Y Combinator backed startup RapGenius - web site where people explain rap lyrics - has received a whopping $15 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz. Since investing big bucks in what is, for now at least, a hip hop wikepedia sounds a bit crazy, Netscape co-founder turned superstar investor Marc Andreessen has an answer ready.
"First, there is the undeniable, irrepressible phenomenon that RapGenius already is â the definitive online community of rap aficionados; one of the fastest growing web sites in (startup incubator) Y Combinator's history".
But there's also a broader vision: create the internet's Talmud - Judiasm's key book of teachings, considered only second to the Torah. "Thereâs music in other genres and other languages, but what other categories?" asks an enthusiastic Andreessen. "Poetry, literature, the Bible, political speeches, legal texts, science papers. And those are just the start. We think the community will continue to expand beyond rap into all culture. The potential of this company is large."
Web annotation is also part of the greater vision, according to Andreessen, who co-created early browser Mosiac. "Only a handful of people know that the big missing feature from the web browser - the feature that was supposed to be in from the start but didn't make it - is the ability to annotate any page on the Internet with commentary and additional information."
Still, $15 million? "My partner Ben (Horowitz) is a noted rap fanatic...".