Rap Genius Co-Founder Resigns Over California Killer Comments


(AllHipHop News) Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam is no longer working with the website after making comments related to the recent deadly killing spree in California.

Six people were killed during the massacre conducted by Elliot Rodger. Before implementing his self-described “Day of Retribution” and taking his own life, Rodger wrote a 141-page manifesto which Rap Genius posted on the site.

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Moghadam was credited as adding annotations to the post that called the writings “artful” and “beautifully written.” He also suggested that Rodger’s sister is “smokin’ hot.” Moghadam later apologized for the comments, but fellow co-founder Tom Lehman posted a statement on the site denouncing Moghadam’s annotations and announcing he is no longer with the company.

Lehman wrote in part:

Mahbod Moghadam, one of my co-founders, annotated the piece with annotations that not only didn’t attempt to enhance anyone’s understanding of the text, but went beyond that into gleeful insensitivity and misogyny. All of which is contrary to everything we’re trying to accomplish at Rap Genius.

Were Mahbod’s annotations posted by a new Rap Genius user, it would be up to our community leaders, who set the tone of the site and our approach to annotation, to delete them and explain to the new user why they were unacceptable.

Were Mahbod’s annotations posted by a Rap Genius moderator, that person would cease to be an effective community leader and would have to step down.

And Mahbod, our original community leader, is no exception. In light of this, Mahbod has resigned – both in his capacity as an employee of the company, and as a member of our board of directors, effective immediately.

Mahbod is my friend. He’s a brilliant, creative, complicated person with a ton of love in his heart. Without Mahbod Rap Genius would not exist, and I am grateful for all he has done to help Rap Genius succeed. But I cannot let him compromise the Rap Genius mission – a mission that remains almost as delicate and inchoate as it was when we three founders decided to devote our lives to it almost 5 years ago.