Credit: Sam Ward/Reveal

This week on our radio show and podcast, we investigate the costs – human and monetary – of President Donald Trump’s border wall plan.

Our data team has created the most complete map we’ve seen of the existing barriers between the U.S. and Mexico. Now, Reveal’s lead sound designer Jim Briggs has painted a sonic picture to represent the presence and absence of border barriers.

If you play the track below, you’ll hear a variety of tones – a high pitched twinkle here; a low-register buzz there. These represent the materials already in place at the border. We enlisted our friends at Snap Judgment to add their own details and sonic perspective to the mix.

Here’s where you come in: It’s no secret that Trump’s plan to fortify this border draws powerful reactions from across the political spectrum. It’s also clear that music – especially hip-hop music – can be a powerful vessel for delivering opinions. We want to hear yours.

To participate in our #WallRapChallenge:

  1. Cue up the track on a set of speakers or download the mp3 for free.
  2. Using your computer or smartphone, record a video of your rap about Trump’s proposed border wall.
  3. Post your rap on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter (or all of the above) with the hashtag #WallRapChallenge.
  4. To challenge a friend to join in, tag them in your post.

We’ll be collecting our favorite selections here, and updating often. So bookmark this page, and be sure to share it across your social networks.

Our top pick:

Como participar en el reto del muro de Reveal #WallRapChallenge

Esta semana en nuestro programa de radio y podcast, investigamos el impacto humano y económico del muro fronterizo propuesto por el Presidente Donald Trump.   

Nuestro equipo de data creó el mapa más completo disponible al público estadounidense en donde se puede observar las barreras que actualmente existen a lo largo de la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México. Por lo que nuestro sonidista, Jim Briggs, produjo una representación sónica de este mapa mostrando la presencia y ausencia de las barreras fronterizas.

En el link de abajo escucharás una serie de tonos musicales. La pista fue creada con la ayuda de nuestros amigos de Snap Judgment.

Aquí es donde necesitamos tu ayuda:  No es ningún secreto que el plan de Trump de fortalecer la frontera es sumamente divisivo. También es evidente que la música – especialmente la música hip-hop – puede ser un poderoso vehículo que expone diversas opiniones y argumentos. Asi es que, esperamos tu opinión.

Para participar en nuestro reto del muro:

  1. Escucha la pista que se encuentra en el link de abajo. También puedes descargar el mp3 gratuitamente.
  2. Usando tu computadora o smartphone, graba tu letra de hip-hop que hable sobre la propuesta del muro fronterizo de Trump.
  3. Una vez que hayas terminado tu canción, publícala en Instagram, Facebook o Twitter (o los tres) con el hashtag #WallRapChallenge.
  4. Para desafiar a un amigo que tenga una opinión sobre el muro, etiquetalo en tu post.


Estaremos recolectando tus contribuciones en este blog y asegúrate de compartir esta página  en tus redes sociales.

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Byard Duncan was a reporter and producer for  engagement and collaborations for Reveal. He managed Reveal’s Reporting Networks, which provide more than 1,000 local journalists across the U.S. with resources and training to continue Reveal investigations in their communities. He also helped lead audience engagement initiatives around Reveal’s stories and assists local reporters in elevating their work to a national platform. In addition to Reveal, Duncan’s work has appeared in GQ, Esquire, The California Sunday Magazine and Columbia Journalism Review, among other outlets. He was part of Reveal’s Behind the Smiles project team, which was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2019. He is the recipient of two Edward R. Murrow Awards, a National Headliner Award, an Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, and two first-place awards for feature storytelling from the Society of Professional Journalists and Best of the West. Duncan is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.

Jim Briggs III is the senior sound designer, engineer and composer for Reveal. He supervises post-production and composes original music for the public radio show and podcast. He also leads Reveal's efforts in composition for data sonification and live performances.

Prior to joining Reveal in 2014, Briggs mixed and recorded for clients such as WNYC Studios, NPR, the CBC and American Public Media. Credits include “Marketplace,” “Selected Shorts,” “Death, Sex & Money,” “The Longest Shortest Time,” NPR’s “Ask Me Another,” “Radiolab,” “Freakonomics Radio” and “Soundcheck.” He also was the sound re-recording mixer and sound editor for several PBS television documentaries, including “American Experience: Walt Whitman,” the 2012 Tea Party documentary "Town Hall" and “The Supreme Court” miniseries. His music credits include albums by R.E.M., Paul Simon and Kelly Clarkson.

Briggs' work with Reveal has been recognized with an Emmy Award (2016) and two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards (2018, 2019). Previously, he was part of the team that won the Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma for its work on WNYC’s hourlong documentary special “Living 9/11.” He has taught sound, radio and music production at The New School and Eugene Lang College and has a master's degree in media studies from The New School. Briggs is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.