Rap lyric frequency
By using the website http://genius.com/rapstats we are able to look at incidences of mentions of certain words and phrases in rap music since the late eighties. These are our findings.
Just like a bunch of Champagne Socialists, it appears that rappers got bored very quickly of fighting the power and instead decided to try and get rich.
The late Nineties, however, were the peak point of references to getting rich, suggesting that many of them were by now a) already rich b) didn’t want to mention the fact that they were not already rich and that it was a specified goal of theirs or perhaps c) had just got bored about going on about wanting to be rich.
The decline in wanting to fight the power also coincides with a sharp upturn in mentions of weed and blunts, perhaps suggesting that they were more passive and no longer wanted to fight anything (let alone “the power”) or simply kept forgetting where they’d left their gun.
Indeed, there is good news on the firearms front. Incidences involving guns in rap songs have been steadily declining since the turn of the century, with references as low as they’ve been since monitoring began in the late Eighties.
It appears that rap songs were moving away from guns, but rappers still have problems.
Although Jay-Z was at pains to point out that despite having 99 problems a “bitch” was not one of them, the fact remains that 99 is still a hell of a lot of problems to have. Even for Jay Z, whom you’d suspect is something of a problem magnet.
Looking across all of rap, however, it’s clear that bitches are outweighing problems quite significantly, although there’s happily been a leveling out of incidences of “bitches” in the last four years.
It’s also interesting to note that terms such a Phat and Bling have both long since peaked and are therefore no longer cool to use. Lebanese teenager siting behind me at the cinema last weekend – please take note. And please generally just shut up, I’m trying to watch Interstellar.
In general, the name-checking of expensive brands is declining in many areas and certain brands that were considered cool are now seemingly a little passé. While in the mid Nineties the Lexus was the name to drop, its popularity has plummeted. BMW and Mercedes have barely changed and despite bottoming out at the turn of the century, Audi is growing in popularity. A sensible, safe car.
The big new arrival in rap lyrics mention though is the green, ecologically thinking Toyota Prius.
It appears that rappers are not only increasingly smoking green but thinking green also. We’re proud of you guys.
In terms of other brands, it appears that Ciroc is winning the vodka mentions, although it’s really starting to tail off now.
And Evian water has long peaked, now the brand getting the rap love is Fiji.
And in the eternal battle of the games consoles, the PS4 is getting way more mentions that its rival the Xbox One. In fact, the PS4 was being namechecked back in 2005. It’s finally here guys, nine years on.
Given the rappers new found love of expensive designer brands, cars, drinks and bling it’s no surprise that this part of the world began to get mentions in their songs. Dubai has received more name checks than Abu Dhabi, but with new mall full of expensive items having just opened in the capital perhaps that could change in the future.
Social media references illustrate that Twitter is still the choice of the rapper although it seem to be leveling off.
There has been, however, a huge growth in Instagram mentions from rappers so perhaps we’ll soon see their influence on that site. Hopefully it will lead to Instagram having a bit more than just pictures of lattes with hearts in the foam and over-made-up women pulling duck faces.
Finally we are sad to report that despite repeated warnings from Eminem, people are indeed forgetting ‘bout Dre. Despite a slight resurgence of remembrance about the former NWA member it seems even other rappers are forgetting about him.
If you need something to help remember him, this this joke is one of our favourites:
Q) What brown and rhymes with Snoop?
A) Dr Dre