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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hip-Hop Word Count: What If You Could Search the Lyrics of 40,000 Hip Hop Songs?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 11:54 AM

click to enlarge A sample entry.
  • A sample entry.
Tahir Hemphill has launched a Kickstarter fundraising drive for an interesting new project he's working on. It's called the Hip-Hop Word Count, and its aim is to allow you to search through the lyrics of over 40,000 hip-hop songs released between 1979 and the present. But more than just allowing you to find out which artist said what, it will also allow you to synthesize and visualize data according to the era, location, frequency, and types of lyrics used.

Hemphill says that he wants this project to help explain and reveal new ideas regarding hip-hop -- for example, determining whether Adidas or Nike is the bigger hip-hop signifier. Currently, the main project is still in development. But his blog archives are loaded with hilarious breakdowns of specific songs that assign each a literacy grade, such as this. He also has videos and posts showing the development of the Hip-Hop Word Count software in action. The project is in the final stages of development, and users have already pledged over $4200. This has the potential to be something really, really awesome.

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