The grunge rap movement has been going strong for years, which ultimately set the genre on the road to glory it’s now on.
The year was 2011, Lil Wayne had just released his fifth solo rap album titled, Tha Carter IV. Kids all over the country began to pick up new trends from him that would shape their fashion styles, music sensations, and even their vocabulary for the continuation of the decade.
Skinny jeans on boys became the most frowned upon clothing piece to elders, but the most beloved of suburban millennials. Just as song samples recur in music every day, even the recycled fashion trends of the late Kurt Cobain and similar rock artists became the “look” for up and coming rappers from East to West.
Skate culture rose to the top of the rap universe, clothing collabs took over the internet while continuing to reach the households of millions of young kids “stanning” films and shows such as Jackass and Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, and others similar to them. One question that comes to mind because of its longevity and expansion is: who would have thought the phase would last this long?
Fast forward to 2016, five years later and the style stuck around. En route to that year, artists like Young Thug, Travis Scott, Future, the late Mac Miller, and the rap group Odd Future made their stamps on the game that would stick around forever and change the tone of rap music throughout the entire World Wide Web. The mixing of trap beats and melodic enhancement combined to produce autotuned diamonds.
This period was also an important stepping stone to give full recognition to producers and engineers. Combining the evolution of internet downloading, widespread teen angst on social media apps, and a darker, more defined rock-and-roll fashion style created what is known today as “grunge rap”.
Aggression has always made its way into rap songs with some reaching higher levels of the attitude than others. Grunge rap has naturally infused this attitude into the dynamics of lyricism and 808 bass drums, similar to the rock-and-roll scene. It also became more acceptable for rappers to cling to emotional episodes in their music. The legendary formation of rapper Drake’s catalog can speak volumes for this theory, while his fashion style didn’t exactly fit the grunge effect, the projects that he’d released certainly influenced the rap community’s acceptance of being emotional on tracks.
In terms of the history of rap music, this acceptance comes from a diverse position than the initial starting point of the art. Of course, Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys would deter from the previous statement.
2020 is here, and we’ve now heard the early tapes and albums of the most successful underground rappers who have become the most beloved artists to teens and young adults across the globe. As millions of fans throughout the past few years have mourned the losses of popular artists Lil Peep, XXXTentacion, and Juice Wrld, while they were all on the rise, thus fans of grunge culture were sent deeper into a frozen state of pain and heartache.
These unfortunate losses have fueled many young artists to get into the studio and keep the sound going. Most notably, Lil Uzi Vert, the walking centerpiece of grunge rap. Uzi has grown into a god sent rapper who can push clever rhyme schemes, pick up chicks with his voice, and stretch the gothic clothing style across every Instagram feed. Upon the arrival of his long-awaited studio album, Eternal Atake, fans are hoping for the most substantial compilation of the sounds that they love. His previous albums along with his character have certainly sparked the eminent thirst for more and more aspects of grunge.
Rap music ultimately bites itself more than any other form of music. Think about how far rap music has come, no matter how positive or negative someone could make it out to be. The future is bright for wherever this course takes us, everyone should hold tight for the further emergence of this phase in grunge rap.