@GhostfaceHaiku is a twitter feed that generates random haiku using Ghostface Killah lyrics. The project is a companion to one of my previous experiments, the Ghostface Remix Project. The inspiration for these projects is Ghost’s bizarre and seemingly random lyrics. For example:
“Lightning rod fever heaters, knock-kneeder Sheeba for hiva
Diva got rocked from the receiver bleeder
Portfolio, looking fancy in the pantry
My man got bigger dimes son, your shit is scampi
Base that, throw what’s in your mouth, don’t waste that
See Ghost lamping in the throne with King Tut hat”
The remix project plays with the idea of randomness by cutting the audio of the vocal track of a song and rearranging it to create something different and perhaps not any less decipherable than the original. This project deals strictly with the text of the lyrics. I wanted to create poems with a defined structure and quickly settled on haiku. I feel like there’s a great juxtaposition between the calm, contemplative tone of traditional haiku and Ghostface’s manically weird songs. Beyond that, just the image of Ghostface delivering a haiku makes me smile. I chose twitter as a medium to publish the poems not just because it’s a convenient way to share, but because it inherently implies a singular human personality behind the content, as if perhaps these really are coming from the man himself.
The Python application makes use of the context free tools from Adam Parrish to generate lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. I built out a context free grammar using words from Ghostface lyrics that builds out noun phrases, verb phrases, and combinations thereof. Each word is labelled according to is part of speech, number of syllables, and singular or plural context. I also added some interjections such as “yo” and “a-yo” which help keep the results sounding like they came from Ghostface’s lips. I’m using a cron job to kick off the script once an hour, resulting in a new tweet. The results have been pretty satisfying and I think plausibly Ghostfacian. The lexicon does need to be expanded as there tends to be a lot of repeated words. Long term, I think slowing it down to maybe a tweet a day would also make sense.
Peep the Github Repo