The fastest rapper in the English language is US artist Ab-Soul, rapping 8.31 seconds per second on average. The fastest Italian artist is Shiva, who raps an impressive 6.33 syllables per second on average. Puerto Rican artist Kendo Kaponi is the fastest in Spanish, rapping an average of 6.11 syllables per second.
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From crafting layered rhymes to rattling off words at the speed of light, you don’t have to be a hip-hop fan to know that rapping takes plenty of craft and talent.Countless artists from all over the world have developed the genre, and one of the many impressive features of rapping is the speed at which many artists can pronounce their lyrics without losing any of the coherence, complexity, and flow.Based on the speed of syllables being uttered, we wanted to see which artists from around the world are the quickest.
Many rappers claim the title of ‘quickest’Ask a few people who the fastest rapper of all time is and they’ll likely give you different answers. That’s because at different times, and according to different measurements, various artists have been awarded the coveted title.There’s Eminem, who was credited with a Guinness World Record in 2020 for rapping a staggering 7.5 words per second in one verse in Godzilla. His 2013 track Rap God was also awarded a Guinness World Record for packing the most words inside a hit single — 1,560 words inside 6 minutes and 4 seconds.Breaking down words into syllables, Twista, pioneer of the chopper style of rapping, was recognised with a Guinness World Record back in 1992 for rapping 598 syllables in just 58 seconds, and he continued to speed up his rhymes in other songs throughout the 90s such as in 1999’s Victory or Death, where he spat an impressive 12.8 syllables per second.There are plenty of examples of other rappers reaching the same speedy heights as Twista, such as Spanish rapper El Chojin, who was the last rapper to be acknowledged in the ‘fastest rap MC’ category by the Guinness World Records for rapping 921 syllables in one minute in 2008, before the record stopped being officially measured.Inspired by these many feats of fast and furious wordplay, we wanted to analyze the speed of rappers across more languages and regions of the world to see who else can lay claim to having the quickest rapping across the whole length of a commercially released song, instead of select verses.
Which English-speaking rapper is the quickest across the full length of their tracks?We’ve just seen some fine examples of fast wordplay by the record holders who rap within specific verses, but what about when we consider the speed of a rapper across the entire length of their songs? To study this, we’ve looked at the measurement of syllables instead of whole words in an average song by each artist.Californian rapper Ab-Soul takes the crown for the fastest rapper in the English language, when we consider the average number of syllables in his songs.Across the commercially released songs in his discography included in our analysis, Ab-Soul raps an average 8.31 syllables per second – over twice the speed (4.13 syllables per second) of the average English-language rapper in our analysis.Chance the Rapper comes in second place, rapping an average 7.8 syllables per second, and hip-hop legend 2Pac claims third place (7.53 syllables per second). Eminem, who holds a Guinness World Record for a particularly fast 30-second flow on the song Godzilla, places seventh in our ranking with an average syllable count per second of 6.75.
What is the fastest commercially released rap or grime song, based on the number of syllables?Measuring the speed of rap songs on a large scale and in a fair and consistent manner can be tricky, so to make the sample of songs more comparable, we focused on the following parameters:
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The song had to have been commercially released and available on Spotify (therefore freestyles and live performances were not considered)The song could not exceed 3 minutes and 30 seconds of runtime (the average length of a Billboard Hot 100 hit)The song had to be made up of between 30% to 50% speechiness*The song could only feature one artist rapping in one language (songs with artificial voice effects from the same rapper were also removed)*speechiness is a metric developed by Spotify to detect the presence of spoken words in a track on a scale of 0 to 1 (normalized to 0% to 100% for the purposes of this analysis).While Americans dominate the top ten fastest English-language rappers ranking, UK artists claim six out of 10 top spots when it comes to syllable-packed commercially released songs. Tom & Jerry by London-born rapper Ocean Wisdom takes the top spot with a total of 1,178 syllables uttered, with Hard Food by Riko Dan taking second place (1,076 syllables).Two songs by US rappers appear in our top ten: Kendrick Lamar’s DNA. counting 1,008 syllables per second and indie artist Sage Francis’ song Grace counting 982. Trust Me by Australian rapper Rops1 appears fifth (988 syllables).
In which language do rappers use the most syllables per second?With their different cadences, grammar, and phonetic quirks, rapping in different languages can treat listeners to an entirely new style within hip-hop’s vast repertoire. So, we also turned our attention to the speed of syllables by artists from around the world who rap in nine different languages.We discovered that on average, the English-language artists in our analysis rap 4.13 syllables per second, which is faster than any other language. Italian comes in second place, with artists on average rapping 4.01 syllables per second. The slowest rappers in our analysis were Russian-speaking, counting an average 2.96 syllables per second.
Which non-English speaking rappers are the fastest?The fastest rapper in the English language is US artist Ab-Soul, rapping 8.31 seconds per second on average. The fastest Italian artist is Shiva, who raps an impressive 6.33 syllables per second on average. Puerto Rican artist Kendo Kaponi is the fastest in Spanish, rapping an average of 6.11 syllables per second.
Notable absenteesChopper rapping, a style that originates from the Midwestern United States, is renowned for its distinctly fast pace of rapping.As our analysis considers the speed of syllables uttered across the entire length of a track, we see that some artists in our rankings have a style of rapping that is wordier vs the length of a track and, thus, packs more syllables into the length of their tracks compared to other rappers that rap quickly across specific parts of a song instead of its full duration.Under the same measurements as the artists ranked above, notable chopper rappers such as Twista and Tech N9ne average between 4.89 and 5.22 syllables per second across the full duration of their recorded songs.Among other languages that weren’t a part of our analysis, South Korean rapper Outsider has been recognized as one of the world’s fastest rappers in previous measurements where he has uttered 721 syllables in 21 seconds and averaged the equivalent of 22 words per second.
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Around the world, artists that have emerged from the genres of rap, grime, spoken word, and their many sub-genres and styles have displayed some of the most incredible feats of wordplay and storytelling.It’s one thing for a rapper to write lyrics that tell a captivating story within a hit song, but quite another achievement for some artists to tell it at such a pace and rhythm while still managing to keep listeners engaged with the content of what they are saying.While many rappers, such as Twista and Eminem are already immortalized for their record-breakingly fast verses, our analysis aimed to reveal which artists and which recorded songs in multiple languages were executing the most syllables within the full run time of a track.Our method revealed many examples of fast-paced rapping across all of the nine languages analyzed, and some artists who wouldn’t normally be considered as rapping faster than the likes of Tech N9ne or Busta Rhymes ranked higher for the number of syllables that they manage to fit into the entire length of their music.Music lovers will also know that you don’t need to understand a song’s language to be able to enjoy it. In fact, according to one study, listening to a song in a foreign language (and then singing it back) can actually help you learn it better. You can also look up the lyrics to a song in another language and listen to it while reading along to boost your comprehension skills.
Notes on methodologyWe began our study by sourcing a seed list of 1,000 rappers who sing or rap in 9 different languages: English, French, German, Italian, Danish, Dutch, Russian, Spanish, and Polish.We then used Genius.com to source the lyrics of each rapper’s commercially released rap singles or album tracks and cross-checked them with Spotify to ensure that they had a commercial release. This removed any freestyles or unofficial recordings.Each song’s lyrics were then pushed through a Python tool that calculates the number of syllables in a piece of text in various languages.The speed of each rapper’s rapping was measured on ‘syllables per second’ across a whole track’s run time.When analyzing each song’s speed according to ‘most syllables in one track’, we filtered down our sample to those songs which:1. Had a run time of 3 minutes 30 seconds or less — the average length of a Billboard Hot 100 song2.Consisted of 0.3 to 0.5 speechiness — a metric developed by Spotify to detect the presence of spoken words in a track on a scale of 0 to 1 (normalized to 0% to 100% for the purposes of this analysis)3. Were sung in one language by just one rapper on the entire length of the trackPlease note: there are many other examples of songs being rapped quicker according to how many syllables are uttered across certain parts of a track, this study is limited by each song’s run time.
Our analysis was completed in June 2022.
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