Hip-Hop Word Count is a searchable ethnographic database housed on StapleCrops.com and created by Tahir Hemphill. The database includes lyrics from over 50,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day.
The Hip-Hop Word Count converts data on time and geographic location for every metaphor, simile, cultural reference, phrase, rhyme style, meme and socio-political idea utilized in hip-hop into explorable visualizations which help viewers to comprehend this vast set of cultural data.
The database provides a wealth of references, ranging from classic hip-hop lyrics to political speeches, allowing for a comprehensive view into the evolution of vernacular in the genre as it relates to cultural and political transformations.
Tahir’s students in his Representing Blackness: Media, Technology, and Power in Hip-Hop Culture class focused on Blacks and Technology, Online Speech Communities, Black Culture Online, Representations of Gender, and Race in Videogames, Hiphop Culture Online and a case study of The Hiphop Word Count. For their final assignment they were given full access to the database and asked to develop research topics based on the data.
“My students rocked their final projects
this semester!” – Tahir H.
Check out the case studies here.