Now that it is widely regarded as a certified institution (and not just a passing phase), hip hop is being taken to new heights. Even Oprah has changed her tune (pun very much intended) about the genre that she so vehemently opposed by adopting Jay-Z. Okay, well not quite, but she has been pushing his Decoded book harder than he used to push rocks. With this being said, it is about time that hip hop has entered academia and started being studied and analyzed. Enter “The Hip-Hop Word Count: A Searchable Rap Almanac.” The project created by Tahir Hemphill is an ethnographic database of the lyrics of over 40,000 rap songs from 1979 to present. According to Hemphill, “The database is the heart of an online analysis tool that generates textual and quantified reports on searched phrases, syntax, memes and socio-political ideas.” Check out this short video about it:
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To donate money to further this hip hop research project or to get more information, visit Kickstarter.