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Read this excerpt from Rap Genius cofounder Mahbod Moghadam’s forthcoming book

That time Mahbod Moghadam took his mom to see The Social Network — and came to a telling conclusion.

Rap Genius cofounder Mahbod Moghadam speaking at a conference in 2013. (Photo by Flickr user Hubert Burda Media, used under a Creative Commons license)
This is an exclusive excerpt adapted from Mahbod Moghadam's forthcoming book, Genius Inc.

To save money, I sublet my ghetto apartment for 2 months and flew to New York, to chill with [Rap Genius cofounders] Tom [Lehman] and Ilan [Zechory]. I was completely out of money at this point – Tom had flown me out, and Tom was giving me $1K a month to pay for food. Hummus was necessary, protein was secondary – I was weighing bout 145…very scary.

Before leaving for NYC I visited my family in LA, and the most notable thing about this visit was I took my mom to see The Social Network. Now…I NEVER go to movies. It is, like, against my religion. Also, I never kick it with my mom. I love her but…she irritates me. She is like the female version of me, I swear. But I don’t know what made me do it, I took Mamman to see The Social Network.

Also what’s funny is – Mamman doesn’t really speak English. So I had to translate the whole movie for her into Persian. Translating the movie I was watching, I was also living the movie I was watching. I felt like I was watching The Rap Genius Movie, this movie was actually about us. My voice was quivering throughout the entire thing, and Mamman kept crying too; she knew she was watching The Rap Genius Movie, too.

As soon as I got to New York and saw Tom – “TOM: did you see it?”

“I did dogg. Craziest movie ever.”

Seeing The Social Network was the defining moment that made me take Rap Genius seriously – it elevated Rap Genius from a “project” to my life’s work. Obviously, the character I related to the most – both ethnically as well as characteristically – was Eduardo. I loved Eduardo, I never knew about him before seeing the movie. As far as I was concerned, he was the one who came up the most – he got rich off of Facebook and he didn’t even have to do that much work. My goal in life now was to be the Eduardo of Rap Genius.

Read our Q&A with Moghadam
Companies: Genius
Series: Brooklyn

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