Rap Genius, the online community where both rappers and fans annotate lyrics with own interpretations and facts, just announced its newfound $15 million investment from Andreesen Horowitz—a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, which has invested in two of the most successful social media companies: Twitter and Facebook. The fund will be channeled to make Rap Genius into, what the co-founder Marc Andreessen of the venture capital firm stated, “the Internet Talmud.”
On Rap Genius, under a post titled “Why Andreessen Horowitz Is Investing in Rap Genius,” Mr. Andreessen affirmed his confidence in the company. “There’s music in other genres and other languages, but what other categories?” Mr. Andreessen stated. “Poetry, literature, the Bible, political speeches, legal texts, science papers. And those are just the start. We think the community will continue to expand beyond rap into all culture. The potential of this company is large.”
The popular online outlet for rap lyrics—which was founded by three Yale graduates—initially started as a project for fun, but soon received the recognition of Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator, and according to Mr. Andreessen, it has become “one of the fastest growing web sites in Y Combinator’s history.” Since then, the site has become the go-to stop for rap lyrics, with reportedly having 10 million unique visitors in May, 50,000 followers on Twitter, and 190,000 likes on Facebook. The site’s growing community has earned users who moderate site’s contents in a Wikipedia-like manner, with close to 500 editors overseeing its massively expanding content.
It’s bigger than hip-hop. —Jaeki Cho (@JaekiCho)