You might have seen the memes by now.
“This guy is rapping in MLA format.”
“If mumble rap is a thing, we are calling this clarity rap.”
“He doesn’t roast you, he addresses your flaws.”
Remble’s rapping style is so distinctive, the internet can’t help but recontextualize it with jokes. He makes the kind of music that provokes a visceral reaction the first time you hear it—whether you love it or hate it, you certainly won’t be bored by it.
Armed with a carefully enunciated flow and a unique way of delivering hilariously detailed one-liners, Remble has become one of the most talked-about new rappers of the past few months. For the uninitiated, “Gordon Ramsay Freestyle” is a good place to start. The San Pedro rapper opens his verse by pleading with an imaginary listener. “Are you willing to die for those Christians?” he asks, the pitch of his voice rising with each word. Visibly annoyed, he continues, “Do you really feel fly in True Religion? Did you think you would survive 5.56s? You spent a band on a burner and died with it?”
Finished with his barrage of questioning, Remble settles into a methodical groove for the next two minutes, rattling off line after line with meticulous precision. It’s as if he’s slowing down to carefully deliver every syllable, making sure no one will miss any of the slick references and double entendres. This is a generous thing for Remble to do, especially when he’s spitting some of the most intricate, off-the-wall lines we’ve heard all year: “Shawn Michaels at parties, I’m high kicking/ Monkey nuts on big choppers and side bitches/ A Gordon Ramsay entree with a side dish/ 2007 in class with a sidekick.”
To Remble, leaning into a precise flow was a fairly obvious decision. Why wouldn’t he take the time to deliver each word perfectly? When I ask him about his deliberately enunciated sound, he gives me a very straightforward answer: “When you’re recording a song, you’ve got a choice to not mess up a word, you feel what I’m saying? I just don’t stop until I make sure it sounds like it was delivered properly.”
His witty one-liners lend themselves well to social apps like TikTok, and his purposeful delivery makes him stand out from a sea of similar-sounding rappers. Of course he’s going viral. Don’t dismiss Remble as a fleeting, flash-in-the-pan artist just because you found out about him in a viral post, though. The memes are beside the point. No one is rapping quite like Remble right now, and if his flow on “Gordon Ramsay Freestyle” or “Trouble” feels gimmicky to you at first, keep listening. From song to song, he plays with new styles, flipping from nonchalant LA rap on tracks like “Ruth’s Chris Freestyle” to melodic AutoTune on “A Hundred Bands.” This isn’t a case of an artist with one internet-friendly shtick at their disposal. Remble has all kinds of different speeds.
Over the past few months, his talents have been rewarded. After linking up with Drakeo, he formalized an affiliation with the Stinc Team, and now he’s signed a deal with Warner Records. Each new song is pulling millions of views, and he’s been putting the final touches on his debut project, which is coming soon. Before that arrives, we caught up with Remble for a conversation about his come-up, his thoughts on the memes, dream collaborations, and more. The interview, lightly edited for clarity, is below.
On “Gordon Ramsay Freestyle,” your cadence makes it sound like you’re having a conversation with somebody. How did you come up with that song?
Certain lines came from certain situations where me and my friends were just talking about something and joking amongst ourselves. We were just laughing and talking with each other, and then I’d get to writing. I write lines down throughout my days, so I had a couple of lines written down to start off with, then we just went in the studio. And with “Gordon Ramsay,” we shot the video right after we recorded it.
Oh, shit. So it came together pretty fast?
Yeah, it was really fast. It was like within an hour.
Can you walk me through your normal process for making a song?
It just depends on the beat. If I’m instantly feeling the beat, then I’ll be able to write something to it immediately. But if I just like the beat, then maybe I’ll freestyle a little bit or write a few lines. Then I’ll freestyle off of those few lines that I wrote. It varies.
Has it always been important to you to try new things?
Yeah, definitely. Since my first song, I feel like I haven’t really dropped two songs that sound the same. Everything sounds different to me. I don’t go in the studio trying to do a specific thing. I just go with the flow. I will always be myself.
Let’s go back to the beginning. How did you start making music?
A friend came over to my house with some studio equipment one day. We were just playing on the mic at first, but we actually made a song and it was fun, so we just kept making music.
How many years ago was this?
Like three years ago—or maybe even a little bit before. This was a couple of years before I ever even dropped a song.
The first song you officially released was “Fortnite” in 2018. Why did you decide to put that out first?
We actually dropped the very first song I was telling you about that we recorded on the spot when we were just playing around. We dropped it on SoundCloud, but we were just kids and I felt like I could take it further because I liked my verse a lot. So I was trying to sit down and write my own song. That was when I wrote “Fortnite.” Then I went to a real studio this time, instead of just the home setup.
It immediately got a pretty good response, right?
Yeah. That’s what encouraged me to keep dropping music. It didn’t go stupid viral or nothing, but it didn’t flop.
The video for your second song has Blueface in it. How did that happen?
We were having a softball game, and the neighborhood I’m from gets along with the neighborhood he’s from, so we were just there. We were playing softball against them, and then I happened to be shooting the video. It just happened.
Before you started rapping, what artists were you listening to? Lots of California rap?
Yeah, we were listening to a whole lot of Drakeo. I was listening to a whole lot of different music, though. In different stages of my life, I listened to all types of different artists.
Can you name some?
Yeah, I was listening to J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Drakeo. In high school, I was listening to more LA music. More underground LA music. But artists that I really used to be a fan of were like Kendrick, J. Cole, Ab-Soul, Dom Kennedy.
This year, you’ve started rapping in a really unique flow on songs like “Gordon Ramsay Freestyle” and “Touchable.” What inspired you to start rapping like that?
I don’t know if I have a specific inspiration or anything like that. It just came from me being in the studio a lot more than usual, and being able to find myself.
Some of your songs have gone viral lately and people are making memes. I’m going to read a couple of them and get your reactions. On “Gordon Ramsay Freestyle,” people are saying, “He’s rapping in MLA format.” What’s your reaction to seeing that?
Yeah, that’s crazy. I be looking at the comments and stuff all the time. They be saying stuff that I would have never thought of. It’s just funny to see so many different minds at work. It makes me laugh.
Here’s another one: “If mumble rap is a thing, we are calling this clarity rap.”
I like that. I like that, because I’m definitely not a mumble rapper so…
How did you settle on that style of carefully enunciating each word?
When I’m making music, sometimes it’ll take me a long time to record, because if it doesn’t come out exactly how I’m hearing it in my head, then I’ve got to keep making sure it sounds perfect. When you’re recording a song, you’ve got a choice to not mess up a word, you feel what I’m saying? I just don’t stop until I make sure it sounds like it was delivered properly, I guess.
The most common joke that people make is about your descriptive rapping style. There are lots of comments like this: “He doesn’t ignore people, he disregards their attempt at verbal communication.” Or this: “He doesn’t roast you, he addresses your flaws.” Have you always communicated in a really descriptive way like that?
Yeah, I like saying things with double meanings. I know what type of music I like to listen to, and I know what I think is hard. So I just try to make music that I would want to listen to.
A lot of your music is really quotable, too. There are little lines that stick out that are really fun to say over and over. Is that intentional?
It’s crazy, because I don’t [do it intentionally]. I don’t think too much about it, and then after I finish doing the song, I notice people start saying certain lines a lot.
So, it just comes naturally?
One of my favorite songs of yours is “Ruth’s Chris Freestyle” with Drakeo. How did that come together?
At the time, I was trying to figure out how I was going to get back on the music scene, because I had not dropped a song in a long time. I didn’t want to just drop a song and have it flop. I felt like I was losing a buzz that I had going, so I was trying to figure out what to do to keep it going. So I made a freestyle video to post on Instagram, and I tagged Drakeo in it. Like five minutes later, he commented on it. And then he DM’d me and wanted to get up on the song.
How did that first interaction lead to a longer-term partnership with Drakeo as an affiliate of the Stinc Team?
We was just hanging out. I was going to the studio sessions and stuff like that. We were just chilling, doing video shoots and different things like that.
You can hear his influence in your music, as well as the influence of California rap in general. How did growing up in the area shape you as a rapper?
I moved around a lot growing up. I was in so many different environments, which gave me different perspectives. I was able to branch out a lot more. I was able to know a lot of people. I think that was an advantage for me.
Where were you moving around?
I was just moving around LA County. San Pedro to Long Beach. Lakewood, Bellflower. All around there.
We were talking about your musical influences earlier, but I’m curious: What inspires you outside of music?
I watch a lot of TV and stuff. I watch a lot of movies, TV shows, Hulu, and Netflix. YouTube videos and stuff like that. I guess that’s what I be doing if I’m not doing music.
Is there an artist whose career you want to model yours after? Whose career do you admire?
I like the way Roddy Ricch moves, as far as people that came out of LA. There’s a lot of people, but I don’t really know the history of their come-up like I do artists from LA County.
What do you like about the way Roddy moves?
He just does his thing. You don’t never know what Roddy’s up to. He’s just doing his thing. He don’t post a lot. It just seems like he’s doing his thing, and staying out the way of bullshit. It makes his music a whole lot more powerful.
It’s clear you can can rap in a lot of different styles over a lot of different kinds of beats. Is it important to you to show your range?
I’ve always felt like I’m able to do whatever style I want. I feel like if I work on it, then I’ll be able to do it. I don’t want to be in no box. I don’t want to be held to one specific sort of theme. I want to be able to do whatever.
Would you ever surprise people and make a pop song or a country song some day?
Maybe one day.
So far, you’ve released a bunch of singles. Are you thinking about an album yet?
Yeah, my mixtape’s coming soon, and then I’ll be working on an album after that.
Can you give a little preview of what to expect on the tape?
Mozzy is going to be on the mixtape. BlueBucksClan. Drakeo. My boy BA. My boy Billy West. I think that covers everybody. It’s going to be hard.
Are you trying a bunch of different styles on it?
No, I didn’t try too many different styles. Each song on it kind of tells a story. It’s kind of like a build-up.
Do you have any dream collaborators you want to work with in the future?
A dream collaboration would be someone like Adele or something like that. Or Sam Smith. Some viral. Something big.
How far do you want to take your career? Do you have aspirations to be the biggest artist in the world, or does that not interest you?
I’m just going to go with the flow. I’m just letting things take its course.
What’s the most important thing you want people to know about you right now?
I’m not going to drop nothing that’s a throwaway. Nothing I drop is going to be a throwaway song. The music should be up to people’s standards. I don’t think there should be too many disappointments.