ski Mask the Slump God, XXXTentacion, Lil Uzi Vert, Rich the Kid, and Lil Yachty.

To Conclude, Lil Wayne did not begin the mumble rap movement anymore than Lil Troy or Lil Jon did. Mumble rap (more aptly called SoundCloud rap) is a genre defined by more than just mumbling or lack of lyrical depth. Hip hop has always contained artists off that caliber. What sets it apart are the specific and unique influences it channels (Mane, Keef, alt rock, DAS EFX) and the community those influences had a major impact and productive output (Soundcloud).
Round 2
While I admit I didn't prove it enough that the Lil's are paying homage to Lil Wayne, Con is completely deceiving you in what he is pointing out. Yes, coincidentally "Lil" is not unique to Lil Wayne as there were other short-and-proud rappers out there such as Lil Kim. The point is not just the naming-style. The look of Mumble Rappers itself takes after a look that Lil Wayne invented along with his buddy Birdman when they had the Young Money label and were inventing nihilistic, hedonistic rap. The encrusted teeth, the autotune, the slurring of words, the repeition of lyrics (literally rhyming words with themselves over and over shamelessly) and focus in drugs, women, guns and women and nothing else (the key to mumble rap is the focus on nothing but those topics, not the focus on the topics itself, as that's shared with other strands of rap) it all was invented by Wayne & Co.

I am going to show you an image of Lil Wayne form when he began this look, the first time he truly came up with the look that almost all rappers mimic today was most pronounced adn seen-by-many in the 2012 hit YOLO. In 2012 only 2 other mumble rappes had hit the scene and they were both fans of Lil Wayne (Gucci Mane and T-Pain) Maybe ou can argue Rich Homie Quan was around back then but Home Quan literally came years after Lil Wayne in the industry and copied his themes and rap-repetition-style although Quan ever copied his look.

So here's Lil Wayne in the track YOLO:

The point isn't that he's mumbling, as I said in Round 1 Wayne was never a pure-mumbler but this is the key point. He LITERALLY NATURALLY SUITED mumble-rapping in all ways and it was his ACTUAL STYLE OF RAPPING that made people want to autotune and rap repetitive to nihilistic, hedonistic tunes. His look became known there and has continued since. 

Now that you have seen who invented that look (teeth, dreads with a starter-cap on, sunglasses and tats like the tear etc visible not just without clothing but clear even on the face and neck)... Now, sure, having the same style as someone before you doesn't mean you idolise them but notice the consistency.

Here's Lil Pump:

He since has altered his style to have pine-apple-tied-dreads but has almost the exact same kind of glasses that Wayne wears (yes Wayne wear glasses, he just takes them off for vids or has his prescription sunglasses instead). Pump came out as a Wayne wannabe and never has directly denied it at all, 

It should be noted that Lil Wayne doesn't like most of his imitators at all. While he's allied himself with XXXTENTACION, 21 savage and a couple other mumble-rappers, the ones who named themselves Lil he has several times dissed as his imitators and dick-suckers etc. They still like him but they learned he doesn't like how much they want to be him early on in the industry and THAT is why they altered their looks over time.

Here is a diss wayne gave pump and another mumble rapper who copies wayne's voice and the shaky-style too much SmokePurpp:

Wayne has dissed them many times, from Lil Yachty to whoever but the point is they all like Wayne so much they forgive him and forget. THAT is why even after wayne spoke ill of Yachty, Yachty begged and agreed to do cyphers with Wayne and songs with him, same with Lil Uzi Vert.

Look at the look of Yachty and Uzi Vert in their early days:
^ Lil Yachty's original look when he 'broke out' in the industry. He's since toned down the braids (which were imitating dreads like Wayne had in his earliest days: < that's still early Wayne but older than in the other pic

Here is Lil uzi Vert in his early-days-in-the-industry-look:

Literally LOL... It's like Yazhty's imitation of Wayne but with dreads instead of braids. He's since got a totally different look that isn't like Wayne at all but Wayne is still semi-mad about it. As long as you don't imitate Wayne, he is willing to forgive and forget.

Here is a song where Wayne takes his beat and murders it with better mumble-rapping skills and I want you to appreciate just how natural and authentic Wayne is at mumble-rap. I told you this in Round 1, Wayne mumbles and sing-songs his raps with repetitive lyrics by nature, everyone else is imitating him pretty much or inspired by him at the very least. He invented this style of rap. Some call it lazy, but Mumble-Rappers call it fresh/dope so I guess it's subjective.

Uzi's original mumble-rap:

Wayne's mumble-rap on the beat:

Wayne was born to mumble-rap. He rapped sing-songy first before autotune was even a thing in the industry (it first hit pop, rappers never used it for at least four years after Pop began to dabble in it and Wayne naturally shook his voice in the way autotune does for others and it fascinated other rappers and Will.I.Am and T-Pain are famous for being inspired by his voice in how they delivered their raps.

Wayne didn't just invent the voice-shaking with sing-songy vibes to the delivery. Wayne knows how to mumble and slur words properly. He does it do you can always half-understand and this perfection of mumbling is something NO OTHER ARTIST EVER has done. They literally can't do it, they mumble too hard or too not-at-all to pull off the mumble rap thing.

Con, no offense, has accepted this debate thinking I am some amateur who is just making this out of hatred to Wayne but he slipped up hard. I know Wayne deeply and Wayne invented shallow-rap. I don't hate it, I do dislike it but that's not why I made this debate. I am paying homage tot he father of mumble-rap because that's literally what he is. 

All mumble rappers have copied wayne in looks, sound and a multitude of things and Wayne HATED IT! This is the key point as to why he never got credit, he hates those imitating him, he's even officially dissed Pump and Yachty (Yachty via tweets or something, not an actual diss-track).

Anyways, let's give you some real-deal Wayne mumble raps. Yes, these are all recent but he's absolutely slaughtering mumble rap because it's HIS STYLE, the others are only trying, he's achieving.



^ lol he's mumbling and beats SO MANY RAPPERS AT ONCE LMAO!! Future is a mumble rapper sure but the others are in-betweeners:
^ that's the original

Round 3
End of discussion
Round 4
Round 5
I hope Con doesn't cheat or get sly here posting new points in the last Round, I can't reply to and therefore can't defend against new attacks.

I made this 5 round to ensure the fairest in-depth back and forth fight between two sides possible based on the site's offered templates.