The street may find its own uses for things, but so does the academy.
RapGenius started as a way to comment on rap lyrics. The expansion to other song lyrics — accompanied by dropping ‘Rap’ from the name — was pretty obvious.
Less so is the appeal to the extreme highbrow. Perpetual super-student Chris Aldrich turned me on to the “off-label” uses in a glowing blog post. He mentions a Harvard MOOC on the early Christianity, which sent 20,000 students to Genius to comment on the letters of Paul the Apostle. There’s also a community busily glossing Latin texts. Want to read Caesar’s Gallic Wars? Bang.
Sanskrit is lagging — I was only able to find one item in the language, the Buddhist Heart Sutra. And that, sadly, is as yet unannotated.