Culture

Visualizing Hip-Hop Lyrics as Cultural Indicator

A very interesting read below from the Harvard Business Review

Editor's note: We've asked contributors to the Visualizing Data Insight Center to show us some of their favorite examples of dataviz with short explanations of what makes those visualizations so effective. Today, HBR senior editor Jeff Kehoe shares one of his favorites.

People often think of data visualization as an alternative to representation in words. But there are creative, effective visualizations that have been developed that vividly illustrate how, and how often, words themselves are used by people in various contexts. Note the recent rise in popularity of word cluster tools.

These kinds of tools can go even deeper, to highlight interesting and powerful cultural indicators. I'm a hip-hop fan, so this particular data viz caught my attention last week. It charts brand references to champagne in rap songs from 1979 to the present. (See the full visualization at Fast Company):