Rap Genius’s IPhone App Puts Annotations In Your Pocket

The company said about half of its traffic comes from mobile devices, and foresees a future in which all of its traffic is mobile.

Rap Genius is bringing its user-generated annotations of the web to the iPhone. The company launched its first iPhone app, Genius, Tuesday, allowing fans to browse notations for song lyrics, news articles, poetry, history, and more.


“This is the true launch of Rap Genius,” cofounder Tom Lehman said in a statement, noting that about half of site’s traffic comes from mobile devices. “In 1,000 years, when the aliens land, ‘Rap Genius’ will literally mean ‘that dope iPhone app.’ This app has long been our users’ most-requested feature, and we’re pumped to finally deliver.”

In addition to browsing annotations, Genius can also pull up lyrics for songs in users’ iTunes libraries. The app can also surface lyrics and their annotations when it detects a song that’s playing.

A mobile app will mean less emphasis on search, especially since Lehman foresees a time when 100% of Rap Genius’s traffic will come from mobile. The company was recently in trouble with Google for its SEO practices, which has since been resolved.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.