Madhavi Itti Menon is Making Colourful, Pixelated Hip-Hop Linguistics Classes

Read Time:5 Minute, 35 Second

2022-07-13 13:00:00

100 Days is an annual venture at New York Metropolis’s Faculty of Visible Arts that was based by Michael Bierut. Every year, the scholars of the varsity’s Grasp’s in Branding Program spend 100 days documenting their course of with a selected inventive endeavor. This 12 months, we’re showcasing every pupil in this system by offering a peek into ten days of their venture. You’ll be able to control everybody’s work on our SVA 100 Days web page.


Madhavi has been hooked on hip-hop ever since she heard it on her father’s iPod at age 11. In the present day, hip-hop is essentially the most consumed style of music world wide, and displays the zeitgeist by rhythm and poetry. For 100 days, Madhavi investigates hip-hop’s themes, influence on tradition, manufacturers, and the vernacular. She brings her fascination to life by linguistic exploration, illustrated by vivid 2D pixel animations.

You’ll be able to comply with the venture on Instagram at @100daysofminingmusic or see extra of her work at @mittimenon. For additional inquiries, please contact her at mittimenon@gmail.com.


“Cash Bushes” by Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick asks listeners to “choose a poison”: one is the lifetime of worldly pleasure and vice (the Hollywood equal to his life) and the opposite is the religious, enlightened facet.

By rhyming “Halle Berry” with “Hallelujah”, he pits a polarity to the listener, and thru his wordplay, he’s reviving a centuries-old query between “Good and Evil” and making it related by name-dropping a cultural icon.

“Lemonade” by Web Cash feat. Gunna, Don Toliver

On the observe “Lemonade,” the artists point out ice, and within the rap vernacular, “ice” means diamonds. They use varied analogies to water and reflection— “icey,” “iced over,” and “drip” all consult with bling or costly jewellery which can be usually used to brag about wealth and standing.

“Venom” by Little Simz

In “Venom,” Little Simz makes use of haunting backing vocals and beats to speedily recite her views on psychological well being and inequality.

This observe went viral in 2021, as individuals started making reels on social media about moments of frustrations and anger that ended on this hard-hitting part.

It’s attention-grabbing that venom is often contained inside the physique of the animal, however can solely do others hurt, so the phrase completely captures outward emotion.

“Mile Excessive” by James Blake feat. Travis Scott

“Lasting like Duracell.” When manufacturers infiltrate language and grow to be synonymous with excessive vitality and longevity, Travis Scott and James Blake characteristic them of their observe, “Mile Excessive.”

They might be speaking about their agency place within the music trade or sexual stamina, following the road with the biblical point out of 40 days and 40 nights, the interval between the resurrection and ascension of Christ.

“Vegas” by Doja Cat

The title observe “Vegas” from the film Elvis options vocals by Doja Cat and a pattern from Huge Mama Thornton’s 1953 music “Hound Canine.”

Although Elvis popularized the music along with his cowl just a few years later, it’s attention-grabbing that Doja Cat used the unique artist’s model to credit score her contribution. Lately, crediting and acknowledging the unique artists of broadly liked music has gained steam. Social media conversations have aided the discourse on the work of Black artists being appropriated and “popularized” by extra mainstream stars.

“Snake” by Lil Keed

Lil Keed is warning listeners concerning the snakes of their lives.

“Snake,” in in the present day’s vernacular, is just not too far off from its notion within the Hebrew Bible and Previous Testomony: a creature of deception, tricking Eve within the Backyard of Eden.

Snakes are the individuals who go behind your again, betray you, or spill your secrets and techniques.

Subsequent time you’re feeling this, know that it additionally applies because the slang verb to “snake you.”

“My Cash Don’t Jiggle” by Louis Theroux, remixed by Duke and Jones

“My cash don’t Jiggle Jiggle / It folds”

The observe was laborious to overlook after it went viral, when British journalist Louis Theroux appeared on an episode of the webseries The Rooster Store Date with Amelia Dimoldenberg.

The filmmaker mirrored on an authentic rap music he wrote throughout an episode of his docuseries, Louis Theroux’s Bizarre Weekends, and a remixed model of this verse unfold like wildfire. Whilst you might contemplate this to be novelty or beginner rap, the music might be thought-about a sound contribution to hip-hop for the best way its easy stream has resonated and impressed goofy dances and smiles.

“Humble” by Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick compares ingesting Du’ssé (a high-end cognac ) to Kool-Assist, a extremely accessible candy drink.

“Ingesting the Kool-Assist” is a phrase that’s references the Jonestown Bloodbath of 1978, the place 909 members of a cult drank cyanide-laced Kool-Assist on the command of their chief.

Within the vernacular in the present day, it refers to blindly accepting or adopting a detrimental thought or way of life. Kendrick refers to his materialistic life within the hip-hop neighborhood by this phrasing.

“Gandhi Cash” by Divine

Divine is among the most outstanding Indian hip-hop artists, belonging to the Gully Gang collective. On this Hindi observe, he speaks of the peace (Shanti) you possibly can really feel when there may be “Gandhi” cash in your pocket.

The worldwide determine of non-violent protest M.Okay. Gandhi options on all Indian forex notes, therefore main Divine to name it Gandhi Cash. Nicknaming forex can be widespread within the American hip-hop panorama.

Each Hindi phrases Shanti and Gandhi are phrases which were popularized and adopted inside western languages.

“First Class” by Jack Harlow

Jack Harlow revives the lyrics to “Glamorous” by Fergie and makes use of them as a sort of acronym: G-L-AM.

“I’ve been a (G)”: a G is a Gangster, a great one; when you’ve been described as a G, it could be by a pal, not a foe.

“Throw up the (L)”: the L is a hand signal formed like a L representing the Louisville Cardinals, a reference to Jack’s hometown in Louisville, Kentucky.

Then Jack candidly describes intercourse within the (AM), Following up with the remainder of the unique pattern in Fergie’s voice: “O-R-O-U-S.”

Music doesn’t finish. Wordplay won’t ever finish. Rhythm solely multiplies.





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