Rapgenius.com is a website that explains rap in, for lack of a better term, the whitest language possible. The site used to be called Rap Exegesis after all.

Here’s what it offers on Wu-Tang Clan’s “Protect Ya Neck”:

I smoke on the mic like smokin’ Joe Frazier:

“Deck compares his rap skills to the boxing abilities of “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier”

Rhymes rugged and built like Schwarzenegger

“A good self-description; Raekwon’s raps are husky and thick.”

And set it off, get it off, let it off like a Gat / I wanna break, fool, cock me back
Small change, they putting shame in the game / I take aim and blow that nigga out the frame

“Yet another rap/gun metaphor; Meth likens himself to a loaded ‘Gat’ (gun), just itching to shoot at ‘small change’ rappers whose association with ‘the (rap) game’ is shameful.”

The site seems less-than-extensive (a search for Das EFX and Sugar Hill Gang yielded nil), but serves it’s purpose – a term being used loosely – well enough for a Top 40 rap fan to get their pearly bearings in the scary world of rap poetics.

The Huffington Post:

(“A semi-decent rap song is better than 1000 Bibles combined. So why does the Bible get all the exegesis?”) will patiently explain for you. It’ll also call your attention to some charming metaphorical math that would’ve slipped right by me. How is this website only just getting started? Where was it when I arrived at college from a rural farm town and was shocked—shocked!—to find out that lots of intelligent people listened to rap? Not only listened to it but seemed to understand it! To me, the lyrics sounded like transmissions from another planet.

Rap Genius is young, but there are a lot more exegeses in progress than there were when I first clicked on the site. Also, they seem to be recruiting contributors from the comments section, so if you have encyclopedic knowledge of rap, get to it.

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