A rap scholar uses artists' geographical locations, aspirations and favorite locales to create stunning visualizations.

Though rap may embody the struggle of people striving to leave a difficult station in life, it's no secret that the geographical strivings of most rappers are anything but humble. From staking out significant territory in tiny corners of their neighborhoods to dreaming of international cities like London and Paris, the geography of rap music, especially the geography of the language itself, is a rich topic for analysis. Tahir Hemphill is an authority in this area, having compiled semantic data of over 40,000 hip-hop songs from 1979 to the present day as part of his Kickstarter-funded Hip-Hop Word Count Project. Since then, aside from creating the almanac, he's made all kinds of discoveries about the geographic origins of certain terms and found some fantastic ways to display the data, including text correlation, Google Maps, and more.

$15 provides access to this article and every case-study, interview, and analysis piece that we publish for the next 30 days. Our Premium Subscription also provides access to a database of over 100,000 articles on innovation in brand, customer, and retail experience.
Already a subscriber? Log in