Lyrical Fables and Spatial Verbosity

Have you seen the best music graph of the year so far? We know it’s been doing the rounds quite a bit lately, but some things are too good not to share.

When you have access to so much information, free and publicly available, it can be a temptation for some of us to play with that information in ways that both inform and entertain. Sometimes the people who do this are creative geniuses, others are just obsessed by knowledge and datasets, while a few are calculating their imminent internet fame. We’re not sure how many of these Matt Daniels falls under, but as a self-claimed ‘data scientist’ we know the middle description is probably accurate. Recently he took his interests in vocabulary, lyricism, Hip Hop and public data and created a fascinating graph that shows the relative verbosity of Rap music’s elite.

That means that in a simple cursor move we can all see that Outkast rank higher in lyrical verbosity than the Beastie Boys, Eminem more than Public Enemy, and everybody more than DMX. Then we can begin arguing about the relative merits of Wu-Tang members, as they place 2nd, 7th, 9th, 20th and 23rd. Or we could argue about methodology, which seems a little less than rigorous (as though it really matters). Finally, we can all go listen to some Aesop Rock, as he turns out in first place by some distance.

If you can think of any better music related graphs, tables or datasets from this year we’d love to take a look. In fact, if you can think of any great ones that should be made we might even give it a go ourselves.

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