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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 is a searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day.
349 backers pledged $8,441 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Tahir Hemphill Creator on June 9, 2016

      ...currently beta testing�

    2. Tahir Hemphill Creator on June 9, 2016

      ...currently beta testing

    3. Tahir Hemphill Creator on May 4, 2014

      @Lance Conzett Matt does good work & emailed me to say The Hip Hop Word Count was an inspiration for his projects. Don't be bummed - take a look at the Hip Hop Word Count project updates here:

    4. Lance Conzett on May 4, 2014

      If you contributed to this Kickstarter and are bummed out that it still hasn't come to fruition more than three years after being funded, maybe you'll enjoy this bit of hip-hop data visualization:

    5. Hunter Walk on February 16, 2014

      Any update on this?

    6. Eira Tansey on December 2, 2013

      What is the status of the database? I'd love to check it out.

    7. Shaun on October 27, 2013

      I just searched for a temporary login and password. No can find. Have I missed it?

    8. Gustavo Huber on August 10, 2012

      Tahir has assured me that the project is *not* vaporware, and is still actively being developed. I'd love to see more regular updates, but I'm happy to hear the project is not stalled just the same. Looking forward to beta site access some time soon.

    9. Ryan Wold on August 3, 2012


      Way late notice, but I wanted to close the loop and let you know I receive the etching. Sick!

      Thank You and congrats on your new fellowship,

      - Ryan

    10. Tahir Hemphill Creator on July 30, 2012

      Ironically, as result of the project's success, the Summer launch has been pushed back.

      I was awarded a research fellowship from Harvard that starts next month.

      I've switched focus this Summer to presentation and relocation.

      The good news is that these new resources will yield a greater launch.

      Hold tight.

    11. Gustavo Huber on July 23, 2012

      VAPORWARE. How disappointing!

      I'll be thrilled if you prove me wrong, Tahir.

    12. Hunter Walk on June 24, 2012

      hi Tahir - when is beta site opening. Any updates?

    13. Gustavo Huber on March 30, 2012

      Any news on when there will be access to the beta site? I can't be the only one itching to play around with it!

    14. Tahir Hemphill Creator on November 10, 2011

      Lance. Reemski. You guys should read the Updates section. Next batch is going out EOW. Thanks!

    15. Lance Conzett on November 10, 2011

      I never received my drawing either, nor have I heard anything about Beta access. What a bummer. I'm glad my $50 is going towards something that I think is cool, I just wish I had something to show for it.

    16. Reemski on October 16, 2011

      Hmmm, never received my drawing? Is that on purpose?

    17. Purcival Fairweather on March 18, 2011

      This is an incredible project. You are utilizing the capability of code and applying it to something you are interested in. This is FANTASTIC!

      And your list is soooooooo extensive. If you have Pop the Brown Hornet on there you probably have every rapper... ever.

      Now I have a question; With the way media is changing and migrating towards the internet what qualifications does a "rapper" have to meet in order to be included on this list?

      You see... I'm a rapper and I'd like to be included lol

    18. Tahir Hemphill Creator on March 15, 2011

      @ Jess Thanks! You can support the project here:

    19. Jess von Brandt on March 15, 2011

      sorry I did not find this until you got funded. let us know how we can contribute later...

    20. Delphine Fawundu-Buford on February 19, 2011

      Congrats!!! Can't wait to get my laser etched drawing and to see how this thing works!!!! :-)

    21. Kyle Allon on February 15, 2011

      Wow congrats! This documentary here: is similar to your project! Check it out!

    22. Missing avatar

      iedonor on February 12, 2011

      Congrats Tahir.

    23. Tahir Hemphill Creator on February 10, 2011

      @ Josh I'm working on it. If you have a direct link please email it to him or pass it on to me.

    24. Josh Benjamin on February 10, 2011

      I just wanted to recommend emailing/calling KRS-One -- I think he would be interested in being involved in some way (funding, promo, sourcing, etc).

    25. Christina Masden on February 9, 2011

      Thanks so much for clarifying! I was under the mistaken impression that the $1000 donation was the only way that permanent access to the database would be guaranteed.

    26. Tahir Hemphill Creator on February 7, 2011

      @Kyle McDonald The raw data will be accessible on the Public site.

    27. Kyle McDonald on February 7, 2011

      congratulations :) just curious: will the raw data be open for other people to work with as well?

    28. Tahir Hemphill Creator on February 7, 2011

      Yes, Yes Y'all!

    29. Tahir Hemphill Creator on February 6, 2011

      Thanks! Jonathan. Jason. Jason. da'shon.

    30. Tahir Hemphill Creator on February 6, 2011

      @Christina Masden The $10,000 pledge is an opportunity for an individual or institution to give support on a foundation level. An individual or institution that may have some data need that sits outside the scope of the public website.

    31. Tahir Hemphill Creator on February 6, 2011

      @iedonor Yes indeed. And don't leave out mathematics & social studies. The pilot curriculum covers both. As far as "appropriate selections" yes if it will be used by public schools cuss words will have to be BLEEPED out. But I do find it ironic that the students have the uncensored songs on their iPods in their bookbags while class is being taught.

    32. Jonathan Landau on February 5, 2011

      $7K! Loosen the cork!

    33. Jason V. Holmes on February 5, 2011

      I really hope this makes it's goal. I would love to see this thing hit 100% at least.

    34. Jason T. Harris on February 4, 2011

      All I can do is chuckle. It's brilliant and necessary.

    35. Christina Masden on February 3, 2011

      I want to contribute, but can you please explain why it will cost $1,000 dollars for a lifetime license to the database?

    36. Missing avatar

      iedonor on January 30, 2011

      I see questions about curriculum. Some work would have to be done to find appropriate selections, but higher levels of learning start with the learner - interests, prior knowledge, etc. We can use these lyrics to learn about and teach figurative language, bias, meter, rhyme, vocabulary and maybe even have an enter into a well reasoned conversation with young adults about word choice and the power and influence of language. Word.

    37. Tahir Hemphill Creator on January 28, 2011

      Jillian. Thanks! Now I know how I'll be spending this weekend O_o

    38. Tahir Hemphill Creator on January 28, 2011

      Jacob. I'm glad the project resonates with you like it does. I hoped that it would. Good luck with your project.

    39. Tahir Hemphill Creator on January 28, 2011

      Eira. Sub-genre isn't in the database yet but it won't be terribly difficult to get that info. Thanks for reminding me of next steps.

    40. Tahir Hemphill Creator on January 28, 2011

      Gabriel. Joey. Thanks for your support!

    41. Missing avatar

      Jillian Bailey O'Connor on January 28, 2011

      CFP: Digital Humanities + American Studies NEH Summer Institute at USC!

      Call for Proposals: Applications are due 1 February 2011

      USC’s Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, Institute for Multimedia Literacy, Center for Transformative Scholarship, and the electronic journal Vectors are pleased to announce a NEH Fellowship Program for summer 2011 designed to address the intersection of the digital humanities and American and Ethnic Studies. The Institute will offer scholars the opportunity to explore the benefits of interactive media for scholarly analysis and authorship, illustrating the possibilities of multimodal media for humanities investigation within the context of American Studies. Fellows participating in the program will learn both by engaging with a variety of existing projects as well as through the production of their own draft projects in collaboration with the Vectors’ team. The projects that fellows create will at once enrich their understandings of the digital humanities and model the field for other scholars.

      For full information, see:

    42. Jacob Krupnick on January 28, 2011

      Tahir -- This is totally awesome. It's 2:30 AM, and I'm uploading the final bits of my kickstarter campaign to launch in the morning. Having a tour around the site for the umpteenth time. I just realized I backed your project the first moment I read about it, from top to bottom, without watching the video. So now, at this late hour, I watch the video. So rad, so so def. Very excited to watch it happen. Cheers.

    43. Missing avatar

      Joey Camire on January 27, 2011

      Really happy to be able help a little with this project. Keep grinding, man. Truly an inspiring project.

    44. Eira Tansey on January 26, 2011

      As an archivist with an interest in metadata, I am THRILLED by this project and wish y'all the best. How will you represent sub-genres in the database (e.g. New Orleans bounce)?

    45. Tahir Hemphill Creator on January 23, 2011

      Thanks Jonathon!

    46. Tahir Hemphill Creator on January 23, 2011

      @ Rukednous Yes. The analysis uses the Flesch-Kindcaid and SMOG readability tests. We customize the algorithms so they map better.

    47. Missing avatar

      Jonathon Wagner on January 22, 2011

      This is a pretty amazing project. I really can't wait to get my hands on it, not because I love hip-hop, but I also love the incredible, expansive database that you're doing. It's exciting!

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