A new study is stating that out of all of the popular American music genres, Rap actually has the least amount of drug references while Country has the most.
The study was conducted by Addiction.com and published exclusively for Newsweek. Using the Songmeanings API lyrics database, they studied music categorized as Rap, Rock, Country, Pop, EDM, Jazz, Folk and other. In their research, they found that among the seven drugs studied [weed, ecstasy, cocaine, pills, acid, meth and heroin], weed was mentioned the most.
“The data suggests alarmists may have a reason to worry, as the number of illicit substances mentioned in song lyrics spiked between 1970 and the mid-2000s,” the study says. “However, the trend took a curious dip after that time period, approaching similar levels to the early 1990s in 2013. Regardless, drug use is still mentioned far more frequently in music today than the years before MTV. This can also suggest artists are simply using less subtle ways to talk about intoxication.
When actually digging into the details of their research though, things get interesting. Their data suggests that Rap music, which many would assume would have the most drug references, actually has the least out of the genres studied. However, when they studied individual artists, rappers dominated the list. Their research says that Eminem, Lil Wayne, Tech N9ne, Too $hort, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Redman had more drug references than most artists.
Yes, this study was published in 2017. Which raises a few red flags. Granted, we’re sure no one wants to be labeled as the druggiest rapper or artist in the game, but to see that Future, Snoop Dogg nor Wiz Khalifa get mentioned on this list suggests that they didn’t do a lot of deep research. On top of that, the study says that Wu-Tang Clan and Method Man specifically, name dropped “meth” more than Eminem, Insane Clown Posse and another group called I Set My Friends On Fire. Obviously, the technology they were using picked up on Method Man using his nickname “Meth” and took it as him shouting out the drug. That oversight also found its way into a part of the study that concluded that the top three drugs mentioned in rap music are weed, cocaine, and meth.
Obviously, more rappers are talking about selling coke than snorting it. If your favorite rapper is rapping about meth at all, stop listening now. On top of that, seeing as how molly and lean were never mentioned shows that the study is very flawed. The study’s author did suggest however that they may not have caught on to everything because of slang.
But hey, the ultimate findings may sound good in some arguments defending Rap against other genres.
Check out the entire study here.