Celebrity Interviews

Co-Founder of Genius.com Ilan Zechory Reveals Site Started With Dispute over Cam'ron Lyrics, Announces Eminem is Verified & Discusses Their Conversation

On a mission to annotate the world, Ilan Zechory of Genius.com (formerly rap genius) joins Sway In The Morning to talk about the forming mecca of websites for music fans across the world.

Stared in August of 2009 after a dispute with his friend and now co-founder of Genius over lyrics from Cam’ron’s “Purple Haze,” Zechory discusses how the original site was meant for rap music only.  Growing into more and more content from users who began to upload rock songs, poems, speeches and more, Zechory explains the meaning behind the change from Rap Genius to Genius.  From beef with Google to lawsuits of all different sorts we hear how Genius is loaded up with legal help to protect the site.

Announcing Eminem’s decision to become verified on Genius, Zechory reminisces on his time spent with the legendary Detroit emcee and his stories of coming up with lyrics while joking with members of D12.  Make sure to head to Genius.com and check out the brand new contributions from Eminem.


Icon of hip-hop culture and a pivotal part of the MTV News team, Sway has been a staple of the music-news arena for more than a decade. From giving Eminem, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac their very first radio airplay on his local show in the mid-’90s to providing television viewers with their first good look at some of today’s hottest celebrities in music, film, fashion and sports. Sway has been there for some of music and the world’s biggest moments.

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