A Profile of RapGenius

by Reihan Salam

My only problem — and it’s a big one — with Devin Leonard’s profile of RapGenius and its colorful founders (who are friends of mine, I’m proud to report) is that he suggests that Cam’ron is Jamaican:

Lehman, Moghadam, and Zechory grew restless in the plum jobs each had landed after Yale. Three summers ago, Moghadam was crashing for a few weeks on the couch at his friends’ East Village pad. He and Lehman got into a spirited debate about the meaning of a line in the song, Family Ties, by Jamaican rapper Cam’ron: “80 holes in your shirt, there: your own Jamaican clothes.” Maghadam says: “I told him Cam’ron was simply talking about Rastas wearing tattered up clothes, like your clothes would look if you got shot up.” Lehman disagreed. To settle things, they decided to appeal to the wisdom of the crowd—and launched Rap Genius with Family Ties and two Jay-Z tunes. Soon a visitor to the site noted that Jamaicans wore mesh tank tops that were full of holes and suggested this was the best explanation.

This is insanity. Cam’ron, or “Killa Cam,” is from Harlem, not a violence-plagued Caribbean island known for its beautiful beaches and calypso rhythms. 

One of the scandalous facts Leonard did not disclose in his article is that the RapGenius founders are notorious for carrying enormous plastic jugs of water with them at all times, as they are addicted to hydration. 

The Agenda

NRO’s domestic-policy blog, by Reihan Salam.