Kanye West wins again

The best lyricist in the world?

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Bob Dylan is one of, if not the, most celebrated lyricist of our time.

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And it’s hardly breaking news that Kanye West has a lot to say for himself, both on and off stage.

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But Dylan evangelists will be surprised to learn that that Kanye comes out on top when it comes to lyrical breadth. Who knew?

Analysis of the vocabulary used by 99 of the biggest-selling artists has revealed that the lyrical vocabulary of some of hip hop’s top artists, including Eminem, Jay Z, Tupac and Kanye, features hundreds more words than that of Dylan.

The study (by Musixmatch) found that West has 5,069 unique words in his repertoire, eclipsing Dylan’s 4,883.

It’s fair to say that both artists have very different lyrical styles. We take a look at some of their most celebrated wordplay.

 

Bob Dylan: ‘Every man's conscience is vile and depraved/You cannot depend on it to be your guide when it's you who must keep it satisfied' - The Man In The Long Black Coat

Kanye West: ‘Ooh, girl your breath is harsh / Cover your mouth up like you got SARS’  - The New Workout Plan

 

Bob Dylan: ‘Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial’ - Visions Of Johanna

Kanye West: ‘Saying "We eat pieces of sh*t like you for breakfast" / Huh? Y'all eat pieces of sh*t? What's the basis?’ Jesus Walks

 

Bob Dylan: ‘May you have a strong foundation / When the winds of changes shift / May your heart always be joyful / And may your song always be sung’ – Forever Young

Kanye West: ‘But I ain't even gon act holier than thou / Cause f*ck it, I went to Jacob with 25 thou / Before I had a house and I'd do it again / Cause I wanna be on 106 and Park pushing a Benz’ - All Falls Down

 

Bob Dylan: ‘How can the life of such a man/ Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?/ To see him obviously framed/ Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed/ To live in a land/ Where justice is a game’ – Hurricane

Kanye West: She got a light skinned friend look like Michael Jackson / Got a dark skinned friend look like Michael Jackson’ - Slow Jamz

 

Bob Dylan: ‘Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’/ Up the road, around the bend/ Heart burnin’, still yearnin’/ In the last outback at the world’s end’ – Ain’t talkin

‘Let’s get lost tonight, you can be my black Kate Moss tonight’ - Stronger

 

 

 

 

 

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