These Students Are Using Data Science to Predict Which Rap Songs Will Become Hits

“Drop that science.” — Ol’ Dirty Bastard With each passing year, hip-hop becomes a little more omnipresent in popular culture. Had the genre never been born in the Bronx, in New York City, today’s Billboard Hot 100 would look completely different. As with most popular genres, hip-hop has fallen into some established lyrical patterns — but how much do these patterns determine the success of a song? Is there a science to creating a blockbuster rap? A new algorithm created by students in the master of information and data science program at the University of California, Berkeley, suggests there may be. Using applied machine learning techniques and data science principles, Tony Abraham, Nikhita Koul and Joe Morales have created a tool that can predict whether or not a rap song will become a…


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