Bronx Rhymes

November 2008

Supported by Jerome Foundation

Bronx Rhymes illuminates the history and significance of Hip Hop in the Bronx by tagging important locations for Hip Hop (1520 Sedgwick, for example) with posters. Each poster describes the historical significance of that location in the form of a rhyme, and invites people walking by to join in a rhyming battle by txt-ing their own rhyme from their mobile phone. The website displays the artists and locations along with all the submitted rhymes elevating the most recent submission. Eventually, visitors to the website will be able to rate existing rhymes, and add their own.

REQUIREMENTS

Download poster, distribute, text location, go online and add rhyme.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

“Bronx Rhymes commemorates the early days of hip-hop and renews its cultural significance by inviting a new generation of lyricists to reinvigorate its rich history.

We designed Bronx Rhymes as a project that merged the physical, digital, and mobile worlds by taking into account the social dynamics of our intended audience – the younger residents of the South Bronx and their online counterparts. Demolition and gentrification have left few traces of hip-hop’s early history in a borough very much in need of local heroes. We wanted to uncover and expose these lost or hidden facts by describing them in a form that is integral to hip-hop, the rhyme.

In order to fully engage young people, we structured our design around texting, the most pervasive medium of communication among this group. We invite those who see the posters, or visit the website to respond by writing their own rhymes, thus contributing to a constantly expanding archive of shared insights and emotions. We hope the resulting collection will prove to be a testament to hip-hop’s ability to engage and provoke, as well as a reflection of digital technology evolving beyond the boundaries of a single medium into a participatory and personalized act of remixing.” – Maria Ioveva

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