Some time ago, I saw this reddit post with a bunch of word clouds for some of Jay-Z’s songs. I thought it was a cool idea and I wanted to see word clouds for a bunch of other songs I liked. At the time I was in the middle of an internship in which I was using Ruby on Rails. I had just learned of Heroku and was impressed by how easy it was to host my ridiculous websites. It was also the beginning of Yeezy Season.
I searched online to find a site that let me create word clouds out of song lyrics. Nothing existed. I found a site that let me create word clouds with a block of text, but that wasn’t enough for me. Like what? You think I’m going to sit here and copy paste Kanye West’s discography into a site to generate word clouds? What do I look like, a joke? Yeezy Season is no joke.
I decided to create a site like this myself. What resulted was my first personal Ruby on Rails project, LyricsCloud. The app pulls song lyrics and creates a hash map of occurrences of each word and plugs it into a js script that creates word clouds. And just like that, I was able to gain more insight into the world that is Yeezy Season. Let’s analyze…
In the lyric word cloud for Jesus Walks, the words “me” and “I” appear more than “Jesus” does.
What phrase comes to mind when you think of the song Gold Digger? For me, it’s “get down girl, go ahead get down”. LyricsCloud confirmed this for me. Thanks LyricsCloud.
“lights, lights, lights, lights…” is echoed in the song so the lyric cloud puts a lot of emphasis on it.
808s & Heartbreak
Jesus Walks has many occurrences of “me,” Heartless has many occurrences of “you”.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
It’s interesting to see “look” up there. I would’ve thought “toast” would be the top one.
“Nobody” and “bound” show up the most in Bound 2. Pretty obvious when you hear the song.
“I the god” front and center of the cloud. Must mean something.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I need to update my algorithm to remove irrelevant prepositions from the word clouds. I was working on this at the time. I was also working on features to create word clouds from all the lyrics on an album or artist’s discography.