Shepard Fairey, Illustrator with Presidential Status

by January 22, 2009

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

· by September 22, 2008

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

· by September 13, 2008

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

YouTube Preview Image

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

· by May 27, 2008

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.


Tupac Shakur: Trapped

· by May 20, 2008

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.


Pharrell: Everybody Nose

· by May 6, 2008

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.


Kanye: Big Brother

· by April 29, 2008

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.


Lupe Fiasco: Superstar

· by April 18, 2008

We have developed a rubric that estimates the education level needed to understand each rhyme as well as, rates the artistic sophistication employed through the metaphors, similes, cultural references, consonantal/vocalic alliteration and overall pattern of each rhyme. We calculate the final score by averaging the syntactic (readability measures) and semantic (artistic sophistication) scores of each rhyme. On a scale from 0 (illiterate) to 20 (post-graduate degree). Visit the Hip-Hip Word Count.


Today’s Walk: Brooklyn

· by April 16, 2008

[svgallery name=”todays_walk_ny_redhook”]


Lil Wayne: I’m Me

· by March 12, 2008

We have developed a rubric that estimates the education level needed to understand each rhyme as well as, rates the artistic sophistication employed through the metaphors, similes, cultural references, consonantal/vocalic alliteration and overall pattern of each rhyme. We calculate the final score by averaging the syntactic (readability measures) and semantic (artistic sophistication) scores of each rhyme. On a scale from 0 (illiterate) to 20 (post-graduate degree). Visit the Hip-Hip Word Count.