Google ain't havin' that with Rap Genius

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Rap Genius

When we tried to Google search “Rap Genius Mo' Money Mo' Problems” this morning to see if the interactive community leaders in rap quotation and annotation had updated its entry for the Notorious B.I.G. 90s hit with “a track loosely based around the year we're having at the office” footnote, Google was still boxing out Rap Genius from any form of hard in the paint SEO grabs.

As reported by Slate, The Los Angeles Times and Pitchfork, Google is taking issue with the Rap Genius business model of “offering bloggers exposure through its social media accounts in exchange for links to its website on their music blogs.” According to the LA Times, the breach happened after Rap Genius posted a status on Facebook asking bloggers to join an affiliate program. Essentially, Google dropped the needle on Heltah Skeltah's “I Ain't Havin' That', said “fuck that” in the mic, and dedicated the selection to Rap Genius.

This road block for Rap Genius comes after the National Music Publishers' Association kicked in the door, waving the take down notice with claims that Rap Genius was among 50 lyrics websites publishing lyrics without obtaining the proper licsense. As it tends to go, the greedhead attacks arrived after Rap Genius recieved a $15 million investment from venture firm Andreessen Horowitz last year.

Rap Genius published an open letter to Google, detailing its SEO strategy and where it feels it may have forsaken the almighty search engine. The letter includes a “we will bend over backwards” section in which the founders state they will learn Google's rules inside and out in order to comply properly. In a post-script, Rap Genius held no punches in including annotations to areas in which it believes its competitors also broke the rules. Pretty sure, that breaks rap code regarding snitching.

As of 3:30 p.m. EST on December 27, 2013 Google has yet to publish a Aubreyian (see also: Drakeian) “who?” rebuttle to Rap Genius' Kendrick on “Control”-esque letter.