Today rap is not just an art form it has evolved into a culture. And like me, a million fans of rap music always wanted to get a grip of the lyrics chanted by the rap gods, which otherwise was a little hard to consume. If you are struggling with the meaning of the toughest Lil Wayne phrase, Rapgenius is the answer. Contributed by thousands of users and enthusiasts, this rapidly populated site has become a ‘hip-pop Wikipedia’. This wiki-style website dissects and explains the meaning of your favorite rap lyric quite well. Originally named as Rap Exegesis, the site changed to Rapgenius because no one could properly spell exegesis!
The big database of Rapgenius is holding thousands of canonical rap songs explained. Almost every song that I searched for was present there. The lyrics are in white and orange color format. Already explained lyrics are highlighted in orange and clicking those pops up the explanation. I searched BO Burnham’s High School Party and some parts’ explanation made me laugh.
Jokes apart, the site will satisfy your craving for understanding rap. Some of the cool features of this site are Rap IQ and Rap Map. A good lyric analysis is rewarded with a “virtual currency” called Rap IQ Points. The process eventually give high Rap IQ users permission to moderate the site’s content.
At the lower right of the page there is Rap Map button. The Rap Map shows places mentioned in the rap lyrics using google earth. Users can also add places to the Rap Map. What I like most about this website is the ability to listen songs, reading lyrics or getting explanation of lyrics all under a virtual roof. The site also has a forum and a blog. Not just the writers and rap lovers contribute to the site, the artists such as Lil B, Soulja Boy themselves does explain the lyrics they have written from time to time.
Unlike other music related sites offering music news, fresh singles, Rapgenius does a unique job. They do not just translate rap into “nerdspeak”, but rather to critique rap as “poetry”. A platform was always needed to show the ‘brainy’ side of rap. Rapgenius serves the purpose. The site creators are now planning to launch an app which will be pretty cool I think.