The Kanye and Beyonce oglers aren’t gonna be happy about this new study. Check out where they placed on the reading level scale in regards to their lyrics.
I turned to the Readability Score. It uses writing analysis tools like the Flesch-Kincaid grade index and many others to create an average of the US reading level of a piece of text. I plugged in song lyrics (punctuation added by me, since most songs lack it altogether) and out of the machine popped out average grade level, word count, and other very interesting metrics.
All told, I analyzed 225 songs in 4 different datasets, resulting in 2,000+ individual data points. How’d I choose them? If they spent at least a few weeks (3+) at #1 on the Billboard charts for Pop, Country, Rock, and R&B/Hip-Hop for any given year, they made the list.
I went through each category and picked 7 of the top artists based on their number of hit songs and how long those songs stayed at #1. So without further ado, here are the facts about the artists whose voices we hear most often in each genre:
This is probably a good time to reiterate that these are the numbers, plain and simple, and that all Beyoncé partisans should address their complaints to the people at the Readability Score. We can’t hide the facts: of these 7 top R&B and Hip Hop artists, she has the second smallest average word count and the least sophisticated lyrics.
Who’s the standout? None other than Slim Shady himself, with Nicki Minaj and Macklemore following up in the number 2 and 3 spots. Is Kanye West talking a lot and not saying anything? Yes. Should you be surprised?
Wait, I’mma Let You Finish. No.
Read more: Seat Smart