May 4, 2014

Shakespeare vs. Hip Hoppers: the Vocabulary Infographic.


Source: “Rappers sorted by size of vocabulary.”

Some fare well, very well. Some do’t fare so well. Click here for interaction and complete graph:

# of Unique words used within artist’s first 35,000 lyrics

“Literary elites love to rep Shakespeare’s vocabulary: across his entire corpus, heuses 28,829 words, suggesting he knew over 100,000 words and arguably had the largest vocabulary, ever.

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.”

hip hop shakespeare vocabulary

Spot-on Reddit comment: “they forgot to count the 1000 different barks DMX can do.”



  1. There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.
  2. There are not more than five primary colors (blue, yellow, red, white, and black), yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.
  3. There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt, sweet, bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.
  4. In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack–the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers.

–The Art of War

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