Amoeblog

New Study Examines the Largest Vocabulary in Hip-Hop Based on Rap Lyrics

Posted by Billyjam, May 5, 2014 03:52pm | Post a Comment

NYC based designer, coder, and data scientist at Undercurrent Matt Daniels has just unveiled his latest project, an in-depth examination of the vocabulary of hip-hop emcees which, for any fan of the genre or of the English language, is well worth checking out. The results, just published on Amazon News under the heading The Largest Vocabulary in Hip Hop, are the results of Daniels' quest to study and compare some of hip-hop's most prolific artists and determine their use of words in raps while comparing them with William Shakespeare’s vocabulary "across his entire corpus" noting how "he uses 28,829 words, suggesting he knew over 100,000 words and arguably had the largest vocabulary, ever." He also uses as a comparison test the first 35,000 words of Herman Melville's book Moby Dick, and states that he decided to compare "this data point against the most famous artists in hip hop" and that for this study that he "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." As a data source he utilized Rap Genius (website that comprises most rap song lyrics) that, even though the study is just published now in May 2014, are only current to 2012. Among the artists included in his study are E-40, Too $hort, LL Cool J, Rakim, Beastie Boys, and standout study subject Aesop Rock who ranks as user of the most unique words in his rhymes clocking in at a total of 7392 unique words as compared to say Snoop Dogg (3974 unique words), or Blackalicious (5480 unique words used). He also goes into a deeper look at Wu-Tang (see above excerpt) for a look at each members "total words" (as distinct from "unique words"). For further in-depth results of this study click here.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 05.02.14: DMC Battles, Supa Dave West on Dilla, Dopestyle 1231, Hip-Hop In The Park, + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 2, 2014 11:18am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: Week Ending 05:02:14


1) Army of the Pharaohs In Death Reborn (Enemy Soil)

2) Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Pinata LP (Madlib Invazion)

3) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)

4) DJ Quik Safe + Sound  (SONY)

5) ScHoolboy Q Oxymoron (Interscope)

Clocking in a just under an hour is Army Of The Pharaohs anticipated new joint and this week's number one hip-hop chart entry at Amoeba In Death Reborn which is the fourth studio album by the non-commercial yet hella popular Army of the Pharaohs featuring the all-star lineup of Vinnie Paz, Apathy, Blacastan, Block McCloud, Celph Titled, Crypt The Warchild, Demoz, Des Devious, Doap Nixon, Esoteric, King Magnetic, King Syze, Planetary, Reef the Lost Cauze, and Zilla with production from various studio talents including Apathy, C-Lance, Leaf Dog, Panik, and Stu BangasThe release, which is the group's first new studio album in four years, is packed with rapid fire wordplay by this talent-packed collective and features such memorable tracks as the lead single/video “God Particle” (below). Also below is the video for YG's Drake featured single "Who Do You Love?" off his current chart entry My Krazy Life on Def Jam. Other chart entries at Amoeba this week are Freddie Gibbs & Madlib's Pinata ScHoolboy Q's Oxymoron, and (in throwback style) DJ Quik's 1995 album Safe + Sound  which is one of two older releases that have been moving at Amoeba Hollywood this past week. The other older release that, for some reason, began selling briskly over the past week at the SoCal Amoeba is Lauryn Hill's 1998 post Fugee's solo classic The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

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May Day 2014: Songs That Celebrate and Defend The Rights of Workers Everywhere

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2014 09:40am | Post a Comment
        Common a month ago doing a free show in support of workers at the Nissan car
        plant in Canton, Miss. who are pushing for a vote to organize as part of the UAW


In light of the ever increasing war being waged against unions and in turn the stripping of the basic rights of the working class in this country and elsewhere, this year's May Day (the internationally recognized day to celebrate and to defend the rights of workers everywhere from Modesto to Moscow) seems extra significant on this May 1st, 2014; perhaps even as significant as that very first mass US May Day protest back in 1886 when hundreds of thousands of disgruntled workers across the US, in a fight for an 8 hour work day, walked off their jobs in protest. Hence for this May Day I have assembled a selection of songs/videos that reflect the plight of struggling workers in a time when the gap between the rich controlling class and the rest of us gets wider and wider. 

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #79: Red Bull Music Academy Festival NYC, Bike Month, Aerial NYC, Concerts + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 30, 2014 03:06pm | Post a Comment


You gotta just love the above aerial-view shot video of New York City that, in a mere two minutes, offers a remarkable overview (literally), utilizing the assistance of a drone, of the Big Apple and a real sense of its majestic beauty and vastness. Made by aerial photographer Randy Scott Slavin and perfectly synced to the soundtrack of RL Grime & What So Not's song "Tell Me" the engaging short-but-powerful video, that was published a couple of weeks ago via Vimeo, is the next best thing to taking a helicopter ride around Manhattan as it takes in such vistas as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Highline, and Washington Square Park. Speaking of visiting New York City - now and for the next month is a good time to do so before both the weather gets too hot and before prices of flights start to go up. 

While the non-stop rain we have been enduring all day today here in New York City continues through tomorrow (May 1st) with an 80% chance of precipitation, come Friday sunshine and nice temps will be ushered in and forecast to remain with us in the Big Apple for most of the rest of the month of May. And that's good news since May in NY is traditionally the month when everything and everyone seems to shift from indoors to outdoors with lots of activities taking place such as the annual AIDS Walk NYC that happens on Sunday May 18th and benefits over 40 AIDS service organizations in NY, NJ, and CT and, as of today April 30th, has already raised over $2million for the cause.  See route map here, and for more info and how to get involved click here.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Too $hort's Landmark Release "Life Is....Too $hort"

Posted by Billyjam, April 29, 2014 02:45pm | Post a Comment
In true battle rap tradition the cover of Too $hort's classic late eighties album Life Is…Too $hort shows the Oakland rapper, in a now iconic photo by Oakland photographer Victor Hall, triumphantly posing over the headstone of one of his fictitious fallen rap rivals "Sucker MC John Doe" who was "Born on Stage" and "Died on Wax. Rest In Peace."   The ten track album was originally released 26 years ago and, of the close to twenty albums that the prolific, pioneering Oakland rapper born (in LA) Todd Shaw has put out over an illustrious career that dates back to the early eighties and continues up to this day, Life Is...Too Short (along with Born To Mack), remains among the most popular Too $hort albums with diehard fans who identify with the artist's notorious player/mack persona.

Released in January 1988 when he was already "Eight years on the mic and I'm not joking. Sir Too Short coming straight from Oakland," Life Is...Too Short was the rapper's fifth album and his second for Jive Records - co-released and first released via the East Bay indie Dangerous Music. Over rumbling bass-lines and predominantly slowed down BPM booming tracks, mostly produced by Al Eaton at his now legendary East Bay One Little Indian Studios, Life is..... offered up plenty of $hort Dog's trademark "nasty raps" to satisfy fans of his Richard Pryor-meets-Blowfly inspired sexually explicit rhymes  that were personified by the previous album's (Born To Mack) underground hit "Freaky Tales."  $hort continued that theme on such tracks as "Pimp Tha Hoe,"  the sexually charged "Don't Fight The Feeling" (that, along with the Dangerous Crew compilation - also via Dangerous Music - introduced the rap world to a pre "Players Club" Rappin' 4-Tay), and the self-explanatory "Cuss Words" which, not surprisingly, offered a non-stop barrage of cuss word  tales of naughty nastiness that began with $hort rapping, "To all you bitches, hoes, and all that shit. Here's another rap that I'm ready to spit. It goes like this, my name is $hort. I'm tearin shit up like never before Pimp slaps, makin snaps. Cold cash money and Too $hort raps." The song, which shocked parent groups at the time, went on to include $hort threatening to "fuck your wife" with the "your" being anyone who crossed his path.

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