This Is What Rap Genius Is Really Like

Rap Genius Founders Tom Ilan and Mahbod

Rap Genius

Rap Genius founders

Rap Genius, a community site where members can leave in-line annotations analyzing song lyrics, literature, speeches, and news items, recently let us inside its operations.

Rap Genius rocketed to notoriety after raising $15 million from Andreessen Horowitz a little over a year ago.

The company is known for a few things. For one, there's the controversial statements of its Yale-grad founders Mahbod Moghadam, Tom Lehman, and Ilan Zechory. But on the plus side, Rap Genius has a roster of supporters like Nas and Kendrick Lamar. But it recently made headlines when the National Music Publishers Association called it-and other lyrics sites-"blatantly illegal." Advertisement

The company's 40+ employees work in the 7th floor penthouse suites of an apartment building on Kent Street in Williamsburg (the building used to be the warehouse of a large grocer). In total, the company works out of 9 different offices.

Each of the suites has a kitchen, bathroom, common area, and several bedrooms turned into offices. In some ways, it feels more like a giant collegiate crashpad than an office.