Rap Genius, the website that allows users to annotate lyrics, news stories, poetry, and more, has some famous fans, including rapper Kanye West.
West once used Photoshop to sketch out a new look for the site and sent it to Rap Genius’ investor Ben Horowitz. Rap Genius — which just rebranded to simply “Genius” — is known stylistically for its black backgrounds and bright text.
“Kanye liked the site and sent an idea for a redesign,” Horowitz writes in an annotation on reporter Nich Carlson’s story about the the company’s latest $US40 million fundraise. “He never actually completed it. If he had, that would have definitely been the new design of Rap Genius.”
Rap Genius cofounder and CEO Tom Lehman calls West’s concept “astonishing” and “progressive” and doesn’t rule out the possibility that the company will eventually adopt a version of it.
“We spent a ton of time thinking about it and tried our best to keep up the collaboration,” he told Carlson, “But Kanye was too busy and we haven’t gotten together on it yet.”
Cofounders Ilan Zechory and Mahbod McAdam (who has since been ousted from the company because of inappropriate annotations on the manifesto of Santa Barbara killer Elliot Rodger) attended West and Kim Kardashian’s engagement party last fall and Maghadam has referred to West as his “homie.”
West is currently working on his own company, a fashion startup called DONDA, that he hopes to build into a “trillion-dollar company.”