The data heads at Rapalytics analyzed 1,000 albums and 150 rappers in order to develop a “profanity index” to chart who has the filthiest mouth in rap. 

Rappers arranged by profanity, via Vox.. Image 1.Rappers arranged by profanity, via Vox.

On the other end of the spectrum naturally is Will Smith with only 14 curse words throughout his entire musical career’s span. MC Hammer and Wyclef Jean also rank as squeaky clean, but not so much as Smith.

% of curse words between 1987-2013, via Vox.. Image 2.% of curse words between 1987-2013, via Vox.

This might be generational as 1995 and 1998 were peak years for profanity in the rap game, coinciding with the “gangsta rap” era. Since then rap has entered the mainstream, and with it rappers have had to adjust their lyrics accordingly.

Admittedly, the study does have some flaws as it neglects to have Odd Future, or any other newer, contemporary rappers in its research. It also has Nicki Minaj as the most “misogynistic rapper” due to the frequency of “bitch” appearing in her lyrics, despite the fact that Minaj uses the expletive as both an insult and a boast. Overall, it does reflect current trends in rap music, and the fact that mainstream rap music is getting cleaner.

In the words of Eminem, “Will Smith don't gotta cuss in his raps to sell records,” but Dr. Dre does, and so do a hell of a lot of other rappers.

Cover: Wikimedia Commons