LyricFind has released the 2020 Top Lyric searches by Australians found that half of the Top 10 most explored were by hip hop artists.
The most-searched-for was ‘WAP’ by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion, released in August.
Part of the reason was the track’s massive chart success.
It stayed at #1 for a few weeks in Australia (in the Top 100 and the hip hop/R&B charts), Canada, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
In the US its chart-topping debut gave Cardi B her fourth #1 in her home market, extended her stay as the female rapper with the most number ones of all time, and broke the record for the largest opening streaming week for a song in US history.
But the Australian search for ‘WAP’ was as much to find lyrics that were bleeped on the commercial radio edit.
The record, which sampled Frank Ski’s 1993 Baltimore club single ‘Whores In This House’, saw the two rappers gleefully exchanging explicitly ways how they wanted their men to please them.
Cardi explained on The Breakfast Club that and Megan Thee Stallion got together through the insistence of their stylists (“I’m really shy especially when it comes to girls, I don’t know why, that’s who I am”), they exchanged a number of songs before deciding on ‘WAP’, and for the clean version “I tried a long time to replace the dirty word because it was too nasty.”
At #2 was ‘Godzilla’ by Eminem ft Juice WRLD: the third verse holds the record for Eminem’s fastest rap verse, rapping 10.65 syllables per second, or 300 words in 30 seconds.
In third spot was ‘Someone You Loved’ by Lewis Capaldi, followed by ‘Dance Monkey’ by Tones And I, ‘Say So’ by Doja Cat, ‘Roses’ by SAINT JHN, ‘Before You Go’ by Capaldi, ‘Blinding Light’ by Weeknd, ‘Memories’ by Maroon 5, with ‘The Box by Roddy Ricch winding up the Top 10.
At #15 was The Seekers’ ‘I Am Australian’.
The attraction to hip hop lyrics by Australians are many-fold.
A 2014 study from Cambridge University in England suggested they create so much emotion that they are linked to treatment for mental illness, anxiety and depression.
The study also suggested “positive visual imagery” – used by athletes to envisage being victors to becoming successful on the field – applies to hip hop fans, especially with lyrics that detail people who rise from the ashes of poverty or overcome significant obstacles to find fame, fortune, admiration, and redemption.
The latter could also apply to the interest in ‘Dance Monkey’, which featured significantly in the three other lists released by LyricFind.
It was #1 in the global and UK lists, and #2 in the US where it was overtaken by ‘WAP’.
The predominance of hip hop lyric searches was significantly lower in the Top 5 of the other lists.
There were only three in the US, one globally, and none in the UK.