Artist Tahir Hemphill is a creative technologist inspired by hip hop music. A few years ago, he created a database of lyrics from over 50,000 hip hop songs dating from 1979 to present. Using this database–a Creative Capital supported project called the Hip Hop Wordcount–Tahir formed curricula for high school students to learn how to work with data and complete their own independent studies. Beginning this month, Tahir will use his experience teaching students to teach a number of educators to implement his digital learning program across New York City.
The database will also be used in a series of collaborations between himself and “creatives, technologists and cultural critics.” These projects, united as a series called Actual Fact, will pair data visualization with critical scholarship of hop data and society.