Eyedea is Cool Because He Doesn’t Say “I” a lot

While listening to First Born I was reading an article that suggested that the use of first-person singular pronouns (“I”, “me”, “myself” etc.) is correlated with narcissism1.  This got me thinking that maybe the reason I like First Born so much and never found it pretentious had to do with Eyedea’s humble writing style.   For example, The Dive is a song about the slow process to insanity.  He’s not rapping his life; he’s telling an interesting specific story that everyone can take things from.

Statistically, we can calculate the ratio of first-person singular pronouns to other types of personal pronouns (“you”, “he”, “she” etc).  This ratio, which we’ll call “I to you Ratio”, can tell us something about the writing goal in a particular song.  A really low ratio (less “me’s” and more “you’s”) suggests the artist isn’t talking about himself as much. Here’s some data:



Probably the only list where we can group Nas & Drake together.  It turns out that YES,  Eyedea’s writing style does have a lower ratio of first-person singular pronouns.  If you want to fuck around with this I wrote a little thing here.  Just enter lyrics and it’ll spit out results.  Swag.

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1. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/26/science/26tier.html

These guys are getting good data but their conclusions are boring.  The shitty part is that the only narrative they’re going to look for are ones about how this generation is different than the one they grew up in ZzzZZZzzz.

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4 thoughts on “Eyedea is Cool Because He Doesn’t Say “I” a lot

  1. Griffin says:

    This is a great article! Recently I had noticed that while listening to some Vinnie Paz and Jedi Mind Tricks songs, Vinnie has a really hard time writing lines that DON’T start off with “I”. You should crunch the numbers on Season of the Assassin or maybe Violent by Design to see how he stacks up.

  2. […] other day I did an analysis of pronoun usage in rap songs.  Nas’ Illmatic was high on the list.  Telling stories how Nas did on Illmatic is what fans […]

  3. […] other day I did an analysis of pronoun usage in rap songs.  Nas’ Illmatic was high on the list.  Telling stories how Nas did on Illmatic is what fans […]

  4. […] album is clearly a solo endeavor.  He has an I:You ratio of 2.25 which is higher than any Drake song ever written.  He jumps back and forth between talking […]

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