Will hip-hop music eventually serve as an aural history for rapidly changing urban areas?
Two students research say yes, and they believe they are on the trail of some groundbreaking results.
Adnon Rasool and Brennan Collins are students at Georgia State University.
Rasool and Collins collaborated with GSU’s Student Innovation Fellowship program and Emory University’s Center for Digital Scholarship, to analyze the lyrics of three popular hip-hop acts in Atlanta.
The pair set out to analyze the lyrics of three of the most influential artist to ever come out of the city.
They used lyrics from Outkast, Ludacris and Childish Gambino to analyze various references to locations in the city.
Then, Adnon Rasool and Brennan Collins looked through the data for references to location.
“Our purpose in this project was to show the significance of music as a source for an aural history of cities and towns as well as to explore the symbiotic relationship of art and space.” – Adnon Rasool
Adnon Rasool and Brennan Collins analyzation of lyrics produced some interesting findings.
For instance, the neighborhoods of East Point, Decatur, Stone Mountain, and College Park have been the most significant cultural drivers, according to the rapper’s lyrics.
By comparing venues mentioned in earlier songs from Outkast and Ludacris to newer tracks in Childish Gambino‘s catalog, Rasool and Collins were able to point out the rapid rise of gentrification in Atlanta.
Take a look at the Atlanta Rap map.