Nas: Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement.

by April 18, 2014

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.