Welcome to RapMETRICS. A site dedicated to analyzing the rap game on paper.
What RapMETRICS is is the birth of statistical analysis in hip-hop. Using simple algorithms to gather raw data from lyrics, RapMETRICS attempts to give each song it’s own equivalent of a sports box score. Using these gathered numbers, we can now make inferences on what they tell us. Do they confirm conventional wisdom? Will certain myths be busted with the backing of statistics? In this blog, we will attempt to add a quantitative element to the discourse of rap lyrics that’s been missing for years.
Accepting the fact that numbers can tell us something about music may be a tough sell to most. However, I argue that there are instances where looking at the numbers in context could tell us the story we’re looking for. Take Canibus for example; a well-respected emcee who’s had a tough time getting mass acclaim because of his academic subject matter (I’ve heard him described as “too sciency”). While “too sciency” isn’t necessarily a tangible claim, we can ask a simple question to see if Canibus does in fact use more technical phrases: Does Canibus average more syllables per word than his peers?
It turns out that Canibus Does average more syllables per word than your average rapper, 1.42 syllables/word in his fourth album Mic Club vs. 1.2-1.3 syllables/word amongst most of his peers. In one simple value we’ve brought a certain closure to an otherwise hard-to-define claim. Using only 1 number!!!
In This blog, we’ll continually attempt to answer questions like this to the best of our abilities. Enjoy!