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The Largest Vocabulary in Hip-Hop

Hip-hop and poetry share numerous commonalities -- among them, use of engaging vocabulary. This data project, created by Matt Daniels for the visual journalism platform The Pudding, explores "the number of unique words used by some of the most famous artists in hip hop." Lyrics and language transform over time, as this data project makes clear. The project sorts data in a variety of ways, showing differences in era, comparing hip-hop lyrics to other genres (namely rock and country), and using a linear graph to chart where rappers fall on the spectrum of lyrical ingenuity. As of this write-up, Aesop Rock claims the number one spot - he's used nearly 8,000 "unique words" in his music. Other well-known frontrunners include Wu-Tang Clan and Outkast. Visitors can navigate this graph by selecting particular artists, or hover over an artist's photo to see their name. At the bottom of the page, users will learn about the "token analysis" method used to gather the project's data. The resource was created in 2014 and updated in 2019.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication
March 6th, 2020
Date Of Record Creation
February 18th, 2020 at 10:11am
Date Of Record Release
February 28th, 2020 at 10:33am
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