I was already a fan of Roc Nation signee, Belly, before but I’ve gained a whole other level of respect for him after reading his most recent interview with Billboard about his newest project, Mumble Rap,
When I first heard the title of Belly’s recent drop, I automatically assumed he would be throwing shots at this new generation of young artists but he’s actually using it as a tool to defend him and reading about his take on “Mumble rappers” has actually opened my mind about the new wave of artists and their music.
Was the title of your project a subtle shot to today’s “mumble rappers?”
For me, I do all kinds of music. A lot of people don’t know me for my rap shit. A lot of people know me for my more melodic, more radio [records.] I did a couple of freestyles to allow people to see like, “Oh shit, he can rap!” One thing that bothered me when that happened, people would start asking me questions like, “Well, what about these mumble rappers out there?” and I’m like, “Mumble what?”
[Eventually] I was like, “You know, the best way to take the power away from this word, that these ‘rap purists’ are trying to coin, is to create an amazing rap project where I actually rap my ass off and call it Mumble Rap and every time you think of “mumble rap,” you think of this amazing rap project that came out and the amazing things the younger generation is doing.
A lot of people are too pure with this [rap] shit… When you look at hip-hop, we’ve always had guys that could really rap, and guys that know how to get by with just making dope music, and don’t have to necessarily know how to rap. We’ve had guys that were just bigger characters than their music, so their characters carried their music — we’ve had that since back in the day.
But, every single era pretends like, “Oh that never happened before, this is brand new.” All this shit is recycling itself, so I could never look at rap and be like, “They’re wack for doing this.” I may not like all the music, but if your music can move the people, you’re doing something.
I admit I was a hater and have used the term “mumble rap” to describe some of the new music coming out but Belly is right, “I may not like all the music, but if your music can move the people, you’re doing something.”- at the end of the day that’s what music is all about.
As a whole Mumble Rap is an overall strong body of work in my opinion, not only does this XO affiliate touch on politics and how it affects him personally, he lays down his rapping skills and proves he can do more than the melodic radio friendly joints you’re used to.
“Make A Toast,” “Mumble Rap” and “Lullaby” are just a few of the stand outs on this 11 track project.
Make A Toast
“Yeah, five in the morning
Eighty cash, meet the plug with the .40 on me
I turn the paper into birds call it origami
Fuck a wave, I’m the whole tsunami
Armani on my body like I know the Gottis
8 o’clock in the evening I ain’t even ate
Two-liter, fuck a 4, pour an even eight
Tryna keep the faith, sleeping late, but I always deviate
From the love, players club no Lisa Raye
Too up to need a loan, so I sleep alone
It’s steaks for all my dogs to each his own
The type of shit I’m on think I need cologne
To any city I roam, they screaming Caeser’s home
I signed a deal off a heartbreak
I was stuck between a rock and a hard place
Now I’m in the Barclays, drinking all of Hov’s chardonnays
Writing bars, in my desperado guitar case
Let’s make a toast “
“Okay, I need to get in my hemisphere
You interfere, start to interfere
You Richard Gere with a pretty woman, I told her look ain’t no trick in here
Like the drugs white and the liquor clear
Reflect back, tryna make it clear
Bad luck, 7 years, and I ain’t even break a mirror
20 years just to make it here
Don’t take it there, your circles is made of squares
You shoulda been made aware
Your bitch said my face is her favorite chair
Oh God, whole squad made millions
Whole time stay real
Wonder why I can’t chill
Couldn’t even pay bills
Now it’s LA hills
And I’m the king, Hank Hill
Can’t feel, can’t stand still
I blame all these damn pills
The best shit we can’t feel
I’m signin’ NDAs, these checks like NBA deals
But envy may kill, still don’t give a fuck how they feel”
“Wonder if God heard me pray when I was trying to repent
If he didn’t, I know he heard my mother cry over rent
Then you wonder why the mood inside this room is so tense
No offense, but I don’t really got nowhere to go vent
Oh yeah success is like a drug, and I been high on the scent
Feel like I wasted all the money, and the time that I spent
Maybe the tears inside my eyes had me blind with revenge
I told her even if we crash imma ride till the end
There I go lying again
Don’t know why I pretend
Let me try this again
Lord you know I never open up
Abusing drugs never thinking I was dope enough
She’s over me when I’m the one that she’s supposed to love
At least my heart broke enough for the both of us”
Take a listen to Mumble Rap and let me know if you’re f#cking with Belly as much as I am right now.