“L’habit ne fait pas le moine”—don’t judge a book by its cover. Or, in this case, don’t judge an artist by the number of curse words they use in their songs. Pardon our French, but profanity in music is becoming more common across all genres. Some recording artists use curse words more frequently than others, and we at All Home Connections wanted to know who exactly has been profanity royalty over the past year.
We looked at the top 200 songs for the past year on Spotify to determine the most popular recording artists. From there, we removed repeat artists and compiled a list of artists that had been in the top 200 for the past year at least 100 times. Next, we used Genius to scrape all of those artists’ lyrics. After that, we determined which curse words appeared the most. Finally, we used the word count and the number of curse words to determine the percent of curse words in the artist’s lyrics/songs. Overall, we analyzed 1,091,844 words (in the lyrics) to determine the artist that had the highest percentage of curse words in their music. Not to be outdone, we also looked at the artists who had the cleanest mouths in the music industry.
Watch Your Mouth—the Musicians that Cursed the Most
We ranked musicians by the percentage of curse words per word in their songs—and no one did it like DaBaby, topping our list. Whether you were jamming out to “ROCKSTAR” or “PRACTICE” over the last year, you’ve heard DaBaby speak like a big boy, with 4.5% of his lyrics being explicit. That may not seem like a lot, but he cursed nearly 3000 times over his top tracks in the last year by actual word count. Grammy award-winner Megan Thee Stallion wasn’t far behind, with 4.37% of her lyrics containing language you may not share with your grandparents. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 shook out:
Keeping It PG—the Musicians that Cursed the Least
Not every recording artist throws the gray, opaque E next to their song title for explicit content. Some artists curse very sparingly in their music, and one, in particular, didn’t curse at all in their top jams of yesteryear. With six tracks in the top 200 on Spotify, Harry Styles did not utter a curse word once across his lyrics. The closest musician behind Harry Styles—Dan + Shay—found a way to curse 21 times across the same amount of songs, accounting for 0.14% of their lyrics. So which other top recording artists found a way to succeed without saying too many curse words?
- Pass the soap: The 28 artists in our list accounted for a combined 21,324 curse words across their songs.
- J. Cole looks to the Future: While Future had the most swear words at 3,254, overall, his swearing only made up 2.69% of his lyrics. J. Cole had 3,247 swear words, making up 2.64% of his lyrics.
- Savages Say So: From the artists that cursed the most, only two were female—Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat.
- T-Swift vs. H-Styles: Surprisingly, Taylor Swift curses more than Harry Styles. Swift cursed 150 times across her top tracks while we found zero curse words in Harry Styles lyrics.
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