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Posts Tagged ‘Jay Z

Calling Gil Scott-Heron…

From the good folks at Staple Crops:

Hip-Hop Word Count™

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).

So, how do different artist’s fare?  For reference, Staple Crops ran energy policy speeches by both Obama and McCain from the 2008 campaign; each scored a 12– “Educational Level: High School Graduate, Reading Level: Time Magazine.”

By comparison, Fifty Cent’s “I Get Money” scored a 7– “Educational Level: Junior High School, Reading Level: True Confessions.”

At the other extreme, Jay-Z’s “Dead Presidents 2” and Rakim’s “Microphone Fiend” both scored 16– “Educational Level: University Degree, Reading Level: Atlantic Monthly.”

Grade other artists, pick up a set of the trading cards (exampled above), or buy chocolates (!) featuring reliefs of one’s favorite rappers at Staple Crops.

No child left behind, Sucka!

As we dust off those closeted turntables, we might wish a lyrical Happy Birthday to the painter, poet, playwright, essayist, and Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott; he was born on this date in 1930 on the island of Santa Lucia in the West Indies.

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The Jury is In: This Year’s Coolest April Fool’s Gag…

From Moog Music (Bob Moog’s legacy company):

MF-401 Auto De-tune
$799.00

Do the vocals on your favorite song sound like a vocoded chipmunk? Yes(?). Did you use extreme auto-tune settings in the sensitive ballad you wrote for your girlfriend, who then dumped you because, as Jay Z said, “Auto-tune is Dead”. Never fear, you can now recapture the emotive intensity of your original vocal performance complete with the off-kilter, yet somewhat charming intonation for which you are known.

Introducing Moog Music’s MF-401 Auto De-tune, featuring Authentic Vocal Imperfection(tm) technology, even a T-Pain vocal can be restored to its complete original character, scrubbing the pitch correction and leaving the untreated vocal in all its wavering sharp or flat glory. Results may vary, and Moog Music in no way bears responsibility for discomfort or irritation caused by the use of the MF-401.

Shipping begins April 1, 2010

(For background, see “All That Glitters…,” “Auto-Tuning the Cosmos…,” and “Auto-Tuning Infomercials…“)

As we rethink our panini preferences, we might recall that it was on this date 1959 that The Coasters’ single “Charlie Brown” was banned by the BBC because it refers to “throwin’ spitballs.”  The ban lasted 2 weeks.  “Young Blood,” “Yakety Yak,” “Poison Ivy,” and other Coasters’ hits were deemed less threatening to the morals of young Britons, and were spared ostracism.

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Happy National Chocolate Mousse Day!

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