Rap Geniuses in Yale Alumni Magazine (cc @rapgenius)

A couple of years ago, the three of them, Mahbod Moghadam ’04, Ilan Zechory ’06, and Tom Lehman ’06, were sprawled out in an East Village living room, gabbing. Moghadam, on leave from his law firm gig, ostensibly writing a law review article, was explaining lyrics by the rapper Cam’ron to Lehman, a rap newbie. Zechory chimed in. Bit by bit, Moghadam, a lifelong rap enthusiast, broke down the meaning of each lyric, explaining how you can’t take a line at face value, waxing eloquent about metaphor and meaning, until Lehman stopped him.

That, he told his friends, would make a great website. Then Lehman, a computer programmer working for a hedge fund, ran to his room and started coding. That night, he emerged with a prototype for a site he said would be the “Wikipedia of rap”: the ultimate resource for hip-hop fans seeking illumination of obscure references in their favorite songs.

Loving the cover shot.