Rap lovers can often get carried away in never-ending debates and argument on Hip-Hop. Give it to Tahir Hemphill for coming up with a scientific program that measures mic skills – attempting to end the never-ending debates and arguments. Hemphill decided to create “Hip Hop Word Count,” an online mathematical database with over 40,000 searchable Hip Hop songs from 1979 to present day. The program processes data such as average syllables per word, average letters per syllable, longest polysyllabic word, total word count, and the educational level needed to understand the meaning of a song’s lyrics. It’s also capable of measuring artistic cleverness such as use of similes, metaphors, cultural references, and rhyme patterns. The information is later organized as a score ranging from 0 to 20 that ranks who brought it the hardest.
Initial research concluded that Rakim’s “Microphone Fiend” schored a 16. The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Warning” scored an 11, 2Pac’s “Trapped” a 12, Jay-Z’s “Dead Presidents 2” a high 16, Lil Wayne’s “I’m Me” an average 11, Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar” a 12, and 50 Cent’s “I Get Money” a
not so surprising 7.
The researcher also decided to conduct a simple search for keywords and phrases to count the amount of times they have been used throughout the years in lyrics.”Out of curiosity,” he chose to research word “bitch.”
Bitch ends up appearing in almost a third of the songs. Hip-Hop is always villainized but people have to understand that Hip-Hop is a reflection of American culture, probably in one of its most distilled and pure forms.
This data might motivate certain rappers to pay more attention to the content of their raps…
We doubt this program is actually going to put an end to the debates. It might, in fact stir more controversy. Hip-Hop and the feelings street-culture produces cannot be quantified. The power of a lyrics carry a different weight on various people. We all have a different story and relate to hip-hop in contrasting ways.
What do you think? Do you think Jay-Z brought it harder than Biggie or 2Pac?