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Literary elites love to rep Shakespeare’s vocabulary: across his entire corpus, he uses 28,829 words, suggesting he knew over 100,000 words and arguably had the largest vocabulary, ever (average people have a vocab of 5,000 words). I decided to compare this data point against the most famous artists in hip hop. I used each artist’s first 35,000 lyrics. That way, prolific artists, such as Jay-Z, could be compared to newer artists, such as Drake.
"On November 22, 1997, there was a party at 635 Logan Street, Steubenville, Ohio. Hubbard attended this party. At the party were several members of the gang known as the Crips. It is contested whether Hubbard is a member of the Crips. During that evening, Wise God Allah, a.k.a. Grier Montgomery, was walking down the street outside of the party. Wise God Allah was known to be a member of the rival gang the Bloods. Hubbard and up to nine other men began shooting at Wise God Allah. One of the shots hit Wise God Allah. The gunshot wound was fatal."*"On one record I did called 'Wise' that didn't make the album the Supreme Clientele—I couldn't use it, they took it off**—I cried writing it. I wrote it on the beach. And I cried. And it started raining when I was crying. It was in Miami. I cried writing it, and then when I went to go record it, it had some tears coming to my eyes too, recording it, because I had to zone out, I couldn't really do it in front of everybody. I don't like to record in front of a lot of people especially when I'm writing emotional stuff." - Ghostface Killah [audio interview] [more inside]