About this project
The Hip-Hop Word Count (HHWC) is a searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day. 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.
The idea to build the Hip-Hop Word Count came out of having hundreds of heated & passionate discussions about Rap music: Who was the best rapper of all time? Which rapper had the smartest songs? Which was the most popular champagne in Hip-Hop during 1999-2003? Which rapper uses the most clever metaphors? Which city's rap songs use the most monosyllabic words? Does living in higher altitudes create a natural proclivity for Gangster Rap?
Tired of having these answers left up to conjecture or whoever had the loudest voice, I decided to build a tool that would help give answers by charting the culture described within Hip-Hop music.
How can analyzing lyrics teach us about our culture?
The Hip-Hop Word Count locks in a time and geographic location for every metaphor, simile, cultural reference, phrase, rhyme style, meme and socio-political idea used in the corpus of Hip-Hop.
The Hip-Hop Word Count then converts this data into explorable visualisations which help us to comprehend this vast set of cultural data.
This data can be used to chart the migration of ideas and builds a geography of language and is the engine for a K-12 teaching curriculum.
Project location: Brooklyn, NY
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Monday, December 06, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Heartthrob Holds Back, Sings Too Much, Comes Up Short On Hotly Anticipated Debut
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
by Lamont Swittenberg
After Two Weeks Of Living With The iPad In The Real World, The Device Proves To Be Worthy of The Hype
So I’ve been living with my iPad for a little over two weeks now and to quote Justin Timberlake, “I’m lovin’ it”. For a status-seeker like myself, it feels great to be the ultimate early adopter. I haven’t felt this popular in years. The device has been with me everywhere I’ve gone over the time period and I’ve truly soaked up all of the “ooh’s and ahh’s”. Those first few days were particularly gratifying. Every time I took it out, whether on the train to work or in a bar or at my local Starbuck’s, people just wanted to strike up a conversation about it. “Is that the iPad?” they would ask. “How is it? Can I touch it?” I even noticed people out of the corner of my eye, elbowing each other and pointing — “Look hunny, that guy has an iPad”. Even my seven year old son got into the spirit. He loved carrying it around with him while we were running errands that first Saturday, giving out demos and lapping up the attention. When a teenager spotted him playing with it at our local pizza parlor and remarked simply “Sick”, he really started to believe he was a coolest seven year old in town.
Beyond the ego boosting however, I am still having a hard time truly justifying the purchase. As I suspected, it hasn’t replaced any of my other gadgets (too big to trump a smart phone and too limited for word processing). So I can’t seem to shake the nagging guilt that has followed me around since making such a self-indulgent and unnecessary purchase. I also know deep down that my first-mover cred is coming with the additional burden of having paid more for the gadget than my later-adopters will, and that I am working through some of the bugs (crappy wifi, no Flash Player) that those folks won’t have to deal with.
But make no mistake about it. This thing is a joy to behold. All in all, the benefits still outweigh the costs. The screen resolution and user interface are just stunning. It’s a whole different computer experience from anything I’ve ever known. Around the house, I find myself thinking of things to look up, information that I need to know right now, just so I can whoosh away on my iPad screen; breezing through Google, and YouTube and the Weather Channel with the greatest of ease. Want to see the photos from our last ski trip? I hope so because I can’t resist showing you how great they look on the device.
And what a nifty travel companion this thing is. On our recent spring break beach vacation, the iPad proved be a durable and stupendously handy sidekick. At the airport I had all the entertainment I would ever need at my finger tips (and I didn’t even have to remove it from my bag to go through security). No more loading up on reading material, The Journal, USA Today, New York Times and GQ Magazine were all just one tap away. On the flight itself the only problem was that I had promised to loan the device to my son for a couple of hours so that he could watch “Where The Wild Things Are” (in crisp HD I might add) while other passengers craned their necks to sneak a peek. Finally, and I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say this, but what has become most apparent is that the iPad is simply the greatest portable gaming device ever. As proof, during that entire vacation trip, my son barely removed his beloved Nintendo DSI from its case. He was too busy fighting me over access to all the many cool, clever, eye-popping apps that I had loaded up on the iPad.
So what drawbacks have I experienced besides guilt? Well, as I mentioned above, the lack of Flash can be a bit of a drag, and I did have all kinds of issues getting the wifi to work as I travelled about to different hot spots. The Flash problem isn’t going away, but the wifi thing seems to be less problematic now that I am back home. Also annoying is having to make do with iPhone apps that have not been optimized for the iPad. They look fuzzy when blown up to fit the device’s massive screen.
And sure, the iBooks application is amazing, I don’t think I will ever be able to fool with a paper back again. But one thing I noticed while trying to enjoy a novel by the pool is that the glare from the sun renders books unreadable. After trying to defeat the sun by cranking up the screen resolution to max brightness, the device actually gave me an “overheated” message, then shut itself off (Meanwhile, my wife’s Kindle was working just fine).
Other than those minor grievances however, my only problem will be trying not to blow too much money on the App Store, which is way too accessible. Maybe I need to put down my iPad for at least a few minutes a day so that those nagging guilty pangs don’t start to get the best of me.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Don’t get me wrong; winter has not been all bad. I’ve squeezed every bit of enjoyment out of the Winter Olympics. That Shaun White kid is amazing. Even Lindsay Vonn and Bodie Miller have lived up to the hype. But overall, there’s too much figure skating and not enough speed skating. I want to see dare devil athletes barreling down hill or soaring through mid-air, not prancing around a skating rink.
Sure Christmas was a blast, it was and always will be my favorite day of the year. And there was plenty more winter fun to be had. I’ve skied Beaver Creek, CO, wiped out in Eagle Rock, PA and sledded Flood Hill, South Orange, NJ. I’ve taken Gondola rides up the Vail Mountain and marveled at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. I’ve gone snow tubing and raced snowmobiles and had snow ball fights. I’ve built snowmen and pushed snow blowers. I’ve even triumphed over my 7 year old in our annual backyard Snowbowl.
I’m sick of winter.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
- The older I get, the more I prefer Salsa to Catsup.
- There is nothing that can be made better, that cannot be made better with a few drops of Texas Pete Hot Sauce.
- Please, take it easy with the mayo.
- It’s actually comical how much cream cheese bagel shops tend to slather on bagels, even when you only ask for a “smear.” My local shop tends to add enough to feed a family of 4 for a week.
- I’ve never tried a tuna melt. It just doesn’t make sense.
- Butter. Use sparingly. Margarine. Not at all.
- I’ve learned to tolerate wheat bread. But white still makes me happy.
- The best ice cream in the world is called Seventh Heaven. It comes from a dairy in Trenton, NJ called Halo Farms. This is not up for debate.
- If you’re going to eat a cheeseburger, make it a good one (say Five Guys). And you’ve already crossed the line, so you might as well go ahead and get the fries and Coke along with it.
- McDonald’s French fries. Competition is none.
- Best fast food sandwich. Chick-fil-A. I wish I had one right now.
- Best breakfast sandwich of all time. The Egg McMuffin. A stunning achievement in efficiency, cost effectiveness, convenience and taste.
- It’s not dessert if ice cream is not involved.
- The prepared foods at Whole Foods are average at best.
- The processed foods at Trader Joe’s are world class.
- People in Philadelphia take their sandwich making seriously. Walk into any deli anywhere in the city and you can bank on getting a masterfully prepared hoagie.
- By the time you are 7, your cereal preferences are set for life. Currently for me it’s Kellogg’s All Bran mixed with Cheerios and a splash of Honey Combs. I don’t know, it just works.
- Fruit for lunch. Veggies for dinner.
- If she can’t make great scrambled eggs, that’s a bad sign.
- The richest man in the world can’t get a better doughnut than Krispy Kreme.
- There is nothing more sublime than going to a really nice restaurant -- great ambiance, great wine, great conversation – and ordering a phat juicy cheeseburger.
- It’s really hard to screw up pizza. But the good folks at Domino’s give it their best shot.
- Fried chicken should be prepared by somebody’s grandmother. She should be from down south and partial to cast iron skillets. If all of these stars don’t line up, lower your expectations.
- Tostitos. I hope somebody at Frito Lay received some sort of lifetime achievement award for inventing those things.
- You pretty much only need plain, blueberry and cinnamon raisin bagels. All other varieties will end up being picked over in the break room.
- Thanksgiving. Don’t worry about counting starches. Yes stuffing is essential. But I also need rice and bread and wouldn’t be mad at potato salad.
- Speaking of potato salad. Mustard based only please.
- If we’re talking mass-produced cookies, then I gotta say Thin Mints are the best. I respect the Oreo, got love for Nutter Butters, but Thin Mints stand alone.
- For the entire 14 years of our marriage, my wife and I have gotten each other a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cake for our birthdays. We’ve never missed a year. It’s the little things. That’s what love is.
- Sherbet is better than you think it is.
- In general, soup is too watery. I like mine thick, more stew than soup really. When I open a can of soup, my first step is to pour out half the broth.
- Potato chips are like crack. I can’t have them in the house.
- I wish I liked oatmeal.
- I’ve never been comfortable using chopsticks. I mean, I can get by, but I can’t help thinking that it would be much easier to just use a fork.
- My wife makes the world’s best brussel sprouts; slow roasted, drizzled with expensive olive oil and seasoned to perfection with imported sea salt. I still don’t like them.
- Half of a deli sandwich is not enough, but a whole one is too much.
- Everyone loves sliders.
- Even at the most elegant wedding reception, pigs in a blanket are a welcome sight.
- It’s fine to have salmon, grilled asparagus and other fancy fare at your cookout. It’s just not necessary. Burgers, hot dogs, chicken. Done.
- Why is Sweet & Low so much sweeter that actual sugar?
- Wait, on second thought, don’t answer that.
- There is an inverse relationship between things that taste good and things that are good for you.
- You can spend hours making a great pasta sauce, or minutes making a damn good one. Here is the easy way: Step 1) Open Jar, Step 2) Pour into pot, Step 3) Heat.
- The window for eating bananas is much too small.
- Ritz crackers. That’s keeping it real.
- Guys, steer clear of white wine. It's hard to look gangsta while sipping Pinot Grigio.
- I was 28 years old on the day I had my first cup of coffee. I haven’t missed a day since.
- Coke Zero is a modern miracle.
- I don’t care if the large is only 25 cents more, I can’t possible eat that much popcorn!
- A cold night, a warm blanket, a hot drink, a good book.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Friday, January 08, 2010
- Obscure Band Name Droppers – I swear these guys make up band names when I ask them who they are listening to, just to make me feel out of touch.
- Obscure Underground Mix Tape Droppers – No as a matter of fact, I haven’t heard Lil Wayne’s “The Block Is Hot Volume 99”. Yes, I am aware that it’s been out for 2 whole days on freemixtapesforyourbrokeass.com. What can I say; I’m a sad excuse for a hip hop fan.
- Previous Agency Droppers – Exclusive to the advertising industry, these individuals, who for whatever reason now work at less glamorous agencies, feel compelled to let us know that they used to work at Crispin.
- Previous Client Droppers – Along the same lines, these madmen who now work on lame accounts (say Dr. Scholl’s Foot Powder), feel compelled to drone on about those edgy campaigns they use to do for Nike.
- Newspaper/Magazine/Blog Droppers – These are the showoffs who make us feel bad by constantly referencing high brow publications such as “The Economist” and “The Harvard Business Review”. They also inhale all major news sources by 8AM everyday so that they can quote from them condescendingly in meetings with our bosses while shaking their heads in disgust at us for being clueless slackers.
- Gym/Workout Droppers – These guys always seem to mention their 5AM Boot Camp class just as I am about to bite into a cheeseburger.
- Vacation Home Droppers – The Hamptons, the Vineyard and The Cape are ok, but the International locales take it to another level
- Club Droppers – These party-goers frequent fab night spots we’ve never heard of and pay $25 for drinks just so they can complain about it to us the next day.
- Restaurant Droppers – These foodies love to bang on about how Chef So And So’s New-American-Asian-Fusion dishes have become more innovative since moving to restaurant bla bla bla. Whatever. I don’t care.
- Kid’s Private School Droppers – Good for your boy that he made the fencing squad at Super Rich Prep. But that’s not really relevant to the discussion we are having right now is it?
- Golf Course Droppers – No man who has ever played Pebble Beach or Beth Page Black or any other PGA course can resist the temptation to let us know about this uninteresting fact.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Monday, January 04, 2010
-->--> --> -->Is this the week Google (NSDQ:GOOG) drops Nexus One, its supposedly game-changing Android mobile device? If all goes according to plan -- and by "plan," we mean endless, unconfirmed speculation -- Google will introduce Nexus One at a press conference in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday.
Google hasn't confirmed as much but has told various media outlets, including ChannelWeb.com, to expect a "significant announcement." Most expect that to be the official arrival of the Nexus One, which since the rumor mill began to heat up two months ago has been touted as Google's Apple iPhone killer.
The device, though manufactured by HTC, will be branded as a Google phone and run version 2.1 of Google Android. From there the actual details of the Nexus One get dicey.
A number of tech news sites, including Engadget and Gizmodo, posted what appear to be leaked pictures of the Nexus One. According to those and previously leaked specifics, the phone has a 3.7-inch screen and a 5-megapixel camera, an accelerometer, a proximity sensor, a light sensor, Wi-Fi radio with Bluetooth, an FM speaker, open GL ES 2.0 capable graphics, and a Snapdragon processor.
Gizmodo, with the help of leaked documents it says it obtained, further reported that the phone will cost about $530 unlocked or $180 with a two-year lock-in with T-Mobile. Engadget went so far as to post
T-Mobile was first mentioned as the carrier of choice for Nexus One as early as mid-December, following a Federal Communications Commission document that confirmed HTC had tested the Nexus One for T-Mobile's 3G network. Further reports later cited that two versions of the phone -- the T-Mobile version and an unlocked version sold directly to consumers by Google -- would both be made available.
The Nexus One represents a continued push by Google into the smartphone marketplace, following the continued success of its Android operating system and the excitement created around the Motorola (NYSE:MOT) Droid and the rest of last fall's hot new Android phones.
A number of phones on Google's platform, in fact, were among Everything Channel's 10 Coolest Smartphones of 2009.
Thanks to all the Nexus One buzz and speculation, Google has also effectively stolen a page from the Apple playbook: building breathless anticipation in advance of a mysterious product launch. Google also stands to steal a bit of the thunder from this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which kicks off Thursday in Las Vegas.
Anybody want to buy my Droid?