Statistician Calculates The Largest Vocabulary In Hip-Hop

Written by Greg Moskovitch on 5th May, 2014

Statistician Calculates The Largest Vocabulary In Hip-Hop

In March, it was reported on the folks from Priceonominics Data Services, who’d managed to quantify just how indie or non-indie an album is to create what they called the ‘Hipster Music Index‘. Now once again with the power of statistics, we can uncover the biggest vocabulary in rap.

To discover just who has the greatest gift of the gab in the game where gab is everything, data scientist and rap fan Matt Daniels examined the lyrics of 85 hip-hop artists, ranked them, and then turned his dataset into an interactive visualisation, which readers can check out at his website.

Daniels wrote that while the literary elites gush about Shakespeare‘s colossal vocabulary, he decided to compare The Bard’s legendary output to some of the most famous artists in hip-hop, using each artist’s first 35,000 lyrics so that prolific artists like Jay-Z could be compared to newbies.

For artists that didn’t quite make 35,000 words — which ought to cover 3-5 studio albums and EPs — Daniels included mixtapes. Quite a few famous rappers, including Biggie Smalls and Kendrick Lamar, did not have sufficient material to be included. Readers can see who nabbed #1 here.


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