In late 2009, Yale undergraduates Tom Lehman, Ilan Zechory and Mahbod Moghadam were listening to a Cam’Ron song when deciphering the Diplomatic deity’s lyrics delivered a revelation. From this birthed one of music’s first verified lyric sites, Rap Genius. Since RapGenius-Genesis.Huroku.com first launched on August 26, 2009, the site has transitioned from an inquisitive database of annotators and obscure hip-hop lyrics to Genius. Now, the company has the fastest growing music channel on YouTube and, according to Music Business Worldwide, just solidified another $15 million in funding.
Genius states that they plan to use this money to amplify various sections of their site including their original content and partnerships with streaming companies, both of which are avenues that Genius was exploring prior to the budget announcement. By enlisting multimedia music journalist, Rob Markman, as their Manager of Artist Relations, Genius has already increased their engagement with entertainers, even enlisting hip-hop veteran, Redman, to host their YouTube trivia series, Genius Test. This, paired with their popular “Behind The Lyrics” integration with Spotify, nods to the allocating of their new funds.
“Our mission at Genius is to be the number one brand in music,” Ilan Zechory, co-founder and president of Genius stated. “We’re excited to find new ways to connect artists and fans and keep pushing the possibilities of music storytelling.”