MattSmith8 - Biggie Numbers- Applying Math to Hip-HopSong Rating: 9.73/10
Well here we are. 2016 is 19 years removed from the d**h of the East Coasts finest.
As an a**ignment for school, I had to look at the Erdõs Number of popular mathematicians who wrote essential papers. Erdõs has this number named after him because he was famed for collaborating with a number of authors, on a great number of different topics.
One of the essential aspects of Hip-Hop is guests, other stars coming in to drop a verse.
The Notorious BIG was renowned as one of hip-hops GOATs, and he generally preferred to work alone.
What if we were to apply to principle of the Erdõs Number, as explained below.
According to the ever infallible Wikipedia, and Erdõs Number:
To be a**igned an Erdős number, someone must be a coauthor of a research paper with another person who has a finite Erdős number. Paul Erdős has an Erdős number of zero. Anybody elses Erdős number is k + 1 where k is the lowest Erdős number of any coauthor. Erdős wrote around 1,500 mathematical articles in his lifetime, mostly co-written. He had 511 direct collaborators; these are the people with Erdős number 1. The people who have collaborated with them (but not with Erdős himself) have an Erdős number of 2 (9267 people as of 2010), those who have collaborated with people who have an Erdős number of 2 (but not with Erdős or anyone with an Erdős number of 1) have an Erdős number of 3, and so forth. A person with no such coauthorship chain connecting to Erdős has an Erdős number of infinity (or an undefined one). Since the d**h of Paul Erdős, the lowest Erdős number that a new researcher can obtain is 2.
So, what would a Biggie number be?
Anyone that has collaborated with the man himself on a song is a**igned a number of 1, signaling direct work with Biggie.
Someone who has collaborated with someone who has worked with Biggie, but never Christopher himself, would gain a number of 2.
So on and so forth.
As Biggie is no longer alive and producing work, it is now impossible for an artist to gain a number of 1. The lowest possible number is currently 2. I will be including Artist names and my number in the text, and the path in the annotations...Feel free to correct (what will be) my many mistakes
Please note for simplicity if the song was released posthumously, I am including it as valid. Without further ado.. Biggie Numbers of 1 Nas
Bone-Thugs and Harmony
Jay Z Biggie Numbers of 2 Kanye West
Royce da 59
J. Cole Biggie Numbers of 3 G-Eazy
Chance the Rapper
Meek Mill Biggie Numbers of 4 Childish Gambino
Logic Conclusions (maybe..?) • I have never been good at summarization, so take this with a grain of salt
• Looking at the list, at the minute it almost looks like a seniority list for the industry.
• The guys with numbers of 1 are recognized, and respected, they have been around.
• Generally, the guys on level 2 are the big ones now, guys that may not have been old enough, or important enough to work with Biggie at the time, but have matured into stars of their own right.
• Similarly, as a general rule, the guys on level 3 are up-and-coming, with recognized freshman and sophomore projects.
•However, there are absolutely exceptions- artists who have a wide number of collaborators, or are the protégée of someone with a low number are going to benefit strongly.
• Similarly, people like Logic, or especially Cole who prefer to work alone are extremely hurt by the a**umption that this metric indicates seniority in the industry.
Cole still has a number of two, but this metric is still unfair. More below.
• Apparently I am not as big a Cole fan as I thought, forgot about the debut studio album. UGHHHH
•Wrapup thought: How hard would it be for a new rapper to gain a 2 on this list? Does this kind of mess with the entire metric? Is what was made for math applicable to music, or is it kind of like squaring the circle, never an exact fit?
Date of text publication: 16.01.2021 at 08:31