If you ever read Byron Crawford‘s writings you know the guy does not hold back. The blogger has started a one-man cruisade against the popular wiki-like rap lyrics resource RapGenius.com after he received some screencaps of the private editor chat room that contained some highly distasteful jokes about slavery. Bol says he then received a threat from the RapGenius editors, which prompted him to really go in and write, among many other things, that rappers with verified accounts are duped, RapGenius’s founders don’t know anything about rap and called one of them a former Persian Zionist turned Jihadi (Scroll through the many more claims and heavily sarcastic rants yourself but be warned Bol’s site is slightly NSFW). The war of words eventually even managed to temporarily shut down the RapGenius servers.
Several people, Sean Price among them (not exactly a dude that minces words either), defended RapGenius and denied the validity of allegations of racism against them.
— M.I.C. TYSON (@SeanMandela) October 30, 2012
The thing is, even if (and I stress the word “if” here because I don’t know any of these people personally) RapGenius is set up by a bunch of douchebags without any knowledge of hip-hop, they’ve still built a digital infrastructure that resulted in the most expansive and complete rap lyric archive to be found online. Their content simply reigns supreme in their field, regardless of what kind of guys they are themselves. The social element they’ve introduced, the points system and the openness of it, have made it a site where knowledge is pooled by its visitors to great effect, making them skyrocket to the #8 position in The Source’s Digital Power 30 this year and scoring a $15,000,000 investment.
It’s a shame their social skills can’t be improved by visitors though.