Keywords:music, literature, Black studies
Honourable Mention, Open Scholarship Award (2020)
"Rarely have I seen such a thoroughly researched project on its own terms. The massive amount of information/data that is collected, examined and discoverable alone makes this project a must share/must replicate. This project is extremely innovative in its blending of ideas about knowledge production, data about a particular producer, Jay Z, and introduces us to a method or 'blueprint' for scholarly engagement that foregrounds contemporary digital practices. The premise is very clear, the conceptual framework smart."
Maryemma Graham, University of Kansas
"This Scalar book contributes to the study of rap and hip hop as a significant sphere of cultural and literary production. In particular, it depicts the artist Jay Z as … a vernacular public intellectual. Prof. Rambsy's digital humanities project is organized around an impressive compilation of evidence from a variety of sources--YouTube and Vimeo interviews, music videos, and visualizations of interactive tables and graphs. The dataset compiled can be unpacked in so many ways, even beyond the ways the author himself suggests."
Faye V. Harrison, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jay-Z is one of the most popular and prolific rap artists of all time. The Brooklyn-born rapper, known for his introspective lyrics and frequent collaborations with other rappers and producers, currently holds the record for most No. 1 albums of any solo artist. In #TheJayZMixtape, Kenton Rambsy takes us on a journey through Jay-Z’s career and sheds light on his storytelling style, extensive musical collaborations, and connection to black music history. Drawing on a rich dataset, including the lyrics from 189 songs comprising 12 solo albums, Rambsy uses computational approaches to explore Jay-Z’s musical influences and allusions to other black artists and historical figures. Rambsy’s investigation unites innovative digital humanities techniques with the tradition of African American literary analysis of major black authors, revealing new and different dimensions of Jay-Z’s body of work. Visually engaging, and full of interactive ways to explore Jay-Z’s work, #TheJayZMixtape not only delivers an analysis of Jay-Z’s music, but also makes a compelling case for Jay-Z’s place in the greater African American literary tradition.
This title was peer reviewed with a single-blind process by the AFRO-PWW editorial board.
Please cite this book using the identifer
About the Mixtape: Table of Contents
#TheIntroduction: Why Jay-Z?
#TheLanguage: Visualizing Jay-Z’s word usage
#TheCollaborations: Visualizing Jay-Z’s collaborations
#TheSamples: Visualizing Jay-Z’s samples
About this Book