Rap Genius

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Mahbod Moghadam, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. Mahbod Moghadam

    Mahbod Moghadam New Member

    Sep 10, 2015
    As founder of Rap Genius, I often find myself fielding the question, “So, Maboo, what was the motivation for starting the site?” I usually tell people “Jesus told me!” or some other bullshit, trying to be funny, but also because the ACTUAL motivation for starting the site sounds like a joke. The reason me and my cofounders Tom Lehman and Ilan Zechory decided to build this site was, simply, to meet our (then) favorite rapper, Killa Cam’ron!

    We never intended for “Rap Exegesis” (as it was originally called) to turn into a huge business like Genius with a bunch of employees and major funding from Ben Horowitz and Dan Gilbert and other major capitalist ballers. We never intended for the site’s mission to be to “annotate the internet” - heck, we didn’t even want to annotate all of rap music! We really just wanted to annotate Cam’ron’s lyrics, and show him, and hopefully he would think it was funny.

    A lot of younger peeps these days don’t even know who Cam’ron is. Killa Cam and Dipset never got to Jay Z status, not even close, but in 2005, when Ilan and I originally became friends, Dipset was permeating the atmosphere. Anywhere you went in NYC, you could see the Dipset Eagle - on jackets, on hats, whatever..


    Cam’ron and the Dipset had a “cult following” - and often, the fans of these sorts of trends are even more committed than regular fans. We were part of the Dipset Cult!

    The first song we ever annotated on Rap Genius was “Killa Cam” - one of Cam’ron’s masterpieces, to be sure. Pretty much all of my annotations were incorrect - even though I thought I understood the song at the time, it turns out I didn’t know shit! Once other people started joining the site and correcting my errors, it made me feel like I’m a “Rap Orientalist” - someone who thinks I know what I’m talking about, but in fact I don’t know shit.

    The first blog post we ever wrote on Rap Genius was about Cam’ron’s support of the Taliban - before we started analyzing this trend, I never understood how dedicated Cam’ron was in his support of the Taliban and Islamic fundamentalists in general. I wonder how he feels about ISIS. Even though I am Jewish, discovering this stuff about Cam’ron made me love him even more..

    By the way, just so you know: I DID end up meeting Killa Cam! Years later tho, after my passion had already subdued and I had moved on to being a Gucci Mane acolyte. I met Cam’ron at the Westwood W Hotel, his manager “British” (mentioned in the epic freestyle lyric “British is dumb known for lettin his gun go!” texted me and told me Cam’s in LA, and to go meet him at the hotel. Killa was 2 hours late to our meeting, so I got to chill with his security guards, who seemed really worried and were bickering about whether or not Cam would pay them. They seemed hella-distrustful. When I met Cam, he seemed stoned or hung over or something, and he was a total asshole. He said he likes Rap Genius, but we never even got to annotate any of his lyrics or anything. It was a total let down!

    Oh well… at least the site blew up tho.

    Mahbod Moghadam is founder of Everipedia, and was previously founder of Rap Genius. You can follow him on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/mahbodmoghadam
  2. Ruthless Leon

    Ruthless Leon New Member

    Aug 22, 2017
    I'm Ruthless Leon 16 years of age I started rapping when I was in 8th. I grew up in Cali and just recently started working with a close friend Prince Lavi together we plan on producing music and hopefully get recognized.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  3. Noodles

    Noodles The People's Champion

    Jan 19, 2003

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