Hip-hop artists ranked: Who has the largest vocabulary?

Hip-hop superstars Future and Drake
Hip-hop superstars Future and Drake
Image: GETTY IMAGES

Ever wondered where your favourite rappers rank by the number of unique words used in their lyrics?

Well, data scientist and coder Matt Daniels plugged in the lyrics of more than 85 rappers and crunched the numbers to come up with an interactive ranking.

The ranking is based on how large their vocabularies are, as plotted against the Bard and Herman Melville's seminal novel, Moby Dick. You can check out the results here.

This project was originally published in 2014 and was updated in January 2019 with new lyrics data and 75 additional artists, including Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, Migos and 21 Savage.

"I used each artist’s first 35,000 lyrics. This way, prolific artists, such as Jay-Z, can be compared to newer artists, such as Drake," Daniels explained on the website.

So how does your favourite wordsmith fare?

Cult Californian rapper Aesop Rock comes out as the wordiest rapper, with a vocabulary of 7,879 unique words. GZA and Kool Keith all land top 10 spots, too, but what's way more interesting are the rappers who sit at the bottom of the chart.

Slotting in at the bottom is rapper NF, with a vocabulary of 2,472 unique words. Lil Uzi Vert, DMX and 21 Savage also landed at the bottom of the list.

South Africa rap artists aren't on the list, but who do you think would make the top 10? Tweet us. 


X