Annotating the Mind Behind ‘Genius’: Our College Pick

After Rap Genius cofounder Mahbod Moghadam was forced out of the company for writing horrible Tweets about a spree killer’s manifesto, the public’s interest shifted to the next misuse of social media. Not so for Yale Herald writer Kohler Bruno, who wondered what Moghadam’s life was like sans free Whole Foods and away from Genius, now with a valuation just shy of $1 billion. Moghadam lives in LA and doesn’t care for New York, so many of the conversations between reporter and subject were conduced over the phone or via email or text. It is a 21st-century way to profile someone who lived life online. Throughout the story, Bruno seems as confused as anyone what to make of Moghadam, whose “jokes” are difficult to parse. The piece itself is annotated, a comment not only on Genius’s gimmick, but on the nature of the reporting itself.

The Genius Out in the Cold

Kohler Bruno | The Yale Herald | January 22, 2015 | 5,853 words (23 minutes)