Shakespeare’s got nothing on the Wu-Tang Clan. While the English playwright is widely regarded as having one of the largest and most impressive vocabularies in the English language, data scientist Matt Daniels has created a chart showing that the Staten Island crew may have the upper hand on the classic writer.
Daniels created a 35,000 word sample of Shakespeare’s work by taking the first 5,000 words from Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Macbeth, As You Like it, Winter’s Tale, and Troilus and Cresside. He also included Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. He then used the first 35,000 lyrics used by famous hip-hop artists for comparison. The 35,000 words equate to around three-and-a-half studio albums and EPs, and mixtapes were included if the artist fell short of the total.
While Shakespeare used 5,170 unique words in his 35,000 word sample, the Wu-Tang Clan bested him with 5,895. Indie rapper Aesop Rock topped the rankings with 7,392 unique words.
Not surprisingly, DMX, of “Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind. Up in here, up in here, up in here,” fame, finished very last in the rankings with 3,214 unique words used. Noted Toronto Raptors fan Drake wasn’t far ahead of DMX, with a total of 3,522 unique words. Guess Drizzy might want to switch out the lint roller for a dictionary.
(Gif via @BenGolliver)