Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Programming + Rap = Win

I don't know enough programming to understand any of the details, but this is still pretty cool. Two Stanford students (coincidence!) made a Rap Lyric Generator for the final project for one of their CS classes. The result? Well, I had a hard time telling the difference between the man-made rap song, and the computer generated one.

Let's play a game! Guess which of theses verses come from a real rap song, and which were generated by a computer (answers at bottom of post).
1. And I say "a yia yia yia"
Let’s get it on every time
Holler out "Your mine"
And I say "Oh oo oh oo oh oh oh oh oh
So if you willin’ you wit it then we can spend time
And I say "a yia yia yia"

2. Now first let’s call for the motherfuckin indo
Pull out your crutch and put away your pistol

3. you take pride in suckin’ a good dick
and after i nut bitch you better not spit ha ha ha ha
you’re a dirt dobbler a goop gobbler
you’ll fuck satan for the righteous dollar
so gimme some gimme some

4. can a nigga get some to go yeah baby
she got it she got it she got it
i do my thang in the club
you can do it

5. see i won’t deny it i’m a straight ridah
i got semi-autos to put holes in niggaz tryina play me
i look to my future cause my past is all behind me
yeah see the cross on my neck that just might freeze me
Of course, that's probably because rap sounds like total nonsensical gibberish to begin with... Alright, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say their hard work probably had something to do with it too. I mean, they even included a graph of "Rap Quality" (which I'm pretty sure is an oxymoron). Bad music aside, the project is still cool!

(Answers: Human, Human, Human, Computer, Computer)


  1. I wish all types of rap a special place in Hell for being so sucky. But still, that’s an awesome bit of programming to be able to come up with lyrics that natural-sounding. (Well, “natural” in terms of rap, anyway …)

  2. While I'm not too surprised, I am rather impressed with the programmer's skill.

  3. Rap defendant isn't a position I ever thought I'd occupy, but recently I've discovered some rappers that make it necessary. It's all 'bout da flow.* Pretty much everyone sucks at it, especially in the mainstream, but a few, I'm gonna use MC Frontalot as an example, have got it down. For example:


    Watch it! It's 4 minutes long and it's called "Origin of Species". There are worse things you could do in 4 minutes.

    *I apologize wholeheartedly for that sentence.

  4. Not all rap sounds like this, Joe. There's a whole world out there of intellectual hip hop. It just doesn't make a lot of money.

  5. Also, you have to remember that rap and hip hop have a long history of political activism, even if most of today's mainstream rap has lost sight of it. Which isn't to say you have to like it, but it's a bit insensitive to say that there's no such thing as good rap.

  6. Not to me, there isn’t. My tastes seem to be diametrically opposed to anything rap/hip-hop has to offer.

  7. here I be on this bloggin shit
    whippin up a comment for that blag hag biz
    you know she be bustin out some heavy rhymes
    on what the snt is doin in these bitchin times

    there's never a way we can't get down
    homies bustin on niggas in biology town
    she fuckin posted shit on fucked up mice
    and we followed when she posted crazy shit all nite

    she's goin' to go to grad skool out west
    she's goin' to learn what biology's best
    I know what biology we all oughta learn
    but Joé's too much a virgin to rap that word

    that Mehta guy she's got a crush on
    at least she jacks his blog enough on
    her fuckin' blog I read all day and night on
    the internet when the porn I can't find none of

    yeaaahhh, blaghag bitchessssss!

  8. Reading their paper, they did this entire project without input from a professor working in natural language or really even a look at work in the field. With even a basic understanding of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Context-free_grammar they could easily have done this project in a few days; the mono-, bi-, and tri-gram model is needlessly complicated and forced them to spend what I assume was an enormous amount of time hand-weighting thousands of phrases (as they claim to have done).

    This really has nothing on the scientific paper generator:


  9. The thing that irritates me most about rap is that people all too frequently make jokes to me about it because of the similarity between my name and "M.C. Hammer".

  10. There's a pretty big difference between "there's no good rap" and "there's no rap that suits my tastes." I don't particularly like listening to classical music, but I'm not gonna claim that there's no good classical music because of it.

  11. mcbender, when I see your name I think of Bender Bending Rodriguez, but I am a Futurama fan and a nerd.

  12. When I read Programming & Rap, I had to think about this: http://www.bash.org/?870063

  13. So, is it ridiculous that I actually thought the last one (computer generated and all) was the best, most creative set of lyrics? I don't know. None of them were very good, admittedly. I can't really abide by mainstream rap myself.

  14. There's a whole world out there of intellectual hip hop.

    What in the world is that like? "Kant says you better not spit, ha ha ha ha"?

  15. Fort the most part you have to go back to the mid 90's and earlier to find rap with any real quality to it. The main problem with modern mainstream rap is that the industry has figured out that they can produce any swill with a good beat that sounds good in the clubs to alcoholics and it'll sell.

  16. Busdriver
    Sage Francis
    Saul Williams
    Immortal Technique
    The Grouch
    Myka 9
    Abstract Rude

  17. I bet you love Macklemore though….