In this project, we put together an explanation illustration as a group, and then refined the project separately. The aim of the project was to create an illustration/diagram in a sort of National Geographic style, for a concept that couldn’t be explained in just words.

Initially we were thinking of doing something with the Mandela Effect (berenstein vs. berenstain bears) but found it too broad a topic so we instead chose something even more broad (lmao) and went with hip hop.


At first we gathered a ton of data about hip hop as a whole in 2016, pulling from spotify and music charts to figure out the top songs and how many listens each song had. We intended to also gather how many lyrics each song, and to possibly compare the diversity in lyrics between each rapper.


This proved to be too great a task for a single class, so we abandoned this idea and instead chose to work with the highest first week sales from 2010 to 2016.

(thanks mika for this and much of the following imagery)

Here are some of the preliminary sketches our group did for the layout of our illustration. Because of time constraints, we ended up going in a completely different direction.


I then went back in and revised our initial illustration in my own way. It’s not the best because I did it very quickly, but I think it’s most of the way there. I unfortunately do not have a photo of this illustration at the current moment, but it had the artists along the top, with the many colored arrows and lines pointing to a map of where they were from. On the right side it had a list of their top albums and their listens, and in the middle it had a timeline of when those albums were released.

I think that overall, this was my least favorite project in the class, but I think this might be due to the fact that I was having some very off days during the original conception of our idea, and so the subsequent revisits just kept reminding me of how frustrated I was with the whole thing. I didn’t have any trouble understanding what we were supposed to be doing; in fact, this was actually one of the clearest projects in terms of how easy it was to come up with an idea and execute it from start to finish. The lack of deliverables and resources was definitely big time my fault here.


The only thing that was slightly confusing to me was the difference between the Guns, Germs, and Steel unit. I think I was a bit lost about the difference between the two projects, but that could have also been on me.