More hard evidence that rap music is making you dumber than you already were…
KING TEE from StapleCrops Studios posited a great question to me the other afternoon. He asked me if I thought that popular rap music was less intelligent now then say, 15 years ago. From the onset when I look at songs like ‘Laffy Taffy’ and acts like the Black Eyed Peas I think that this is a no-brainer question, but how do I answer this query based on empirical knowledge without any of the emotional baggage?
Very simply. I will study two factors that lend themselves to intelligent discussion, word count and number of polysyllabic words used. I think we can all agree that the breadth of someone’s vocabulary is a good measure to their relative intelligence which in turn correlates to other areas like their understanding of the world around them. Why is intelligence important you might ask? cRappers have become the de facto statesmen for a generation of people (mostly coloreds). If you are to trust these people to express your issues wouldn’t you want someone that has the most knowledge to represent you? After this exercise is complete we will know who we should listen to if anyone at all.
Let’s try an example…
D4L – ‘Laffy Taffy’
word count = 392 (including ‘dis’ 6x and ‘dat’ 5x)
polysyllabic words (3+ sylable) = 4 (longest = motherfuckin’)
BIG DADDY KANE – ‘Raw’
word count = 670
polysyllabic words (3+ sylable) = 22 (longest = tie: perpetrating, fascinating, entertaining)
O.K., that was pretty obvious from jumpstreet. Southern rap music doesn’t pretend to be any more elevated than slavespeak. Let’s go deeper into the rap music matrix to see who matches up when true lyricists are considered…
JAY-Z – ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle’
word count = 437 (barely more than ‘Laffy Taffy’)
polysyllabic words = 10 (longest = entertainment)
NAS – ‘N.Y. State Of Mind’
word count = 730
polysyllabic words = 20 (longest = tie: composition, information, investments, equivalent)
RAKIM ALLAH – ‘Microphone Fiend’
word count = 550
polysyllabic words = 40 (longest = hypochondriac)
Imagine for a moment if you will the amount of ideas that RAKIM would have conveyed if he had used as many words as NAS. It’s clearly evident the less that you know and express lyrically has an inverse relationship to your popularity. EMINEM might be the anomaly to this experiment, but I leave that for you kids to examine for yourselves.