Rappers love their drugs, be it the ones they use or “sell,” and ProjectKnow.com has went through great lengths to display just how much.
ProjectKnow has charted drug references in rap songs dating back to 1988 using a simple methodology: “Prevalence in this context is the total number of rap songs containing a given phrase in a year divided by the total number of rap songs in that year.” The charts are not only informative, but end up being a marker of the trends of various rap eras.
The spike in molly usage in recent times is visible, as is the uptick of lean mentions during the Houston takeover of the mid 2000s, the dip during the proceeding cooling off period and then the resurgence of syrup in the last couple of years.
But more so then trends, you also get to see how more popular vices like weed and Hennessy, and ever popular distribution product cocaine remain prominent throughout. Meanwhile, more trendy “competition” has made its way into the game.
The study also looks into who is mentioning these drugs, and the results aren’t all that surprising. Eminem has the pharmaceutical drug crown. The BasedGod himself, Lil B, is the king of not only just codeine, but also cocaine and MDMA. The meaty discography of Lil B surely plays a role in his dominance of the charts here, as does Lil Wayne’s, but so too does the redundancy of subject matter of an artist like Ricky Hill who is second only to Eminem in his mentions of pharmaceutical drugs.
What is surprising, however, is who isn’t talking drugs, or apparently isn’t talking them enough. Pusha T and his “crown made of powder” doesn’t crack the top five in coke mentions. Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y don’t crack the top five in bud usage either, even with their hefty catalogs.
This study, along the recent data on vocabulary size collected by Matt Daniels shows that RapGenius’ use is much more vast than just “what did x rapper say there” and “what did x rapper mean when he said this?”
Now I’m just waiting on one of these guys to tell me exactly how many name drops The Game has or how many times J.Cole has said “the Ville.”