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Today's Most Innovative Company: Rap Genius Wants To Demystify Your Illnesses

The site that gained popularity for its crowdsourced annotations of rap lyrics wants to create a health vertical similar to WebMD.

Rap Genius started out in 2009 as an annotation platform for rap lyrics, but in the past year, flush with a $15 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz, it has expanded to different verticals: Poetry Genius (formerly Poetry Brain) demystifies stanzas; News Genius breaks down breaking news; a recent partnership with food media startup Food52 gave birth to annotated recipes.

Cofounder Mahbod Moghadam and Rock Genius editor Alex Koenig tell Fast Company there will be a dedicated Health Genius "in the near future" that would act almost like an annotated version of the popular online health information source WebMD. A couple of Health Genius-type posts are already floating around under the News Genius umbrella—one is on how to recognize symptoms of gout; the other is a dense, annotated list of Taco Bell's ingredients statement.

Will Rap Genius make it onto the next list of the world's Most Innovative Companies?

[Image: Flickr user Nikon Nutter 2009]