Rap Genius Is Changing Its Name To Just 'Genius'

If you try going to RapGenius.com today, you’ll automatically be redirected to Genius.com.

It’s part of an enormous rebrand for the website and the company, which parted ways with cofounder Mahbod Moghadam in May after he annotated the memoir of UCSB shooter Elliot Rodger with a string of bizarre, insensitive comments.

To test out its idea, the startup launched several channels, including Rock Genius, News Genius, and Poetry Genius. In addition, Genius made their features embeddable — annotated texts can now be placed on other websites, increasing Rap Genius’s reach to people who wouldn’t necessarily visit the startup’s website.

Today, Genius is for “the crowdsourced annotation of music, news, literature, history, and just about any other text you could imagine,” according to its site. Noting that “every text is made more understandable, and interesting, by our shared attention,” the site defines its goal as nothing less than creating “the world’s greatest public knowledge project.”

Ben Horowitz, who invested $US15 million early on in Rap Genius’s development, calls Genius the digital equivalent of the Talmud, the biblical commentary produced by rabbis. The Talmud is thought to ostensibly have had more influence on modern society than even the Bible, which speaks to the power of annotation.

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