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Rap Genius

"Q&A Guidelines"

Asking Questions

Before asking a question, first ask yourself:

  • Has this question already been answered in the song bio?

Always check to see if the answer you are looking for is in the song bio before asking a question. The Q&A section and the song bio should work in tandem.

  • Is the question I'm asking relevant to the song?

Genius is built with individual song pages. All knowledge is curated around these pages, so make sure your questions are only relevant to the song you're asking them on.

  • Is there a specific, definable answer that I am looking for?

Questions can be answered more efficiently if the meaning is clear. If you aren't sure what type of answer you are looking for, you may want to rephrase the question.

Archiving

In general, you should archive:

  • Any statements (ex. “I love this song,” “this rocks”)
  • Questions that can’t be deciphered or understood
  • Questions that reword a previously answered question
  • Questions that ask “what does the song mean?” in one way or another. This is covered in the song bio for the whole song, or in line-level annotations for specific parts.
  • Old default questions that are not answered.
  • Questions that are already answered in the song bio
  • Questions that are directed towards the artist (ex. “Why did you decide to play this song in Berlin?”)
  • Questions that have been answered, but where the question and/or answer do not meet the expectations set in this guide

Lyric Corrections

Archive the question, but make sure you upvote it first to show the creator their contribution was valuable. If the lyric suggestion was legitimate, make the correction! Tag @transcribers for help if you're not sure.

Editing Questions

Some questions have a good meaning behind them, but may need to be rewritten. This could be because of the wording, or because of spelling or grammatical errors.

Questions that “answer themselves” are also good candidates for editing. If the question can be answered with just a “yes” or “no,” try to reword it in a way that the question doesn’t overpower the answer. For example: “Is it true that the artist wrote this song in an igloo?” could be rewritten as, “Where was this song written?”

Pinning & Ordering Questions

Pin questions and answers that best introduce the reader to the song or which are the most interesting. Order them in the same way; put the most relevant ones at the top.

Pinned questions are the only questions that appear by default, so they should be the best ones on the page! Don’t pin any questions that may expire with time, such as questions about singles that haven’t been released yet.

Answer Length

Answers should not be as in-depth as annotations. Answer the question as effectively and concisely as you can. If the question is answered more thoroughly in an existing line-level annotation, link to it in your answer.

Media in Answers

Embed videos and images sparingly, and only if necessary to supplement the answer. Too much embedded media in the Q&A section can stretch the page unnecessarily and limit its aesthetic appeal.

Answering Your Own Questions

Asking and answering your own questions is encouraged. If you find a piece of information that would be interesting to the reader, but may not work in an annotation or song bio, add it in a concise question and answer. A good way to think about a self-answered question is, "Does this compliment the song bio?"

"What have the artists said about the song?"

This happens to be the generic question on every song page as simply a means of getting the casual Genius user to notice the Q&A section. That being said, it can be used effectively. When answering this question, avoid excessive media. If it is incorporated, ensure there's some text to accompany it --- a short transcription of the audio, some context, etc. Moreover, restrict it to specific items about the song itself; quotes about the production process can belong in a separate question. As always, make sure the content is interesting, relevant, and adds something not already apparent.

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