So I read an article the other day about a new company called Rap Genius. The company consists primarily of a website that relies on crowdsourcing to explain rap lyrics to the masses who are not down with the urban vibe (aka, people over 30). The company takes lyrics such as these from Kanye West’s Gold Digger….
“She was supposed to buy your shorty Tyco with your money
She went to the doctor got lipo with your money
She walking around looking like Michael with your money.”
…and explains that they mean, to wit: The ex-wife was supposed to buy your baby some toys with the child support money but instead spent it all on so much plastic surgery that she looks like Michael Jackson (presumably before he died―my edit).
Here’s another example: Nelly’s song Grillz gets explained thusly: “Got 30 down at the bottom, 30 more at the top, all invisible set in little ice cube blocks” refers to the fact that Nelly is wearing “grillz” aka jewelry worn over the teeth, which are worth $30,000 on the top and another $30,000 on the bottom, with diamonds set right into the gold. So now you know.
According to the article about the $15m investment that venture fund Andreesen Horowitz put into Rap Genius, the company’s goal is to “annotate the Internet” and, beyond rap music, “the company is slowly spreading to other categories such as literature, political speeches, and science papers.” Let me just digress for a moment and say that the website I would love to see is the one that turns political speeches into rap lyrics―wouldn’t it be sublime to see Joe Biden and Paul Ryan speak jive?