Ask anyone to rattle off their favorite emo bands and you’ll more than likely get the same answers. Dashboard Confessional and My Chemical Romance are just a couple bands that are easily capable of kicking you right in the feels with their lyrics, but could artists in an emerging subgenre known as emo-rap take over the top spots for most-vulnerable lyrics?
Find out where some of your favorites measure-up on the lyrical emo scale, below!
Emo-rap artists such as Juice Wrld are quickly gaining popularity by mixing old-school emo lyrics over a hip hop beat. It’s an emerging subgenre of music that got Matt Daniels over at The Pudding thinking, “Who has the most emotionally vulnerable lyrics, emo rappers or Dashboard Confessional?”
In order to compare some of our favorite bands to some of the biggest emo rappers, Daniels calculated the percent of each song’s words that were associated with sadness or fear.
For example, 33% of the words in the chorus of Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO Tour Llif3” fall under the fear/sadness list which places it pretty high on the emo scale.
“I don’t really care if you cry/On the real, you shoulda never lied/Shoulda saw the way she looked me in my eyes/She said, baby, I am not afraid to die/Push me to the edge/All my friends are dead”
*Common words that do not generally evoke meaning such as “the” and “a”, pronouns, prepositions, and basic verbs are removed from calculations.
Using this same method, Daniels took a look at how emo rappers stacked up against some of our favorite emo bands such as MCR and Dashboard Confessional—and the results may surprise you.
Average Of Album’s Track Lyrics That Are Emo:
19% – My Chemical Romance: The Black Parade
17% – Nothing, Nowhere: Reaper
17% – The Used: In Love And Death
15% – Taking Back Sunday: Tell All Your Friends
15% – Juice Wrld: Goodbye & Good Riddance
12% – Twenty One Pilots: Vessel
11% Lil Peep: Come Over When You’re Sober
11% Fall Out Boy: From Under The Cork Tree
10% Dashboard Confessional: The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most
9% Panic! At The Disco: A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
7% The Weeknd: Trilogy
7% Jimmy Eat World: Bleed American
7% Lil Uzi Vert: Luv Is Rage 2
For the full list, click here.
It should come as no surprise that MCR’s The Black Parade comes out on top, but it is a little surprising to see some emo-rappers come out ahead of bands such as Dashboard and FOB.
Taking the same method, Daniels took a look at individual songs and ranked them by their emo words. Here are the top 25:
Songs Ranked By Words:
- XXXTentacion – “Pain = BESTFRIEND” 57%
- Trippie Redd – “How You Feel” 55%
- XXXTentacion – “SAD!” 48%
- Post Malone – “Blame It On Me” 41%
- My Chemical Romance – “House Of Wolves” 40%
- Radiohead – “High And Dry” 38%
- Taking Back Sunday – “You’re So Last Summer” 35%
- American Football – “But The Regrets Are Killing Me” 33%
- The Used – “Hard To Say” 30%
- My Chemical Romance – “Blood” 30%
- Juice Wrld – “I’m Still” 29%
- Taking Back Sunday – “Ghost Man On Third” 28%
- The Weeknd – “The Birds (Part 1)” 27%
- Saves The Day – “At Your Funeral” 27%
- XXXTentacion – “Hope” 27%
- The Used – “Cut Up Angels” 26%
- My Chemical Romance – “This Is How I Disappear” 25%
- Nothing, Nowhere – “Funeral Fantasy” 25%
- Jimmy Eat World – “Your House (2007)” 25%
- My Chemical Romance – “Teenagers” 25%
- Radiohead – “Bones” 24%
- Juice Wrld – “Scared Of Love” 24%
- My Chemical Romance – “The Sharpest Lives” 24%
- Twenty One Pilots – “Screen” 24%
- Trippie Redd – “BANG!” 23%
In an interview with Pigeons and Planes, rapper Lil West notes how the trend towards emo is largely due to Soundcloud rappers channeling their emo upbringing.
“This [emo-rap] is the new emo…This generation is full of kids that grew up on this type [of] shit and are finding new ways to not just rap and sing over trap beats, but are smart enough to blend what they grew up on with trendy trap shit in today’s rap.”
Are you surprised by this study’s findings? Which songs do you think deserve to hold the spot at the top of the scale? Sound off in the comments below!