Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam is a testament to just how far you can push a venture capitalist. The Yale graduate is one of tech's foremost delusional fools—repeatedly embarrassing himself, his company, and everyone connected with it. He eventually resigned from the startup after publicly praising parts of a serial killer's manifesto. Yet it took a post about thieving from Whole Foods for one of his investors to finally disown him.
How has Rap Genius distinguished itself from all the other lyrics sites? With sweet, sweet old school spam techniques, or as Silicon Valley likes to call it "growth hacking." The tactic is so shady that Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, felt compelled to publicly state that his team is "aware and looking into it."
There are certain risks any reporter exposes herself to by agreeing to interview the cofounders of Rap Genius. Once you've crossed the wobbly line of crushed up Vyvanse into their Williamsburg offices, there's no going back. There they are on your gChat, up in your Snapchat, sending invitations to events that possibly only occur in the trippy Playa of their minds.
The Yale-educated dude trio that runs Rap Genius, a website dedicated to deciphering hip-hop for white people, gets a lot of mileage out of not being taken seriously. Their group goofiness is brilliant, letting them dodge any and all criticism in a self-serious field. Until Rap Genius threatens mouth rape on Twitter.