Violent Rap (Data Project)

Purposefully running against technology and methods of analysis in order to assert the presence of a “unique”, human validating form.

I am interested in “cultural analytics”. I also really like this music. The effects if produces as well as the mindset of the creators: It is possible to dismiss as misogynistic and hateful. True claims. But it matters to people (specifically men from 15-25)*. Unique following emerges defined through the Internet and networks of connectivity. Sometimes this manifests into real-life encounters (such as saving money to fly to California). Many times the “mainstream” websites cannot carry the videos and audio of producers of music such as this. They then take alternative routes and it would be my supposition that their creation runs through and by the eternal promise of running in opposition to the mainstream methods of distribution. Although Youtube and other content “Providers” envision themselves as at the cutting edge and key to liberality of a democracy, there is new things popping up; a contingent of dissension which demands new forms of distribution through the unacceptability of their current content. Anti-censorship. It becomes a game of searching for clues: you prowl through the Internet looking for signs, hieroglyphics really, of the wormholes around which this content congregates.

One of those areas could be the comments sections of videos. This is the video: I used Voyant for analysis and the data was all the comments in the comments section of the video.

It has been said that comment sections of certain websites may be more illuminating than the content itself. The networked opinion of the hive-mind; the idea being not to “dominate” and/or provide the final say and exist as a standalone object of critical opinion, but to stir and funnel discourse through associated channels defined in the video. What I am analyzing is not an article: It is a music video. The comments clustered around the video are not surprising. They seem to mirror and/or repeat what is said within the content of the lyrics itself.

Any conclusions I reached seemed redundant and patterned on my perceptions of the lyrics as displayed from the progenitors of the video itself. Perhaps a larger dataset consisting of all comments and all related videos (as defined subjectively by me) would provide a more useful and illuminating dataset. The one thing which did stand out to me was the preponderance of the word “parents” in the comments section. The comments section can be seen as a form of metadata about whatever content is itself displayed. They all express concern for who the parents of Mike Dece are and where they came from. Thus the word “Brazil” pops up. Someone has gained access to this information through unique insider information and then spreads through channels such as this. This alters your experience of the video. You learn he is 16 and his parents are from Brazil. It is known he currently lives and works in Miami. This all becomes opinion enshrined in the hive-mind and a knowledge of which is presupposed from the “right” to comment on the video. Somehow the experience of the video is changed by knowing his parents live in Brazil and the artist is 16. Humanoid elements are added to what can on first glance seem ridiculous and/or unworthy of analysis. You become closer to the artist and others who share this exclusive knowledge with you. You feel part of a “community”.

Conclusion: the metadata contained within comments sections can alter and change a user’s experience of the content itself – bringing them closer inside the “networked circle” they seek to/have defined themselves as part of by taking the time and effort to provide a commentary.

* Subjective figure

One thought on “Violent Rap (Data Project)

  1. madi

    “Someone has gained access to this information through unique insider information and then spreads through channels such as this” There is every likelihood this “somebody” is the artist himself!

    I like your spin on the data project..Loved your idea of looking at comments as data, and also the comment on community creation through comments.

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