Teach Me How to Startup
Visitors who search for Harlem rapper Azealia Banks’s breakout hit “212,” on Rap Genius, an online platform that crowdsources explanations of hip-hop lyrics, will find nearly every verse annotated by the site’s users, who clocked more than 2 million monthly uniques in August, according to comScore. Click on the line “Now she wanna lick my plum in the evening/ And fit that ton-tongue d-deep in,” and a pop-up immediately appears explaining that Ms. Banks is employing a metaphor for cunnilingus and that “She stutters the words tongue and deep to mimic the stuttering that occurs when one receives such a gift.” That exegesis received 11 upvotes, earning the contributor jamima-j, a female “slam poetry writer,” a healthy bump in “Rap IQ” points on the site.
Readers might find her analysis either amusing or unnecessary. But the reigning kings of Sand Hill Road, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, view Rap Genius as “one of the most important things we’ve ever funded,” co-founder Ben Horowitz told Betabeat last week. The prominent VC firm, which clawed its way into the Silicon Valley firmament in just three years by aggressively plowing millions into fast-growth tech startups like Facebook, Pinterest, foursquare and Airbnb, often at towering valuations, were the sole investors behind the site’s $15 million Series A.
What’s in a name? A lot, if it happens to be Touré: not only did the young Rolling Stone writer and MSNBC contributor deliver a passionate takedown of 9/11 coverage on Dylan Ratigan last week, but in the days that followed, he’s also managed to a) Start a Twitterversy about what your tipping percent says about you as a person, b) release a book about what it means to be black in today’s culture, c) and announce that he’ll be co-authoring Nas’ memoir. Last night in Brooklyn’s Greenlight bookstore, Touré celebrated the release of his latest book Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness. Hosted by Terry McMillian, the party got hot amidst the crushing fans all trying to squeeze their way into the Forte Greene venue.
Nasty Nas is writing a memoir, It Ain’t to Hard to Tell with the assistance of Touré, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone (who also has a book, Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?, coming out today on Free Press).
It started a couple of weeks ago, with the unlikeliest of progenitors: The Boss.
Bruce Springsteen dedicated a live rendition of his hit "Born In The U.S.A." to Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. Everybody cheered, even though that song isn’t really a "go America!" kind of song at heart, and after all these years of defending Read More
Yesterday, The Observer‘s Bharat Ayyar reported on MoveOn.org and rapper Nas’ protest outside of Fox News headquarters in Manhattan.
Last night, Nas appeared on The Colbert Report to explain himself. When asked by Mr. Colbert why he thinks Fox is racist, Nas (real name Nasir Jones) said, "It’s obvious. Everybody that has Read More
Rapper Nas joined members of MoveOn.org and Color of Change today outside FOX News headquarters to protest what they say is the network’s racist coverage of Barack Obama, black institutions and black people. Color of Change claims about 620,000 people signed petitions against FOX News.
An hour after he was scheduled Read More
"We’re moving to a new facility, but we’re bringing all the good memories to the new facility, so hopefully it will be fine," Yankee reliever Mariano Rivera was saying to The Observer Monday night.
"We’re not moving that far, you know; a few blocks, a block, just half a block."
Texas Ranger Josh Read More
It seems safe to say that Brooklyn’s The Hold Steady has become one of New York’s most beloved indie bands. After all, back in 2005, with only two albums under its belt, it was the first rock act in about 15 years to grace the Village Voice’s cover. Its new album, Stay Positive, was released Read More