You'll be surprised to find out who tops the list
William Shakespeare is widely regarded as having one of the largest vocabularies of all time, with 28,829 unique words throughout the span of his published works. This data suggests he may have possessed a real Moby Dick of a catalog in his noggin with somewhere around 100,000 words in his vocabulary. Data scientist Matt Daniels took this and compared it with the biggest names in hip-hop to determine which rapper takes the cake for biggest vocabulary.
By cross referencing the first 35,000 words from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, the first 5,000 words of 7 of some of Shakespeare’s most known plays, and the fist 35,000 words of each rappers catalog (that’s probably about 3-4 albums minimum) Daniels’ study left some surprising results that might or might not “silk the shock” you.
Bringing up the Rear
Falling hard in dead last of the study was Ruff Rider captain DMX with 3,214 unique words. Not really that surprising considering that this guy spends most of his albums just yelling his face off. Sorry, X… barking like a dog is not considered a word.
Sorry, Driz… you’re in this billion dollar boys and girls club category. With 3,522 unique words used, Drake barely beats out veteran whistle-blower Too Short.
There were a couple surprises in this group though, Bone Thugs N Harmony with 3,547 different words was kind of interesting considering they got five guys spitting… I guess they do repeat a lot of choruses.
Cash Money Monsters
Lil’ Wayne and Juvenile, with 3,743 and 3,630 respectively, beat out their No Limit rival Master P. Maybe there is something to be said about how they all clocked in within a hundred words of each other and all started from the city? Call it that old southern drawl?