What is this?
The Rap Collaboration Graph shows the connections between rap artists, groups, and producers. Two artists are connected if they have collaborated on a song. The more times they have collaborated, the stronger the connection. Rappers that collaborate often and put out a lot of songs have more influence in the graph. This is indicated by the larger size of their nodes.
How do I use it?
The site is best viewed with Chrome or Safari. There is currently a problem with colors on some versions of Firefox and IE. Scroll up to zoom in on the graph. Click and drag to move it around. Select an artist by clicking on their node or searching for them in the box. Selecting an artist will highlight their portion of the network and will let you see their overall influence as well as a list of similar artists. Hovering over a second artist will show you which songs the two artists have collaborated on.
What do the colors mean?
Nothing specifically. The colors are simply used to mark different parts of the graph and show the mixing between different groups.
I dont see my favorite artist. And I don't think Biggie really collaborated with that many people. What's Up?
All the data for the graph was automatically pulled from lyrics sites. It was left mostly as is without manual clean up and is not perfect. Only artists with a significant number of known songs and collaborations were added. This doesn't neccesarily reflect how important these artists are to hip hop. Check out how small N.W.A. appears - they just don't have as many collaborations as feature happy, mix tape dropping modern artists tend to. Also some collaborations may include songs that artists did not do any original work on but were sampled for. We left these in because they still reflect how and where these artists have influenced rap music. We did try to remove pure remix works.
Where did the labels come from?
We manually added the labels to point out some interesting sections of the network. There are a lot more interesting areas we didn't label. Checkout KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, and other "golden age" MCs sitting right below the Wu-Tang Clan.
What went into making this?
Python and the NetworkX graph library were used for all data scraping and parsing. Sigma.js was used to draw the graph and the ForceAtlas2 plugin for sigma.js was used for force based graph layout. Rapper influence, node coloring, and similar artists were calculated using the PageRank algorithm. Three seed nodes are choosen to be colored red, green, and blue. 'Paint' then spills from these nodes, as simulated by the PageRank algorithm, coloring the rest of the graph. Here's the secret: the million other straws underneath it - it's all mathematics.
Who made this?
Me, Cameron Musco. With lots of ideas, suggestions, and help from Riley O'Neill, Chris Eubank, and Christopher Musco.
I have a question. I want to use your data. I want to help expand this project.
cameron dot musco at g mail dot com
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