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I was browsing the other day and came across a thread talking about a site called “Rap Stats.” The site catalogs the lyrics of rap songs down through the ages, and lets you do awesome stats-based analysis like comparing the relative popularity of different words over time. Naturally, the first thing I did was throw three calibers into their search engine and wait patiently for the results . . .

It looks to me that 9mm is the most popular caliber according to rap lyrics, but something interesting happened in the early 1990’s. For a few short years, .380 surged and was actually more popular than .45 ACP for a while. In fact, throughout most of the last 20 years 9mm and .380 popularity seems to be tied to one another — when 9mm becomes more popular, .380 is right there behind it.

But that all stopped in 2010 when .380 tailed off despite while the popularity of 9mm took off. And yet, .45 ACP seems to be holding steady.

My conclusion: rappers prefer capacity over “stopping power” — 9mm rules.

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    • Little good ever comes from a statement which begins with: “I was browsing…”

      Even less so from: “Do a search on for…”

      Jus’ saying.

  1. I gave up on hibbidy-hop when I heard a lyric about loading a .357’s clip, since I don’t think hibbidy-hop stars buy Coonan pistols.

      • Dress up like ladies and burn em with dirty 380s when the come to kill our babies. That’s all out, I got gats that blow the wall out, kill them all out, f**k the fallout.
        Biggie was maybe not quite as good a rapper as 2pac, but you can’t argue those are some solid tactics.

  2. These rappers must not be up on their firearms history. Everybody knows that General Keith ended the caliber wars in 1934 with the .357 magnum. 😛

  3. They also prefer FMJ to JHP……because cheap and available to low life street thugs, doesn’t say much for their ballistic sensibility.

  4. I thought rappers only rapped about Glocks and 9mms. This article has been very informative for me.

  5. Yet more shoddy statistical analysis. Clearly the research shows that the impact of the 9mm on popular music is to cause rap lyrics to be more violent. The .45 and .380 less so. And because rap lyrics are frequently demeaning to women, the 9mm can be concluded to also be against women, thus is a cornerstone in the right wing war on women.

    Ergo, the 9mm should be banned so that no woman is ever hurt by a domestic abuser again. A useful corollary being that the never-ending caliber wars can be brought to an abrupt halt.

    • No no… You need to ban the scariest looking or sounding, but least used caliber like .50 BMG. That will cut all gun violence by 100%! Going after the most-used caliber will just alert everyone to your end-game too early.

      Chip-away slowly…

  6. I am of the age where I love Rap. While I may not agree with the handling of firearms in the average rap song, they are not worse than “Down By The River” by Neil Young, or “I Don’t Like Mondays” by the Boomtown Rats. They are just stories. Except for the Mondays song, that really happened.

  7. Don’t forget that early rapper, Bob Dylan:

    “In Search Of Little Sadie”
    Went out last night just to take a little round
    I get my little Sadie and I brought her down
    I run right home and I went to bed
    With a forty-four smokeless under my head.

  8. “A lotta beer, a lotta girls an a whole lotta cursin’ – twenty two automatic on my person” Beastie Boys, late 80’s

  9. I would say 9mm wins by a landslide if you factor in every reference to a “nina.” 7.62×39 comes in second when you count “chopper.”

  10. There is actually a street crew in Chicago named after the 40cal…but yeah nine wins. It’s one reason murders are down and shootings are up in the city. Yeah I know all rappers aren’t gang membersLOL

  11. “I didn’t even have to use my ak. I have to say, today was a good day.”
    Ice cube – Today was a good day

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