We mentioned recently that hip-hop songs are getting shorter and shorter and it affects not only their duration but also the number of verses.
Having analysed 10 most popular hip-hop albums of 2020, Hip Hop By The Numbers established that on average there are only 2.03 verses per song. Only 15.1% of songs have a third verse at all. There was not a single song with a third verse on four out of 10 albums.
10 albums might not represent the entire genre but a wider scope confirms the trend. The number of songs with a third verse dropped from 63.9% in 2010 to 15.1% in 2020, shows the diagram:
The Death of the 3rd Verse – It's decline has been steep in the 2010s
Top 10 Hip-Hop albums in 2020
15.1% of songs have a 3rd verse
4 albums don't have a single 3rd verse
The graphic shows the 10 yr decline
How do you feel about this?pic.twitter.com/6ILINg50uF
— Hip Hop By The Numbers (@HipHopNumbers) May 20, 2020
Meanwhile, there are MCs who do not give up to this trend and keep telling stories longer than a two-shot can contain. Hip Hop By The Numbers provided the list of top 10 albums with the highest percentage of third verses released between 2017 and 2020. Eminem shows on this list three times:
92.9% – Rick Ross – Rather You Than Me
82.4% – Eminem – Music To Be Murdered By
73.3% – Ross – Port of Miami 2
70.6% – Eminem – Revival
63.6% – Eminem – Kamikaze
61.5% – Logic – YSIV
61.5% – YG – 4Real
57.1% – Push – DAYTONA
The percentage was even higher for Eminem in the 2010s when 84.6% of his songs had a third verse. Which does not come as a surprise, considering that storytelling is essential for Marshall and a two-verses model does not typically provide a room for a story to unfold.