Did ICP Influence Eminem Influence Tyler, The Creator?

Eminem has been in a heated battle for years with the rap group ICP, fellow Detroit natives that are credited with inventing ‘Horrorcore’, a sub-genre of rap that differs from regular rap because the violence documented in horrorcore isn’t for monetary gains.  Music that is used as an escape from reality by poor kids who get bullied.  Eminem took ICP’s horrorcore style and re-purposed it to appeal to middle class sensibilities.  To prove this, I created a “Horrorcore Calculator” that calculates how horrorcore a song is.

I took the corpus of ICP lyrics (about 300 songs) and used it as the baseline.  That is, the more similar lyrics are to ICP, the more horrorcore an artist is.  Let’s take a look at some data:

Goblin 9.83
Illmatic 5.39
Reasonable Doubt 4.12
Infinite 6.48
Slim Shady 11.03
Marshall Mathers 10.26
God Loves Ugly 6.42

You’ll see that Eminem, after Infinite, his horrorscore went way up.  The rappity-rap guys hover in the 4.0-6.0 range and it seems that stuff over the 9.0 range is very horrorcore-y.  Jay-Z/Atmosphere/Nas are used as “controls”.

Tyler, The Creator is the logical progression to Eminem.  Because being attached to horrorcore is awful for his brand that appeals to middle-class tweens, it’s important for Tyler to stress that he’s NOT a horrorcore artist in interviews and “think pieces”.  But he’s a lot closer to horrorcore than not.  And one of the best song of the past few years imo, EARL, has a horrorscore of 15.58.

I put the horrorscore calculator here if you want to play around and find data.

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6 thoughts on “Did ICP Influence Eminem Influence Tyler, The Creator?

  1. Jcb says:

    Man, you know when you create a new instrument you oughtta provide some documentation on the methodology. How are these scores calculated? “Similar” to ICP but in what sense? Is it a syllable rhythm rhyme thing like most of what you’ve done, is it content based? I don’t mean to sound bitchy, but just one nerd to another. You’ve normally been really good at explaining how all scores are calculated etc.

  2. That’s apart of hiphop!! Artist who came before will have an effect on those who come after !!You’re going to have some kind of influence on newer artist!

  3. planzzz says:

    will you operationally define how you measure the horrocore meter. Is there a list of popular words used in horrocore that you used as a baseline?

  4. […] Also, that song is way closer to Eminem Infinite than Eminem circa Marshall Mathers in terms of his Horrorscore.  Just like Eminem needed to lower his syllable per word average and get ‘darker’ to […]

  5. John says:

    Tyler and eminem ARE NOT FUCKiNG HORROR CORE none of OD FUTURE RE HORROR CORE and eminem IS JUSt An AMAZING RAPPER ICP SUCKS in my oppinion SO PLEASE STOP PUTTING THEM TOGETHER

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