About Kanye.fun

This site uses Markov chains to generate quotes that sound like Kanye West.

Markov Chains Explained

A ‘Markov Process’ is a process for which the probability of the next thing that will happen only depends on the last thing that happened, and not everything before it. Let’s say you wanted to make a prediction about whether a sports team will win their next game. Instead of looking at the team’s winning history, you look only at the last one or two games and decide based on that. This is the idea behind Markov chains.
Markov chains are frequently used to generate text that mimics the style or sound of some other text. For example, let’s create a Markov chain to generate sentences that sounds like Dr. Suess. Our input sentence is: “One fish two fish red fish blue fish”. To create the Markov chain, we first go through each word in the sentence and write down the word that comes next. So, the word ‘fish’ comes after ‘one’, and the word ‘two’ comes after ‘fish’. We do this until we’re finished with our input.
We now have a Markov chain that can be used to generate a new Dr. Suess sentence. To do that, first, pick a word to start with, let’s say ‘two’. Pick one word that comes after ‘two’ and add it to the sentence. Here it would be ‘fish’.
“Two fish”
The last word in our sentence is fish, so now pick a word from the Markov chain that comes after ‘fish’ and add it to the sentence. Let’s say we pick ‘blue’.
“Two fish blue”
Now ‘blue’ is the last word, so pick a word that comes after ‘blue’ in our Markov chain and add it to the sentence. After a few more iterations, we’ll get something that sounds like Dr. Suess.
“Two fish blue fish red fish two”

How Kanye.fun works

This site builds a Markov chain from two-hundred different Kanye West quotes and uses that chain to generate quotes in a similar style to Kanye. The Markov chain weights word differently based on how often they appear next to each other. So for instance, if six quotes have the combination ‘I am’ and only one has the combination ‘I have’, ‘I am’ is six times more likely to appear in a generated quote than ‘I have’. Just like with any Markov chain, there is always a chance that the generated Kanye West quote is actually a real Kanye West quote.
Switching between ‘more random’ and ‘less random’ lets you choose between using a first-order Markov chain and a second-order Markov chain. First-order Markov chains use only on the last word to pick the next word in a sentence. Second-order Markov chains use the last two words in a sentence to predict the next one. The second-order chain generates quotes that sound more like Kanye, while the first-order chain generates sentences that are more jumbled and random.


Kanye.fun was created by Allison Colyer.
Thanks to Michael Lu for being a contributing programmer.
Thanks to Seth Klein for creating the Kanye graphic.
Thanks to Chloe Revery for her explanation of Markov chains.
Thanks to Recurse Center for supporting this project.

API Endpoints

If you want to use generated Kanye West quotes in your own project, here is how you can use Kanye as a Service.
Generate Kanye West quotes. Include a number at the end of the URL to specify the order Markov chain you want to use.
Generate a Markov Chain from the quotes used in this project. Specify the order by putting a number to the end of the URL.
Fetch all of the Kanye West quotes used for this project.