music is life, music is breath, music is us

Breaking Down the Complexity of Rap with Genius

For those that don’t share an appreciation for it as fans do, hip hop music might sound nonsensical. But much like poets, rappers write their songs with underlying or hidden meanings, connotations that are not always uncovered upon your first listen. At times, you won’t even comprehend what words or phrases are expressed with songs, a common problem that most people find with artists working with this genre of music. Madame Noir names more than ten singers and rappers that a majority of people have a hard time understanding what they’re trying to say in their songs.


Luckily, avid hip hop fans have been contributing their opinions and thoughts on song meanings on, untangling confusing wordplay which is coupled “oblique references, inside jokes, and regional slang.” But it wasn’t enough to simply have a website that rap lovers could refer to. Demands have changed, and once people hear a new rap single on the radio with obscure lyrics, curiosity strikes the mind and they want to look up song meanings right away on their phones. If they put it off for later, they might just forget about it altogether.

In this day and age, everything has to be mobile friendly in order for it to be relevant. Accessing internet on smartphones and tablets is on par, if not superior, to accessing internet on PCs, as convenience appeals to the consumer. According to James Harrison, the man behind mobile gaming website Pocket Fruity, there is even some debate as to which method is better for launching apps: native apps or HTML 5. Still, launching into mobile markets is an ongoing trend that developers follow so that they can stay connected to consumer interest, such as those that want to keep up with the hip hop industry.


This is where Genius comes in, a free app that does much more than what the website is capable of. Utilizing the technology of Shazam, Genius can identify songs and immediately display the lyrics, so that you can read them as the particular song is playing in the background. Other than user comments with song interpretation and explanations, some lyrics are accompanied with songs from SoundCloud. If you allow the app to access your music, it’ll find the lyrics of the song you have currently playing. Recently, functions of the app expanded to incorporate rock music, poetry, and even news in the music industry.

Hip hop fan or not, this is an interesting and useful app to have. Unfortunately, Genius is only available on iOS, but it’s an app worth downloading if you own an iPhone or iPad.

(from a contributor)


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