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Hafi's Pop Culture


Visualization (WIP), 2017  

Who is the queen of pop?

How do we size up a musician's career?


Does chart performance define an artist's greatness? 

The number of awards won?

Or should we turn to cultural impact instead?


These are the questions I seriously ponder as I navigate years of my life.


So here's an attempt, a work in progress, to critically investigate pop culture, and by pop culture, I mean the careers of contemporary pop divas.


I turned to the New York Times for my expert opinion*, and measure 4 pop divas mention-worthiness by plotting the occurrence of their names on the NYT over the years.


*they have an API which I used for this chart.





Press Play! 

Of course, just measuring article mention by the NYT is hardly definitive (maybe the writers just love typing Beyoncé's name over and over again instead of using pronouns). But few interesting things could be deducted from the chart.


1. Beyoncé owned 2016 with Lemonade.

Like, duh.


2. The NYT writers love Beyoncé

Like, duh (2). But seriously, even since 2007. I only converted to Beyoncé-ism in 2012. 


3. Fenty Beauty might not be 2017's hottest shizz* 

Article mentions between T-Swizzle and Riri, both with explosive releases ("Look What You Made Me Do', Fenty Beauty) respectively, are about the same. I really thought Fenty Beauty would outperform the "the old Taylor is dead" schtick.


4. Taylor Swift, over the decade, has remained a more interesting public figure compared to Katy Perry* 

Just another useless piece of information.



*according to the NYT, sort of.

Future Work


The chart is far from an ideal framework to measure one diva against each other, so I have some plans to expand the investigation.


1. Article mention on other publications

More datasets -> more reliability


2. Plotting the chart against album releases, major performances, career/life milestones

It is interesting to see the impact of the diva's major events on their subjective relevance.


3. Have more pop starts in the chart

I am also interested in Lady Gaga, Adele, Mariah Carey, and also, Justin Bieber. Comparing just the ladies felt horrible. 



But for now, I will continue

practicing Beyoncé-ism.

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