Rap’s Secret Out: Study Shows That Rappers Like Eminem Have Huge Vocabularies
A new study by musixmatch.com engineers, Varun Jewalikar and Nishant Verma, shows that rappers have huge vocabularies which help them pick out words for their compositions. Some of the biggest rap acts have song anthologies that have over five thousand unique words used for song compositions. Some of the master rappers have vocabularies that rival Shakespeare’s compendium of favorite words, a similar study at undercurrent.com showed.
The engineers placed Eminem at the top spot on the list of bestselling rappers they had sampled, MTV news reported. “The first task was to find a list of musicians which was covering a good cross section of popular musicians,” Jewalikar told MTV News, adding, “This list also had to be small enough for the analysis to be easy to understand by quickly reading through it.”
Jewalikar and associates then used the Musixmatch database to gather lyrics of the 100 densest songs for each of the sampled artists. Then they used some simple natural language processing to determine the number of unique words and estimate the size of vocabulary of each artist.
The engineers also came up with the startling conclusion that the rappers added variety to their songs by using simple words to express complex ideas and larger more complex words to put a twist on simple idea. This generally added greater variety to their songs and gave them a versatility on the poetic front that is hard to rival.
The engineers went on to prove that there is no correlation between vocabulary size and album sales or popularity. In other words, a rap song could succeed even with limited vocabulary and simple words. Also, a grand turn of phrase cannot garner popularity for a song. But a sizeable vocabulary will help a rapper get the rhythm going and the rhyme flowing. The best artists in the rap genre have big vocabularies and have also learned to exploit words.
Photo Source: Eminem / Facebook