Tahir Hemphill’s Database of Hip Hop Lyrics A Teaching Tool

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.


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Alex Teplitzky

About Alex Teplitzky

Alex Teplitzky studies and implements tools for arts organizations and artists to express themselves on the web and through social media. He has worked for a wide variety of galleries and museums including the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Claire Oliver Gallery, the Jen Bekman Gallery, the Richard Feigen Gallery and Ray Johnson Estate. In 2010, Alex moved to New York to study at the Draper John W. Draper Graduate Program at NYU where he wrote his thesis on artists' visual deconstruction of the media's representation of terrorism and violence. He has written arts articles for Art F City, Hyperallergic, Eros Mortis and he manages an art blog called Tout Petit la Planète. He also DJs at various venues in New York City under the alias Nabocough. He has worked as Communications Associate at Creative Capital since 2014.

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