Hiphop Word Count Case Studies

Hip-Hop Word Count is a searchable ethnographic database housed on 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.

tahir-hemphill“My students rocked their final projects
this semester!”
– Tahir H.

Check out the case studies here.

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