Eminem is putting his money where his lyrics are. The Detroit rap mogul is investing in lyric and annotation behemoth, Genius, in a new partnership with the rapper and Shady Records, Billboard can exclusively report.
Joining a star-studded roster of investors including Nas and Pharrell, Eminem will continue annotating his newly released music on the site. Genius will also serve as the official lyrics engine for Eminem.com and all of Shady Records’ online properties.
“Coming up we would always obsess over the lyrics from our favorite MCs. Picking everything apart, trying to get into their heads,” Eminem said in a statement. “I still do that today and Genius helps to make it a worldwide conversation. Pretty amazing to me.”
Paul Rosenberg, Eminem’s manager and Shady Records co-founder, added: “Genius provides an avenue for fans to dig deeper into their favorite songs, but more importantly, it gives artists a way to communicate their artistic intent directly to those fans. For an artist like Eminem, the intricacies and nuances in his lyrics are very layered and his art is a perfect fit for this type of tool. We’re excited about what this partnership brings for both sides.”
Founded in 2009 by Tom Lehman and Ilan Zechory, the Brooklyn, NY-based company continues to pride itself on being the world’s largest e-hub of song lyrics and crowd-sourced music knowledge. Earlier this year, Genius tapped Marshall Mathers to annotate some of his biggest hits including “Rap God,” “Stan” and “Lose Yourself,” alongside tracks by the Notorious B.I.G., 50 Cent and Royce da 5’9”.
“Any discussion of the greatest rapper of all time has to include Eminem, so working with him and Shady Records is just incredible as a fan,” said Zechory, Genius co-founder and president. “With Genius we’re trying to create something like a museum of songs — we want to give all the great ‘behind the music’ stories from Eminem a permanent home for fans to enjoy.”
With a monthly reach of more than 45 million people, Genius has expanded since its humble beginnings as Rap Genius, a website for annotating hip-hop lyrics. The site has also attracted nearly $60 million in investments since 2011.