Spotlight: The Hip-Hop Word Count Project

Written by Rizoh. Posted in Awesome, Hip-Hop 101


Published on January 24, 2011 with No Comments

Have you ever wondered who used Pig Latin in rap first? Have you ever wondered which county uses the word “bitch” the most? These and other questions would be answered if Tahir Hemphill has his way. Hemphill wants to build “a searchable ethnographic database” of hip-hop lyrics that relies on extremely specific filters.

“The Hip-Hop Word Count (HHWC) is a searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day. The database is the heart of an online analysis tool that generates textual and quantified reports on searched phrases, syntax, memes and socio-political ideas.”

He’s soliciting public donations to fund the project, with over $5,000 so far. If you’d like to support his effort, hop on over to Kick Starter.



Rizoh is the most powerful man in all the lands. He lives in Houston where he earned a BS in Nerf Herding. He's the founder of The Rap Up, the former editor of, and is in the Grammy-awaiting band Pervertable Disciples.

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