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Archive for Projects

Nas: Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement.

Nas Illmatic XX

Nas is commonly characterized as the consummate storyteller. In order to tell a story you need a location. Which would explain why Nas has some of the most geo-location points contained in the raps of the 12 artists analyzed.

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.

Cam’ron: Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement.


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.

Video Music Box Shout-Outs Printmaking Series

My South Bronx residency has started nicely with a new printmaking series of Video Music Box shout-outs. The first group are transcribed from the holiday shout outs in this unearthed director’s cut below. Happy Holidays.

#RogueArchivist

Pete Rock Detail

Video Music Box Shout Outs Pete Rock

Zev Love X Detail

Video Music Box Shout Outs  Zev Love X

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Shoutout List

Hip-Hop Word Count Intro Video

The Hip-Hop Word Count from Staple Crops on Vimeo.

Notorious B.I.G.: Warning

The Hip-Hop Word Count is a searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day.

The Hip-Hop Word Count describes the technical details of most of your favorite hip-hop songs. This data can then be used to not only figure out interesting stats about the songs themselves, but also describe the culture behind the 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.

The readability scores are on a scale from 0 (illiterate) to 20 (post-graduate degree). Visit the Hip-Hip Word Count.

Vic’t Soundtrack

Vic't

Vic’t is the diminutive of a colloquial term describing the state of a person victimized by theft. Using the politics of subversive quotation the work contained in Vic’t uses aesthetic artifacts stolen from commercial billboards. These ads are re-worked and re-purposed to serve as practical training exercises to strengthen one’s critical gaze. Once prepared the viewer can be more vigilant when interacting with advertisements in their natural environment.

(Art speak done)

In keeping with the exhibition theme, the music program includes selections from appropriated sources: covers, samples, unofficial remixes & mash ups. Produced by Tahir Hemphill. Mixed by DJ Blessed Productive.

Download Link

Shepard Fairey, Illustrator with Presidential Status

Visual Alchemy

I dug this audio interview from my media archive (a shoebox of cassette tapes). It features a very candid interview I did with Shep in 1999 for my Masters Thesis. The Thesis focused on designers that use traditional advertising techniques to push social, subversive and/or anti-consumerist messages. This interview features an earnest sounding, pre-talking point Shep, before he went superdupernova. Here’s a segment, the full transcribed interview can be found in the Thesis pdf here.

Da Brat: Funkdafied

The Hip-Hop Word Count is a searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day.

The Hip-Hop Word Count describes the technical details of most of your favorite hip-hop songs. This data can then be used to not only figure out interesting stats about the songs themselves, but also describe the culture behind the 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.

The readability scores are on a scale from 0 (illiterate) to 20 (post-graduate degree). Visit the Hip-Hip Word Count.

Verizon Wireless Is A Biter

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. -Albert Einstein.

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Deuce Gangsta made the song What About The Move? back in 2005. The song’s authentic rawness inspired us to shoot a video for it in January 07. We had an unrelated meeting with the creative resources manager at MRM (the agency of record for Verizon) in June 07. During our meeting the creative resources manager sent samples of our work to the Creative Director for the Verizon account. The Verizon/Samsung Juke Phone commercial (above) first aired in October 07. We don’t blame Verizon nor do we blame Samsung – they should get their money back from MRM. We do hold the Creative Director, the Director and the Art Director who were inspired enough by our hard work to bite our style and use our video as ‘reference.’ Sadly, in the advertising industry this happens all the time. Ultimately, it’s a small thing to a Giant, and we have stacks upon stacks of ideas – next time call us and we might sell you one. In the meantime we find solace in the words of the great Raekwon the Chef and Ghostface Killah:

Jay-Z: Dead Presidents 2

The Hip-Hop Word Count is a searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day.

The Hip-Hop Word Count describes the technical details of most of your favorite hip-hop songs. This data can then be used to not only figure out interesting stats about the songs themselves, but also describe the culture behind the 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.

The readability scores are on a scale from 0 (illiterate) to 20 (post-graduate degree). Visit the Hip-Hip Word Count.

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