Doing the internet rounds in the last 24 hours — and attracting a lot of controversy — this infographic charts the most lyrical rappers in hip hop. Matt Daniels, a designer, coder, data scientist and hip hop fan from New York has organized rappers based on data which shows the amount of unique words they use in their lyrics. The information is taken from the first 35,000 words of each artist’s discography (so older artists are not at an advantage compared to someone who arrived on the scene just last year.)
It makes for interesting viewing. The top end is to be expected really: Aesop Rock - the backpackers’ favorite intellectual rapper – comes out on top with 7,392 words. Daniels has actually stated Aesop should be off the chart with that amount of uniques, but was too lazy to adjust the scale for him. Wu-Tang weighs in at 6th place, with several Wu-Tang affiliates filling in the gaps – again, when you’re making up a lot of words (like Shakespeare did) you’re putting yourself at an advantage. Down the other end, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Kanye West and Lil Wayne are all in the lowest 20%, Drake weighs in at 83rd, while DMX comes in last with only 3,214 unique words used. Of course, this isn’t the be all and end all – only a select few rappers have been reviewed, but it does provide an interesting way of looking at prolific artists – and will no doubt spark a few arguments next time you’re bumping records with friends.
Check out the definitive chart here.