Gangster rap is more lyrically diverse than SHAKESPEARE, claim researchers

May 6, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

Some of the world’s biggest gangster rap stars are more lyrically diverse – than SHAKESPEARE, a new study has revealed.

Data scientists say acts such as the Wu-Tang Clan and DMX use more words in their work than The Bard.

The study looked at the first 35,000 recorded lyrics of major rappers – and compared them to the first 35,000 words of Shakespeare.

Playwright William Shakespeare

Playwright William Shakespeare

A gangster rapper

A gangster rapper



It showed The Wu-Tang Clan used almost 5,900 different words in their 35,000.

In contrast 15th century bard Shakespeare used 5,170 different terms in his first 35,000 words.

The study was carried out by US-based boffin Matt Daniels who compiled an incredible graph of the number of different, or unique, words used by 85 different rap artists.

East coast rapper DMX, famous for songs such as ‘What’s My Name?’ and ‘Party Up (Up in Here)’, came bottom of the list, using just 3,214 unique words.

Relatively unknown independent rapper Aesop Rock, who is known for using creative wordplay and metaphor in his rhymes, topped the list, using an incredible 7,392.

Wu-Tang rapper GZA’s impressive 6,426 different lyrics placed him second on the list, while the group as a whole, famous for classic rap tunes ‘Gravel Pit’ and ‘Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthin’ Ta F’ Wit’, came seventh overall.

One-time world’s fastest rapper Twista used 4,705 different words, while rap legend Snoop Dogg rhymed just under 4,000.

Matt, a data scientist from New York, said: “Some of the biggest names in hip hop were in the bottom 20 per cent.

“While Lil Wayne has never been celebrated for the complexity of his word choices, I expected 2pac, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West to be well above average.

“It’s also worth noting that Drake, one of the most popular artists of late, is number 83 on the list. At number 85 and in last place – DMX.

“But this shouldn’t undermine an artist whose raw energy and honesty were the most memorable qualities of his music.”

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