Parsing Gucci Mane Songs for Meaning

Gucci’s whole writing style is fascinating to me.  He starts from a simple central metaphor or idea, builds a great hook onto it and then writes the song around it.  Lots of rap songs use titles that have little to nothing to do with the actual song.  I can listen to a Gucci song and guess the title of the song correctly most of the time (it’s a fun game, try it).

Take the lead song off Ferrari Boyz with the hook:

Get out my lane, Ferrari Boyz

You see the chain, So Icey Boyz

Just parsing those two lines out of the song we can get a good idea of the song’s concept; he and Flocka are in their own lane that nobody else is really in.  Taking the song title and finding the search string in the hook can tell us a lot in most Gucci Songs.  For example, the song 15th and the 1st:

All the hoods love us like the 15h and the 1st

Young Niggaz:

My pants saggin’ low like a young nigga

I’m twistin’ up the dro like a young nigga

I’m in the club, 30 deep, like a young nigga

I’m still in the streets like a young nigga

Feed Me:

I’m in the strip club, the zombies on the pole screaming Feed Me! Feed Me! Feed Me!

I find that the more times the particular title string is repeated, the higher chance I’ll remember the song.  Measuring this directly becomes tricky since what we’re interested in is the listener’s ability to “get” a song.   We need a proxy measure instead of tabulating the number of times a word is repeated.

So, a simple test would be, given 5 different song title choices, could a listener pick the right one if they got to listen to the song?  The ability to pick the correct song title is the listener quickly parsing a whole song for the running theme using whatever mechanism they feel comfortable with.

*Not actual results*

Even though I think online tests are a poor way to do this, I’m going to set this up online so people can take this test.


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