National Lampoon's Rap Genius: "The Game"
9(37) Apr 1973 - Prejudice
"RENT ON KENT," WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN, FALL 2011
BEN HOROWITZ, ANDREESEN HOROWITZ
Excuse me, which wing is the way to the Rap Genius office?
Sure! It's right down that hall to the right, up the elevator. Come on in!
TOM LEHMAN, RAPGENIUS CO-FOUNDER/CEO
Ohhhh, swag! Tom Lehman. Rap Genius CEO. AKA LEMON on the site. Damn glad to meet you. Grab a baller water. We got it covered with mad bank. Unlimited Seamless. And that's Mahbod--Maboo, to the initiated--and we got Ilan, the other co-founder. Plus Shawn, editor-in-chief, Nicole from artists' relations, Dan Berger for whatever, Alex from StereoIQ, our designer Chris, Austin from PoetryGenius, Jeremy from RapGenius EDU. We out.
Maboo! Show him some love. It's all love at Rap Genius.
You should anticipate a deeply religious experience.
He's a hypnotherapist. Practices Vipanassa meditation. Very spiritual.
Thank you Based God. Grace a dieu. One day this site is gonna be the biggest site in the world. It's gonna be the Internet Talmud.
See, we don't take anything seriously.
Was that a question? With the Talmud it has to be a question. And if you agree to work with us, inshallah, we will bring you that level of depth and respect and close reading love. I like to say Rap Genius is like an online dating service.
Is this what you're gonna do for the rest of your life?
What do you mean?
Chilling with new artists, getting light every weekend?
"No. After I finish my translation of Apollinaire I'mma get low every night!
SAND HILL ROAD, PALO ALTO, CA, winter 2012
MARC ANDREESEN, ANDREESEN HOROWITZ
Paul, what is the worst start-up at YCombinator?
PAUL GRAHAM, YCOMBINATOR FOUNDER
That would be hard to say, sir. They're each outstanding in their own way.
Cut the shit, son. I've got their rap right here. Who asked Mark Zuckerberg screaming from the back of the room if he compares himself to Kanye? Who started a beef with Warren Buffett via shirtless freestyle after losing out on the Berkshire Hathaway internship for that memo on his old blog? Every meme cycle, there's something else, and yet the site just keeps growing and growing --
"You're talking about Rap Genius, sir."
"Of course l'm talking about Rap Genius, sophist! This year, it's gonna be different. This year, we're gonna disrupt. This year we're gonna put them in shape and make the biggest text annotation site on the Web since the launch of Netscape."
"What do you intend to do, sir? I'm not going to say RapGenius is the best startup, but a lot of outstanding teams figure they'll fund RapGenius or won't fund at all. We do have more than our share of thought leaders… something that never looks bad on your performance reviews. And Rap Genius is already getting declined all over the place.
Oh... Then as of now, they're on double secret $15 million seed investment! There is a little-known professionalism codicil in the contract which gives Andreessen Horowitz unlimited power to preserve order in time of company instability. Find me a way to secure full control of RapGenius's funding. The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.
Horowitz! What up, fam! State your name and your RapGenius rapIQ avatar. From now on, your verified account RapGenius username for RapIQ is BHorowitz. You wanna try our new offshoot Poetry Genius?
Now, what can we say of John Milton's Paradise Lost? Click on the annotation. My ex-girlfriend says it's a long poem written a long time ago. It's a long poem, written a long time ago, and I'm sure a lot of you have trouble following exactly what Milton was trying to say. Certainly we know that he was trying to describe the struggle between good and evil, right? Okay. The most interessant character, we all know from our reading, was Satan. Moloch Moloch Moloch, right? I mean now I'm just alluding to Allen Ginsberg's Howl, but my favorite poem is the Waste Land, which takes quite a bit of inspiration from these words, mots qui disent la verite. And actually at the beginning of the site, in 2009, I tried to get rid of "Wordy Rappinghood," and now I'm quoting it, because I'm learning. It's all love. Now, was Milton trying to tell us that being bad was more fun than being good? Okay. Don't write this down. I find Milton fascinating, but honestly he's a whiny-ass motherfucker who just goes on and on without any particular concision-- no, I take that back -- by but point is he doesn't translate very well into our generation, and his jokes are lame from our perspective when in fact in the seventeenth century they would fucking cut you. But that doesn't relieve anybody from their cultural obligation to embrace or at the least appreciate this material for the genius it is. At RapGenius we're all about democratizing that genius for others. Nah, I'm just playing. It's like Das Racist said: I'm just joking just joking not joking I'm not joking! This is my job!
You ever done acid before? I got that from the Steve Jobs book.
Listen up, you three gotta watch it. Your days are numbered in this Valley. You and all your sick brogrammers. Meantime, your ass belongs to me.
Fuck this shit, we're more fit than you are, son. My abs look really good right now and I'm back on the raw diet ordering farm products for the office from Good Eggs. We hit up vegan bitches with RZA and work out to audiobooks on the rise and fall of the Third Reich."
Lehman, Ilan, you hate that ying-yang?
Yeah, I hate him! I hate on his ass! No, I'm totally playin. I love that damn kid, yo.
Isn't the term "ying-yang" itself vaguely racist?
I guess so. But he makes jokes about raping women!
He didn't not make that joke. It was anonymous. They apologized.
No, they sort of apologized. They didn't not apologize. What a shame that a few bad motha (shut yo mouth!) have to spoil a good time for everyone by breaking the rules. Disrupting. This is not blaxploitation! It's about text annotation. Annotate the world.
Have you boys seen your grade point average yet? Have you? It's the highest in the industry. Highest in Silicon Valley history. We tell you to say you went to Yale in every interview for a damn reason. So act like it."
Well, sir... we're trying not to take ourselves too seriously.
Laugh now, because you fuckybergs have been on double secret probation all semester. That means one more slip-up, one more mistake, and your funding's gone, and this fraternity of yours has had it at Andreesen Horowitz.
Yale isn't really into frats. Fuck, I spent most of my time in the Alice Waters organic dining hall. Clean living, homes.
SXSW, AUSTIN, TX, SPRING 2013
You guys up for a toga party at the Rap Genius Ranch?
"Tom, please don't do this. Honestly, we're 29 years old. In six months, you graduate out of the Forbes 30 under 30. Like Maboo. Tomorrow night, you'll wrap yourself in a sheet, pour some micro-I-don't-care beer sponsorship all over your head. Why don't we go sit down somewhere?
Ilan. They're gonna defund us no matter what we do. And we're not in the Malibu house right now. So we might as well have a bomb time!!!!! It's not going to be an orgy. It'll be like going back to BombSheets.com with us in the togas. Toga! Toga! Toga!
"Oh, swag, did you see this meme?"
"No, what's the new meme?"
MUSIC CRITIC VINE
I gave my love a cherry
That had no stone
I gave my love a chicken
That had no bones
I gave my love a story
That had no end
I gave --
MABOO throws the phone across the room.
"Sorry. I think the phone's locked or something. We should put it on Rock Genius."
Shit, then how am I supposed to call her back. Pop that pussay!
I don't know why you talk like that, mayne. Don't listen to that, Tom. Listen. You can make jokes about getting up in some bitches, call people dimes and all, but at the end of the day it's all love. You'll never have a chance to make love in Ben Sherman pants and Italian leather shoes again. If you lay one finger on that poor, sweet, helpless girl, you'll despise yourself forever. I'm telling you this because I love you, Tom. And I'm proud of you, no homo."
(puts something on twitter)
SAND HILL ROAD, MAY 2013
"My fault! For Christ's sake, Marc, how could it be my fault?"
"TechCrunch? How could the TechCrunch appearance be your fault? How could the DED appearance be your fault? I'm gonna string them up by the balls!"
"I bet it was Mahbod."
"You know that for sure?"
"No, but I don't know it was not Mahbod. You'd be surprised at some of the things he's said and done. And you'd be even more surprised at the things people said he did that he didn't do. See, I've learned he's one of those people where whatever you expect him to do, he always does the opposite. Very surprised."
"Please take your seats. This meeting will now come to order. We'll waive minutes and proceed directly with charges against Genius Media Group LLC. The following charges are brought: First, that Rap Genius did knowingly violate the rules governing employee recruitment by posting a Craigslist ad for an attache asking about how to choose instagram upskirts and shower stools."
"I'd like to address these charges one at a time, if l may."
"You'll get your chance, Lessig. Stanford Law. Second, that for the fifth consecutive month RapGenius has received disparaging reviews by every major magazine and accused of stealing Ohh La or whatever it's called.
Half the start-ups from our class at YCombinator didn't even make bank! We're number 96 on Quantcast top 100!
Third, that RapGenius routinely provided naked Vyvanse to its members during New York Internet Week after TechCrunch. And less recently, that a RapGenius South-by "ranch" party was held, from which we have received two dozen reports of individual acts of perversion so profound and disgusting... that decorum prohibits listing them here.
I don't think you can fully judge a start-up without looking at the positive qualities of the RapGenius family. Why does everything always have to be about making money? The fam has a long tradition of committing itself to education in underserved neighborhoods through Science Genius, to promoting lesser known artists and old artists in the canon who need financial and cultural support, even to repairing relationships with Das Racist and Combat Jack. It has a long tradition of serving the Web community at large. It's all love.
"Point of parliamentary procedure. Yale Political Union."
"I thought you were doing a Berkshire Hathaway history PhD at UC Santa Barbara."
"Same damn diff, yo."
"C'mon. Ladies and gentlemen, l'll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules or took a few liberties with our female employees. We did. But you can't hold a whole social network responsible for the behavior of a few sick, not-give-a-fuck ballers. If you do, shouldn't we blame the whole start-up culture? And if the whole VC funding system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our economic institutions in general? Isn't this an indictment of our entire American information economy? That begs the question -- well, without getting pedantic here, it technically DOESN'T beg the question, but I'm putting forward these rhetorical questions nonetheless. Well, you can do what you want to Rap Genius, but we won't sit here, and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!
S.O.B.s, TriBeCa, SUMMER 2013
"Bed-Stuy hipster girls are phat. Mention modern art, civil rights or folk music, Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Rec, you're down."
"Did she put you up to this? Dayum, that bitch. What a lively sense of humour. "Sophomore dies in kiln explosion"? She was gonna make a pot for me.
I don't think l should be alone tonight. Wanna hang? And could you get a Grouper date for my friends?"
BLACK THOUGHT CATALOG
"It feels so good to be back here at S.O.B.s, height? I'm opening tonight with a little remix of Kendrick Lamar's "Control." Aight."
"Wait till he sees us! We're fam."
"We are going to die. We're the only white people here."
"No, there's Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend with Solange. And, like, Diplo. Don't worry about a thing, baby. He's right here! What up, cat?"
"What are you majoring in?
"Do you know that Lil B song 'Hipster Girls'? Hipster girls, shake ya ass! l need you so much."
BLACK THOUGHT CATALOG
"Do you mind if some of my boys meet up with your dates?"
"Ain't no thang. Go 'head."
BLACK THOUGHT CATALOG
"Aight, but this party's about to get mad corny. So if l was in your shoes, I'd be leaving."
"What baffles me is why artists like Black Thought Catalog would collaborate with boys like that. Oh, excuse me, "collabo." They reminded me of criminals. They were horrible. Cut, smug, and addled is no way to go through life."
EPILOGUE, LATE 2013
"Tell Mr. Lehman and Mr. Zechory exactly what l'm about to tell you. You're out! Finished! Expelled! l want you back in Brooklyn next Monday morning! And l'm sure you'll be happy to know that l have notified your former employers at DE Shaw Google and told them that you are no longer eligible for FlexTime. Well? Well?"
Seven years of college down the drain. Might as well join fucking Teach for America.
"What? "Over"? Did you say "over"? Nothing's over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans started Auschwitz? Work will set us free!
Ohh, shit. He's trolling.
Ain't over now, dawg. We got to take these motherfuckers. We could fight them with conventional weapons. That could ta.ke years, cost millions of lives. In this case, I think we have to go all out. Fight them with knowledge and love. I think this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part. Mon ame. Swague swague."
NICOLE OTERO, ARTISTS' LIAISON
MANAGER, KENDRICK LAMAR
SHAWN SETARO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
MARRIED. DIVORCED. WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN.
THANKED IN LINER NOTES ON NEW KANYE JOINT
STANFORD PROFESSOR EMERITUS OF YCOMBINATOR
OWNER, MIAMI HEAT
CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA
META WORLD PEACE
(ne ILAN ZECHORY)
ENCOUNTER GROUPS OF DETROIT, INC
SENATOR & MRS. MAHBOD MOGHADAM
PAST FELLOW, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
AMBASSADOR TO FRANCE
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