Tahir Hemphill is a creative technologist whose practice investigates the role systems play in the generation of form and the role collaborative knowledge production plays in the resilience of communities. Tahir came of age in the 1980s and divided his time between practicing various elements of hip-hop culture and exploring cyberspace from a Queens, New York basement with a dial-up modem connected to a Commodore 128 computer. A fundamental correlation between hip-hop culture and hacking would inform the trajectory of his professional and creative life. Today, Tahir considers “Community-focused Open Source” to be a theoretical framework that organizes the complex sedimentation of his early educational influences. As a result, his work straddles art, technology and interdisciplinary research that finds its richest expressions of integration in the Rap Research Lab, where they catalyze critical discourse through the production of VR, AI, and community data projects.