“Emo rap” and “mumble rap” are two terms that are used somewhat interchangeably (inaccurately so, I might add, as the two overlap sometimes but are stylistically distinct) by older hip-hop fans to denigrate the new wave of colorfully-coifed-and-clothed artists who run the gamut from legitimately terrible (Lil Pump, whose inane, slurred vocals definitely lean to the “mumble” end of the spectrum) to quite good (Lil Uzi Vert, who has a septum piercing and often wears his dreads blue or purple). San Diego’s Yung Drugg makes what he calls “grunge trap,” which grabs both subgenres by the scruff, smashes them together, and blasts them into outer space. The song “YOPO,” off the new album of the same name, finds its closest antecedent in the hazy jams of Swedish rapper Yung Lean but can plausibly be compared with some of Bon Iver’s newer releases. The instrumental, produced by a fellow named “rodger,” mixes dreamily strummed guitar riffs with a thundering trap beat, while Drugg himself lets loose with a heavily auto-tuned, reverbed, deeply-melodic, and mostly unintelligible vocal performance. The final product sounds like something Chief Keef would record if he got really sad and went on a multi-day vision quest in the desert. I honestly love this song, and will most definitely be listening to it on repeat at work tomorrow.
Listen to more from Yung Drugg: https://yungdrugg.bandcamp.com/