Rap Genius launched in 2009 as a way to help others better understand the meaning behind rap lyrics, but it’s since expanded into other areas as well. On Friday, the site dropped the “Rap” from its name and rebranded as “Genius” to better reflect its broader focus.
“Any text can be as layered, as allusive and cryptic, as worthy of careful exegesis as rap lyrics,” Genius cofounders Tom Lehman and Ilan Zechory explained in a post announcing the change. “Furthermore, it’s simply not possible to create a website that annotates rap alone, just as it’s not possible to create a website that annotates any individual slice of human culture—because no slice of human culture stands on its own.”
The new name and broader focus are only part of the changes for the site formerly known as Rap Genius. Genius will soon morph from a mere website to a full-fledged “platform,” its founders say, and will soon “release tools that will allow anyone to make their website annotatable.”
It all sounds very cool, assuming it all works well, and it’ll be interesting to see where Rap Ge—er, Genius takes it from here.