This is the third of five posts on History 100S: Text Analysis for Digital Humanists ans Social Scientists, a Spring 2017 course taught by Laura Nelson that exposed UC Berkeley students to cutting edge computational text analysis techniques.  In this post we focus on a collaborative project executed by Gabija Safranavicius and Alvin Ghouas entitled The Evolution of Modern Hip Hop.

The project applies topic modeling and dictionary methods to a text analysis of song lyrics to explore how themes in rap and hip hop music have changed since entering the mainstream in the early 1990s. Specifically, the authors consider if and how lyrical content pivots away from the iteration of black American experiences, to more conventional themes such as love, sex, fame, and status.

The authors stress that this project is intended to function as an exploratory analysis. The suggested sociological events relayed in the analysis are hypothetical, and must be further researched before making any confident claims as to their definite influence on rap and hip-hop lyrics.

Check out Gabija and Alvin’s notebook to learn more: https://github.com/justin-germain/text-analysis/blob/master/JustinGermain_FinalProject.ipynb

Posts in this series:

Text Analysis for Digital Humanists and Social Scientists, Part 1: Introduction

Text Analysis for Digital Humanists and Social Scientists, Part 2:  Looking Through Legacies: the Role of Identity and Profession in Biographies

Text Analysis for Digital Humanists and Social Scientists, Part 3:  The Evolution of Modern Hip Hop

Text Analysis for Digital Humanists and Social Scientists, Part 4: An Exploratory Topical Analysis of Obama's Speeches

Text Analysis for Digital Humanists and Social Scientists, Part 5: Text Encoding and Decoding

Author: 

Gabija Safranavicius

Gabija Safranavicius is a rising fourth year student at University of California, Berkeley. She is studying Social Welfare and Interdisciplinary Field Studies with a concentration in Science, Technology, and Society, and is passionate about applying her studies to field research. In addition to her student work, she is a writing tutor at the Student Learning Center, an editor for the Undergraduate Journal of Berkeley Psychology, and is involved with two research initiatives.