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October 19, 2012

Rap Genius been racist

via gawker.com

I could have told you that the people who run Rap Genius are a buncha dicks years ago. Literally two years ago to the day, oddly enough.

They used to hit me up all the time trying to get me to link to their site. I wasn't interested, because why would I want to look up the meaning of rap lyrics. What am I, Chinese? I have neither the interest in, nor the lack of understanding of rap music that would necessitate such a website. I already understand most rap lyrics, and if I don't, I just assume they have to do with either drugs or disrespecting women, or maybe somehow both, and go about my business.

I checked the Rap Genius website, and the explanations weren't any good anyway. The only ones they definitely got right were the ones that were already obvious. Some of them were dead wrong, and some of the lyrics weren't right in the first place. Like, some dumbass kid typed up the wrong lyrics (or maybe just copied and pasted them from another song lyrics website), and then some other dumbass kid came in and added the wrong definition to the wrong lyrics. The inaccuracy had layers, like an onion.

I checked Rap Genius again the other day, after my go-to guy Noz had something bad to say about it (granted Noz has something bad to say about everybody), and apparently it hasn't gotten any better; they got $15 million, and they couldn't break off whatever tiny percentage of that it would take to pay someone who knows from rap music to go through and check for glaring inaccuracies. Which can't be much, given the state of the economy. Unemployment is back down to what it was before the fake economy fell apart, but black male unemployment remains at Great (White) Depression levels. I think I see a way out of this!

While Rap Genius ostensibly consists of user-generated content[1], they do, in fact, pay people to type up song lyrics and annotations (it says so in the comments section of the Gawker post), and you get the sense that they're all either (a) kids who were born in the 1990s, who first discovered rap via "Back That Ass Up" on TRL, and now they'd like to lecture you about an album called Illmatic, perhaps you've heard of it; (b) people they recruited from the tech community, the same people who program the website, so they don't have to cut as many checks; or (c) rooms full of people in India[2], who would otherwise be sewing together soccer balls, servicing western businessmen in brothels, and asking you weird questions you never gave them the answer to in the first place, so they can activate your Mastercard. #illuminati

One of the d-bags from Rap Genius made a song talking shit about me, and so fine, I posted it here. Generally, I will post rap songs that mention me (of which there must be 10 or 15 now - I wished I'd saved any of them for posterity), since they turn up infrequently enough that I don't have to sweat this site turning into a collection of nothing but rap songs about myself, thus crowding out the pictures of teenage girls. God forbid. Note that this wasn't a response to anything I'd written about them. All I did was not post a link to their site. They didn't like the idea that a black man could have a site of his own, in which he gets to decide what he does or does not link.

Other proof that Rap Genius is racist, from the Gawker post and elsewhere:

1) They brought in Nas, who can't afford the note on a $500,000 house, as a paid black cosigner, similar to Jay-Z's position with the Brooklyn Nets, the same Nas who said he'd slap the shout out of someone for not allowing Gwyneth Paltrow to use the dreaded n-word.

2) They brought in Meyhem Lauren to type up his own lyrics, so they could make money off of them, and they accidentally called him Smoke DZA.

3) They brought in Chief Keef to smoke weed for the camera (while he's on probation) and try to explain his lyrics, and then they made a video mocking him, once they realized he can't read.

4) The same douche who wrote a song about me wrote a song about Das Racist, in which he said that one of them looks like a dirty cigarette. LOL

5) In yet another dis song, about Willy Staley, who discussed the uselessness of Rap Genius in an article in the New York Times about the word Fanute(!), he lamented the fact that he can't use the dreaded n-word (in public).

6) A Rap Genius intern once emailed the guy who wrote the Gawker post wanting to know why he didn't think it's okay for CACs to use the dreaded n-word.

7) A buncha shit about how rap music can't be explained via simple lyric annotation that's neither here nor there to me personally, but could be viewed as racist, you know, just for the assumption.

8) Kool Herc, who invented rap music (just go along with this), can't afford to have his appendix taken out, or whatever was wrong with him a while back. Rap Genius, meanwhile, is racist and has $15 million.

9) If paying Nas to go around and slap people isn't sufficient to stave off accusations of racism, maybe they'll foot the bill for Kool Herc to have his appendix taken out, which could still be viewed as racist, for the paternalism.

10) They used fake ghetto slang in the press that they did re: the money they just got from the Illuminati, e.g. "Girl, we finna have an entire STORE of gear for each site."

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[1] I wonder if the insistence that their content is user generated (hence the IQ scores, the list of contributors in the sidebar, etc.) has anything to do with the loophole in the law that sites like YouTube use to get away with posting content that doesn't belong to them.

[2] People in India know how to speak English. The Times of India is the highest circulation English-language newspaper in the world. Which would explain why Rap Genius seems to know all of the meanings to lyrics that are really obvious.

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Byron Crawford a/k/a Bol is the celebrated author of several books, most recently NaS Lost: A Tribute to the Little Homey.

Copp dat:NaS Lost

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