Hemphill has planned strategy for businesses in the entertainment, advertising, and nonprofit industries. He has conceived and implemented design-based solutions for brands including Mercedes Benz, L’Oreal, Verizon, and Microsoft. Hemphill has been a consultant for Y&R, Publicis, Grey, Saatchi & Saatchi and Burrell Communications.
Hemphill’s creative process explores the vicinity between the profound and the profane, between art and science. His artwork is featured in the Talk to Me exhibit at MoMA which explores design and the communication between people and objects. Hemphill’s work has been exhibited at Siggraph (Siggraph 2002); Queens Museum of Art (Queens International Biennial, 2002) and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Black New York Photographers of the Twentieth Century, 1999).
Hemphill holds a B.A. in Spanish Language from Morehouse College, a Strategic Planning Certificate from Miami Ad School and a M.S. in Communications Design from Pratt Institute — where he authored and designed a treatise on the methodologies of creatives who use traditional advertising techniques to promote subversive and prosocial campaigns.
Hemphill manages the media arts education program for Red Clay Arts, the Brooklyn based, nonprofit incubator for contemporary artists that he co-founded in 2000.
Hemphill is a 2012-2013 Hip Hop Archive Fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University and a 2013 Fellow at The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University.
Currently, Tahir is managing the satellite projects (research, art, technology & marketing) under his searchable rap almanac: The Hip Hop Word Count.
An update of new projects made from the semantic analysis of rap lyrics; covering a year of creative research while in residency at the Hiphop Archive at Harvard University, the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University and the Rap Research Lab in the South Bronx.
Founded by Tahir Hemphill the Rap Research Lab is a creative studio for ongoing projects and a self-organized school teaching art, design, data analysis and data visualization to students using a project based curriculum that visualizes Hip Hop as a cultural indicator.