Creative Capital Mini-Documentary on the Rap Research Lab

by April 6, 2016
YouTube Preview Image

Kanye West’s Lyric Data Sculpture

· by October 18, 2015

Kanye West’s Lyric Data Sculpture.

I Know You See Me,
I Know You See Me,
I Know You See Me,
It’s like I’m 3D!” -@KanyeWest

Mapper's Delight Kanye 3D


STCR Update: Summer 2015 — Rap Research Lab / Bronx Museum of Art

· by September 16, 2015

Happy End of Summer. Happy Eclipse. Happy First Week of School. Happy Roshashana. Happy Adis Amet.

A lot has happened in the past 10 months. A lot has happened in the past 10 months. A lot has happened in the past 10 months.

I have a few updates below:

Rap Research Lab
I’m happy to announce that we’ve received a grant from HIVE and The New York Community Trust Digital Media Learning Fund to scale & spread our program!

For the remainder of 2015 I will be working with my team to synthesize the Rap Research Lab’s process, tools and curriculum into a toolkit that will reach a greater number of students, teachers and organizations throughout NYC. Visit our project website here.

Over the Summer we held a recruitment workshop at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls where students content coded and visualised the reoccurring themes they found in the lyrics of female rapper’s.

Our second Summer workshop was held at the NYC Parks Department McCarren Park Computer Research Center, where students mapped their research data using carto.db.

Armed with the stats and lived experience to support their arguments, both sessions culminated in great conversations about the influence that Hiphop has on their lives and world culture.

#ListenToTheKidsBro

This weekend we are hosting a Design Sprint that will facilitate receiving feedback from educators on our current lesson plans and ultimately helping us develop a more effective curriculum.

If you can think of a organization or educator that would be into what we’re doing here at the Rap Research Lab, connect us. Visit the project website here.

We have a few openings on the standby list for our free after-school program. Applications are here.

#WuTangIsForTheChildren

Bronx Calling: The Third AIM Biennial
If you haven’t visited yet, my work in the Bronx Museum of Art AIM35 group show will be on the wall until September 20th. It really is a good looking exhibition.

There’s more to come.

Be well, Tahir


Rap Research Lab x InterIsland Terminal Hawaii

· by February 7, 2015

Scenes From February’s Workshop In Honolulu, Hawaii: Participants conducted research, made data visualisations & reported their findings. After voting, we then made a physical version of MappersDelight.net charting all of the songs in Tupac’s body of work using thread and map pins. Mad Fun!


New Work! —> Picasso, Baby.

· by October 22, 2014

Picasso, Baby.

Picasso, Baby. is a network graph that visualises the connections between rappers and the modern & contemporary painters they name drop in their rhymes.

Spanning 1979 – 2014 the graph gives a glimpse of the historical relationship that rappers have to the artistic mastery of Pablo Picasso, the perceived archetypal divisiveness of Yoko Ono, the ever present Jay-Z factor and the recent increasing popularity of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Gallery quality Giclée print on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using archival inks.

The interactive version of the graph is here

Rap Geeks can submit a correction here

Rap Fans can pre-order the poster here


STCR Update: Autumn 2014 The Rap Research Lab

· by October 19, 2014

This recent Summer I didn’t have time for a much of a vacation because from April to August, I’d been playing the roles of facilities manager, director of technology, principal and teacher.

I recently graduated my first cohort from the Rap Research Lab, a school that I started in the South Bronx focussed on teaching art, design, cultural analysis, media criticism, data mining and data visualization to teens using my project based curriculum that visualizes Hip Hop as a cultural indicator.

Student research projects included: a rapper net worth calculator, a comparison of actual crime rates versus the rate of crime appearing in lyrics, 8 types of definitions found in rap of the “N-word” and the comparison of the sentiment analysis of lyrics from Brooklyn and Compton.

The link to the student research Tumblr with final projects is here.

The assessment of the pilot program is complete and I’m now formalizing what I taught while forming partnerships with organizations that will help make the classroom workflow a more seamless and enriching experience. Next steps are to implement the Rap Research Lab this Spring as a 10 week after school program with an additional instructor in order to begin the process of teacher training. I’m doing all of this with the goal of scaling up and rolling out the curriculum to other institutions.

I’m looking to be connected with people that are receptive to the work I’m doing based at institutions that can provide support.

The student projects were covered on Gawker.

Let me know what you think.

T


Rap Research Lab Student Projects Featured On Gawker

· by October 18, 2014

Rap Research Lab x Gawker

The Rap Research Lab is a school we started in the South Bronx focussed on teaching art, design, cultural analysis, media criticism, data mining and data visualization to teens using a project based curriculum that visualizes Hip Hop as a cultural indicator.

Student research projects included: a rapper net worth calculator, a comparison of actual crime rates versus the rate of crime appearing in lyrics, 8 types of definitions found in rap of the “N-word” and the comparison of the sentiment analysis of lyrics from Brooklyn and Compton.

Here’s the link to the student research Tumblr with final projects.

Here’s the link to the Gawker feature.


The Rap Research Lab’s First Cohort

· by August 16, 2014

Rap Research Lab

Congratulations To The Rap Research Lab’s First Cohort For The Excellent Presentations! Thank You To Every Guest For Offering My Students Your Critique And Encouragement. Thank You DJ Kool Herc For Baring Witness & Adding To Yesterday’s Cypher.


Rap Research Lab’s Student Research Project Presentations

· by August 11, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 10.38.15 AM

This Friday 3-5pm. The Rap Research Lab’s Student Research Project Presentations. South Bronx, NY. Come Through. #WuTangIsForTheChildren


2Pac: Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement.

· by May 11, 2014

Mother’s Day Edition.

Inspired by Pablo Picasso’s light pen drawings Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement. uses abstracted semantic rap data to create sculptural forms with light. The forms represent the distance travelled by the lyrics in each song.

(Brief) Methodology: I used the Hip Hop Word Count’s new semantic analysis results to extract all geographic mentions from the complete bodies of work of 12 rappers. These locations were translated into geo coordinates which were then made into points that plotted the robot arm’s movements. The robot arm drew each path while holding a light pen.