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Insane lyrics, serious rivalries, and endless bling (and watches, and grills)—the hallmarks of the rap world don't always make sense to all of us. Indeed, it seems almost impossible to figure out what a song means before you're told to put your hands up and drop your ass low. Who has the time to decode those braggadocios lyrics anyways? Well, these guys do. That's right, meet our new friends Mahbod Moghadam, Tom Lehman, and Ilan Zechory, the three Yale grads who've made de-mystifying the words to "they-said-what?"-songs their
business biz-nass—and a very successful one at that.
After a serendipitous conception in 2009, the trio's brain-child-turned-sugar-daddy, Rap Genius, has helped millions of monthly readers better understand an endless array of fast-paced lyrics. Oh, and did we mention they've raised $15 million? To get in on the $$$-making dudes' secrets to success, we headed to Williamsburg for an up-close-and-personal interview and office tour, plus a chat that might inspire your own cash-cow idea. And when that happens, just remember who was there with you, on the ground floor.…
Click through to meet the tech start-up geniuses you've GOT to know.
Photographed by Maia Harms