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The Largest Vocabulary in Hip Hop

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.

posted by cthuljew on May 3, 2014 - 79 comments

"I'm on my feet like Tough Actin'® Tinactin®."

How many rappers have name-checked Tough Actin' Tinactin brand anti-fungal skin products? More than you would think.
posted by not_on_display on Apr 17, 2014 - 25 comments

Musical theatre used to be the last refuge of perfect rhyme.

Broadway musicals can’t bust a rhyme
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 11, 2013 - 37 comments

Meet me at Hoyt & Schermerhorn at 3 on the dot

Street signs at NYC intersections featuring rap lyrics about them.
posted by dry white toast on Mar 25, 2013 - 27 comments

EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY! ...RHAOMI! ...VERSUS... RHYTHM! ...BEGIN!!!

Since it debuted on the blue in '11 // Epic Rap Battles of History preppin' // to score itself more than a billion views // and become TopDog of the pack YouTube
Made by NicePeter and EpicLloyd // (two improv comics by Maker employed) // The series pits icons of legend renowned // in a slick-wit freestyle rap throwdown
With snappier writing, and better FX // online celebs (and Google Ad checks) // The Epic Rap crew's halfway done with the brew // that is Epic Rap Battles of History Part Deux
The midseason's close? It comes out today. // In one corner: Santa Claus, fresh from his sleigh
And his prophet o' doom? "He ain't Mayan," ERBoH sez.
It's Snoop Dogg -- Snoop Lion -- as mothafuckin' Moses
[WHO WON?][WHO'S NEXT?][more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 10, 2012 - 27 comments

Who knew Mike D knew so many dance moves.

Beastie Boys Annotated [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Dec 16, 2010 - 44 comments

Well, he was smilin’ like a vulture as he rolled up the horticulture

Out on bail, fresh outta jail, California dreamin’
Soon as I stepped on the scene, I’m hearin’ hoochies screamin’

What a surprise to read that couplet on "The New Yorker's" website, in an article about Jay-Z's new book. It also discusses Adam Bradley's "Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop," an academic study that respects rap lyrics as serious poetry. [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Dec 4, 2010 - 82 comments

"I realized it is basically insane to make any kind of judgment about rap without hearing it."

Listening to Rap for the First Time, with a Book Critic
posted by OverlappingElvis on Nov 4, 2010 - 80 comments

Homeboy got a mind that a map couldn't find

The Rap Map is a mashup of notable places and geographical lyrics in rap and hip-hop. It's brought to you by Rap Genius, a site that explains rap lyrics like "I'm getting jacked, I'm breaking myself" (Warren is getting “jacked” (robbed) and “breaking himself” (generally befuddled)) and "One day you're cruising in your 7, next day you're sweating, forgetting your lies" (Street life can be tough — one day you’re riding high in your BMW 7 Series luxury car, the next day you’re arrested and cracking under pressure. The rest of this verse is a classic warning that the hustling lifestyle is not for everybody)
posted by desjardins on Aug 21, 2010 - 43 comments

People have a problem with me, cause I ain't lazy...

"I Ain't Lazy" (lyrics NSFW) featuring Skratch Bastid, John Smith & Pip Skid. A day-in-the-life indie hip-hop video directed by Jason Lapeyre featuring another top notch crew of PCRs.
posted by boost ventilator on Apr 16, 2005 - 16 comments

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