SLP Corner: Rapping Role Models. Really
by Kim Lewis CCC_SLP of the Activity Tailor blog
You know you’re a speech language pathologist when your son turns up a rap song and you think, “that guy has an unreal diadochokinetic rate.” True story.
Then this summer, I saw a study on the vocabulary of music artists (across genres) which analyzed the number of unique words used in their songs. Eminem topped the list. Jay Z, Tupac Shakur and Kanye West followed. (You can read the article here.)
Now I had been told that Eminem used to read the dictionary which would certainly account for a larger vocabulary, but then I went online to track down the accuracy of that fact and I’ve got to say, I was impressed.
Because Eminem loves words the way we love words.
In an interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes he said, when asked about reading the dictionary, “I just felt like I wanted to be able to have these words at my disposal in my vocabulary at all time whenever I need to pull them out. Somewhere they’ll be stored like locked away.”
And he keeps boxes and boxes of scrap paper covered with words, phrases, ideas, and turns of phrase. And he discusses “bending the words.” Changing the enunciation just enough that he can create rhymes where, on the surface, none exist.
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