Hip-Hop’s “Third Grade Reading Level” and the Myth of White Intellectual Superiority.

A lovely read by one of my favorite bloggers 😀


This past Monday, Seatsmart.com published a study conducted by (white) data analyst Andrew Powell-Morse entitled Lyric Intelligence In Popular Music: A Ten Year Analysis.

Powell-Morse ran the lyrics of 225 songs that spent at least 3 weeks at #1 on the Billboard’s charts in the past 10 years through Readability Score to obtain an average US reading level.

Out of the four included genres (country, rock, pop, R&B/hip-hop), hip-hop scored the lowest, with an average U.S. reading level of 2.6. According to the study, Eminem’s lyrics are the most advanced, followed by Nicki Minaj and Macklemore, who both also scored within the third grade reading level measure.



Readability Score measures reading level using the Flesch Reading Ease test, which calculates reading ease using words per sentence and syllables per word.

Merriam-Webster defines intelligence as “the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations :  reason;  also :  the…

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