Grimes (née Claire Boucher), the blippity-bloop pop siren of today, straight up slaughters the letter “S.” Not just in interviews, but in song too. Instead of buckling under the rumble of her “speech impediment”—which I prefer to call a "pizzazz of the mouth"—she belts it out. In her song “Oblivion,” her dewy lisp is awesomely undisguised and sprinkled 23 times throughout the track. Yeah…I counted. It’s so charmingly imperfect that it’s all I can focus on, like an adorable pet peeve.
Normally we relish in making fun of how people talk but this time—with my lispdar on blast—I set out to dedicate a blog post to eight of our favorite artists who rock crowds and hump our eardrums with a spritz of their scuffed-up speech. Nobody catch any feelings. We love you.
Grimes - “Oblivion”
2. ASAP NAST
Harlem's rap collective ASAP Mob—piloted by frontman ASAP Rocky—rolls so deep that I never bothered to learn any of the other group members’ names; that is, until I heard ASAP Nast’s solo joint “Fuck Swag.” Nast emerges from the clutter of his fellow droogs with this taunting banger. He also has a really drizzly rap lisp that makes Daffy Duck sound articulate by comparison.
ASAP Nast – “Fuck Swag"
3. ZOLA JESUS
Screaming into the mic isn’t going to make your voice sound big and full, but signing up for opera lessons will. How do you think Zola Jesus got her pipes to sound a mile-long? While her lisp remains camouflaged in her vocals, it does make a delectable cameo in her interviews.
Zola Jesus - “Night”
4. LIL FAME of M.O.P.
I count heavy mouth-breathing as a speech disorder, but really, it’s Lil Fame’s one-of-a-kind front teeth that create a hiss of white lisp noise in each of his raps. Either way, he remains one of the gulliest rap voices of all time.
M.O.P. – “Ante up”
5. DEE DEE RAMONE of The Ramones
Ramones – “Rockaway Beach”
6. BEN GOLDWASSER of MGMT
Recipe for worldwide pop stardom: catchy ditties, pretty little mug, and a barely noticeable lisp. Cue the screaming boys and girls.
MGMT – “Electric Feel”
7. KOOL G RAP
Since the early 80s, legendary Queens rapper Kool G Rap—born Nathaniel Thomas Wilson—has been painting pictures of NYC’s street life with a flick of his lisp.
Kool G Rap - “Fast Life”
8. ISAAC BROCK of Modest Mouse
It took me five studio albums and a day of YouTube ennui to find out that the singer/guitarist Isaac Brock has a full-bodied lisp.
Modest Mouse - “Float On”