Rap Genius draws more than 10 million unique visitors a month, with verified users like Common and Nas. It all started in 2009, after a day spent debating the meaning of a Cam'ron lyric. Now the site is a veritable empire, with $15 million in funding from Andreesen Horovitz and the respect of President Barack Obama—at least according to the three Yale alumni who founded it.
Wakefield editor Guy Cimbalo recently chatted with Mahboud Moghadam, one of the co-founders who isn't exactly known for keeping thoughts to himself. We've cherry-picked some highlights that we thought you'd enjoy, including his thoughts on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg:
On where the site goes from here (and Rap Genius France, Rap Genius Deutschland and Rap Genius Iran, which he calls "a ponzi scheme"):
"We need to get every single famous person explaining their own shit, or their favorite shit. And we need Barack, who’s a huge fan of the site – we need to meet with him, and chill with him, and we need to get him explaining the Constitution, explaining Jay-Z."
On Instagramming Mark Zuckerberg:
"We took pictures of Zuck with Nas ... But then the press picked it up and apparently Zuck gets home and his whole PR crew is calling him every five seconds, and he told us to take it down. We wrote a letter of apology and I feel sorry ... But then on the other hand, fuck that fool – that’s Nas the Don."
On the Grey Lady:
"They talked mad shit about us and said we were Orientalists or whatever, but honestly they can suck my dick because they’re Carlos Slim’s ho."
UPDATE: After tweeting the interview from my personal account, Mahboud swiftly issued a response:
@jillkrasny I didn't mean it! I was on vyvanse... I feel soooo stupid for saying that, such a bitch move!— Rap Genius (@RapGenius) February 14, 2013
@jillkrasny <3 I actually DIDNT apologize bc I'm blocked on facebook! I want to! But I think zuck is fed up with me— Rap Genius (@RapGenius) February 14, 2013
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