One October night in 2009 Mahbod Moghadam, Tom Lehman, & Ilan Zechory found themselves deep in an analytical discussion about some verses by rapper Cam’ron. That night they brainstormed an idea to widen the conversation beyond the living room to the internet and created RapGenius.com, a unique website that allows users to annotate specific lines of lyrics with explanations, graphics and videos.
Filling the void left by the swarm of inferior, pop-up ad-riddled lyric sites and creating a new model, Rap Genius surged in popularity and soon caught the eye of superangel venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, investors of Twitter. Discover how Rap Genius plans to use their fifteen million dollar underwriting to grow the company beyond rap lyrics to include other genres and disciplines such as art, poetry, law, religious studies, and politics — turning Rap Genius into the world’s primary repository for information and the net’s most heavily trafficked website. They’ve got 99 problems but lack of ambition ain’t one. Listen to the exclusive interview, only on Between the Liner Notes.