Study Suggests Rappers Have Bigger Vocabularies Than Rock Acts
NME reports that the administrators of the online lyrics database service Musixmatch have analyzed the catalogs of the top-selling artists across music's most popular genres, and according to the results of their study, listeners looking for lyrical diversity should be tuning in to hip-hop.
This isn't exactly a surprise given that words are a rapper's stock in trade, but it's still bound to get a few rockers' danders up to read that Eminem topped the list of artists surveyed with 8,818 different words used in his 100 most lyrically dense songs — followed by Jay-Z (6,899 words), 2Pac (6,596 words) and West (5,069 words). The first rock lyricist on the list is Bob Dylan, who comes in fifth with 4,883 words.
It's well worth noting that the study focused on the recording artists without taking into account outside songwriters — reflected in Celine Dion's 10th-place showing on the list — and that, as Musixmatch itself points out, lyrical density isn't necessarily an arbiter of overall quality.
"This analysis should not be interpreted as saying that one musician is better than the other, it is just another insight into the work of these amazing artists," reads a statement from the company. "It gives us a peek into the minds of different songwriters, some tear your heart with just a few words while others paint an intricate picture with a thousand words."
If nothing else, the study offers an interesting look at where some of music's biggest names fall along the lyrical spectrum — though we can't make any direct comparisons with Crosby, who sadly appears not to have made the list.
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