Posted by John Hultar on May 2, 2013

Yale Students Make $15 MILLION With Web Site – But Was It A Mistake?

 

A $15 million investment in a pretty common looking web site that does nothing more than providing explanations to rap lyrics?  Was this a smart outlay of cash for the brilliant venture cap firm “Andreessen Horowitz ?”

That’s what we’re wondering over here as well.

Let me give you the background.  In 2009, three nerdy Yale University alums, came up with the idea of creating an information social site.  RapGenius.com was born.  Here, users can log in and provide their best explanation to the world of exactly what the heck a rapper meant when he/she sang something few people could understand.

Yep…that’s it.  In fact, the 3 founders didn’t even come up with the idea.  Nor, were they first site of their kind to attract huge visitors.  Even today, they still aren’t even the biggest in their category after having 15 big ones (million) dropped in their lap.

But, they’ve got rich pals in California.  And that my friends, makes all the difference.  Enter Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz.  These 2 fellas seldom make mistakes when it comes to their investments.  Along with Facebook, they also were early investors with Pinterest, Foursquare and Airbnb.

Now that’s a resume worth thunderous applause.  Soon we will get to see if are well-to-do VC friends are “right again.”

Mahbod Moghadam, Ilan Zechory, and Tom Lehman the founders of Rapgenius.com show no fear.  They are seen as an outspoken trio who saw a void in the online world – and hoped on it!

Their original idea started relatively small.  Rap Genius is a site where anyone could dissect their favorite rap lyrics and find the explanations of some rather offensive and obscure references as well as deep metaphors in rap music.  It’s their mission to help a large crowd of music lovers worldwide to decode everything from rock songs to the Declaration Of Independence.

Rap Genius is 1 of the nets top hip hop sites.  This website features the lyrics of just about every popular song as well as the meaning to every hip hop song ever released.

Rap Genius seems to go beyond the regular call of duty when it comes to providing lyrics and breakdowns of popular rap songs.  They have uploaded the entire King James Bible.  In the words of the founders, the Bible is hip hop.  So after you check out the lyrics to Drake’s “Girl’s Love Beyonce,” you can now read the Bible from beginning to end.  Although that may sound a bit odd, many think it’s pretty cool.

Since the creation of their site, the Rap Genius founders have ruffled a few feathers while forming their own brand.

Rap Genius founder Moghadam, recently got in pretty deep with Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.  Apparently Zuckerberg rarely steps out of his own house because he doesn’t want to be photographed.

The investors who are responsible for Rap Genius’ $15 Million invited Hip hop legend Nas as well as Mark to a get together with the RG team.  They were simply hanging out when Moghadam asks Zuck if they could take a photo together.  The camera shy Facebook genius constantly said “Let’s hold off, let’s hold off.” Moghadam couldn’t pass up the opportunity.  He flashed a photo and uploaded it to Instagram without a second thought.

Zuckerberg was infuriated and demanded that the photo be taken down.  Moghadam took the photo down and apologized, however he didn’t seem very genuine in his apology and this was later shown in comments that he made regarding Mark Zuckerberg.

“We wrote a letter of apology and I feel sorry.  I regret taking it, I hope this has taught me some maturity; it certainly got me in a lot of trouble.  But then on the other hand, f— that fool.  It’s not like I’m taking a picture of him smoking weed.”

As you can see the founders of Rap Genius are fearless and hold their tongue for no one.