Musicians are not shy about expressing their political opinions nor are politicians shy about courting favor of the musical elite. As we approach the U.S. Presidential election I thought it would be interesting to see which artists have the most political capital. To do this, I looked through all the recent news and blog posts (using The Echo Nest API) about each of the top 1,000 most popular artists and scored each artist based upon the number of election-related stories found for each artist. I’ve taken the results of this search and summarized the results in this app:
The Top 50 Most Political Artists
Here’s a screenshot:
Not surprisingly popular artists make lots of news, and when a popular artists says or does something political it tends to make news, especially when what they say goes against expectations. For example, when Nicki Minaj said she was going to vote for Mitt Romney it created a storm of hundreds of news articles and blog posts (and even a response from President Obama).
Check out the list of top 50 political artists. Some common themes: Musicians get pissed off if you use their music in your campaign and they don’t agree with you, President Obama gets lots of love (and fundraising help) from popular artists, and sounding like a crazy artist gets you lots of attention.
Also, check out this related post on how we are using musical taste to predict your politics.
#1 by Perfe on October 19, 2012 - 7:31 am
Hi Paul! An inspiring blog entry, as usual. But I think this example is a “cartoonization” of what politics is about. Saying something about an elections process is, many times, not being political or showing any political attitude. It’s just gossiping or an expression of preference. Political attitude has to be determined by lyrics and behavior. I think you could do some text mining on their lyrics and then telling apart those artists where the elections-related position are a natural consequence of the attitude detected in the lyrics (can you detect left-ish versus versus right-ish versus ultraconservative lyrics? This would be, for me, one of the real challenges on this topic)from those that do not show any connection between them (and then are just “victims of fashion” or saying what the fans are expecting to hear).