How Genius Works Lyrics

Genius is the ultimate source of music knowledge, created by scholars like you from around the world, who share facts and insight about the songs and artists they love. How can you get involved?

You'll get your own profile page and the ability to follow other scholars and artists. Once you have an account, you can start adding knowledge and earning Genius IQ. If you're interested in adding knowledge with any of our international communities, you can do that, too! —&驳迟; More info on international communities

IQ is what we call the points you earn by adding knowledge. Every scholar has a total IQ number next to their name that represents how knowledgeable they are. —&驳迟; More info on IQ

  • Annotate Lyrics: Highlight any line in a song to start an annotation. Explain what a complicated lyric means, or add other interesting context. —&驳迟; More on annotations
  • Write Artist, Song & Album Bios: Write a few paragraphs that tell the story of an artist's career, or break down the key details of a specific song or album. —&驳迟; More on bios
  • Annotate Cover Artwork: Click through artwork found on any album page to start a cover art annotation —&驳迟; More on annotating cover art
  • Add Song Facts: Do you know who produced a song? What sample it uses? Where it was recorded? Add all the interesting data. —&驳迟; More on song facts
  • Transcribe Lyrics: Any scholar can add a song page. Post new lyrics when a song drops, add old songs we’re missing, or correct lyrics. —&驳迟; More on transcription
  • Make A Suggestion or Propose An Edit: Could an annotation or bio be improved? Tell us what's missing and it could get integrated. —&驳迟; More on suggestions & edits
  • Ask or Answer A Question With Q&A: Anyone can ask the Genius community a question. Want to know where a song peaked on the charts? Ask away! Know the answer and want to tell us? Let us (and the world) know. —&驳迟; More on Q&A

Everything on Genius is collaborative. Here's how we work together and communicate.

  • Annotations & Edits Are Reviewed: Anyone can add knowledge, but editors determine what becomes the official "Genius Annotation." —&驳迟; More on editorial review
  • Artists Add Knowledge Too: Creators who are "Verified" can write annotations, confirm lyrics, and co-sign good annotations from scholars. —&驳迟; More on Verified Artists
  • Upvotes & Pyongs: See something good on the site? Your cosign can have a real effect on the best knowledge rising to the top. —&驳迟; More on upvotes & pyongs
  • Follow People In The Newsfeed: See what other scholars are doing on the site, and get alerts when your favorite artists write annotations. —&驳迟;More on the newsfeed
  • Editors & Other Advanced Roles: Dedicated scholars who make good contributions can get additional powers and responsibilities. —&驳迟; More on editors & advanced roles
  • Direct Message Any User: Start a private conversation with anyone on Genius any time. —&驳迟; More on messages
  • The Forums: The Genius community loves talking about music and the details of our collaborative knowledge project. Get started now! —&驳迟; More on the forums
  • International Communities: Genius is thriving all around the world in many languages. Connect with scholars in your home country. —&驳迟; More on International Communities
  • Community Policy: Genius aspires to be a place where everyone feels welcome and safe. We take abuse and harassment seriously. —&驳迟; Read our full Community Policy

Below is a list of resources developed by the Genius Editorial Board to help educate everyone from budding contributors to seasoned veterans on editorial best practices. If you feel like we're missing something, send @streetlights a message.


  • How to Add Songs to Genius
  • How to Annotate & Edit on Genius
  • How to Edit Metadata on Genius
  • How to Add Song Credits to Genius
  • Formatting and Markdown Guide
  • Coaching: Best Practices
  • How to Translate Songs on Genius
  • How To Annotate Artwork On Genius
  • How to Get Verified on Genius
  • Commonly asked questions
  • What Is Plagiarism and How To Avoid It

Tate Talks?

  • Annotating Songs That Have More Than One Language
  • Annotation Style Guide
  • Avoiding The Stretch
  • Contextualising
  • How To Add First Hand Knowledge To An Annotation
  • How Do You Annotate Pop Music?
  • How To Annotate Problematic Lyrics
  • How best to clean up a song page? Removing Red, Deleting Annotations, Integrating/Rejecting Suggestions
  • Making Real Connections
  • Mastering The Song Bio
  • Mastering Linked Citation
  • Refining Language
  • Research And Interpretation
  • Updating Old Annotations With New Information
  • When And How To Use Quotes In Annotations
  • Removing Filler From Your Annotations
  • The Public Significance of Annotations
  • How to Correctly Cite A Bible Verse
  • Annotating Artwork
  • Writing Blurbs

How to Format Lyrics:

  • Type out all lyrics, even repeating song parts like the chorus
  • Lyrics should be broken down into individual lines
  • Use section headers above different song parts like [Verse], [Chorus], etc.
  • Use italics (<i>lyric</i>) and bold (<b>lyric</b>) to distinguish between different vocalists in the same song part
  • If you don’t understand a lyric, use [?]

To learn more, check out our transcription guide or visit our transcribers forum


Genius Annotation

This guide explains all the details of our collaborative knowledge project.

It’s intended as a manual for new users, and a reference tool for scholars looking to better understand all aspects of Genius, including our tips on writing good annotations…

The 10 Annotation Commandments:
Follow these rules of thumb to avoid having your annotation rejected by an editor.

  1. Don’t Restate The Lyric: Most lyrics don’t need to be explained—the meaning is obvious. Don’t just paraphrase them using other words! Not all lines need to be annotated.
  2. Write Like A Human: An annotation shouldn’t sound like a robot wrote it. Avoid overly complicated words, but don’t be too casual either.
  3. Watch Grammar & Spelling: Writing like a human doesn’t mean forgetting the basic elements of style. Annotations are important, so don’t undermine them with sloppy writing.
  4. Do Research & Hyperlink Sources: Avoid plagiarism and speculation by searching for original sources and putting the information in your own words. Don’t just cite or copy from Wikipedia. Be sure to link your sources in the annotation.
  5. Highlight All Relevant Lyrics: Don’t just highlight a single word—annotate at least one full line. Sometimes you need two or even four bars to get the full context, but be wary of highlighting more than four lines for an annotation.
  6. Master Formatting: Familiarize yourself with markdown, the basic code used in annotations that allows you to create italics, bold, blockquotes, and all the other formatting flourishes that will make your ’tates a joy to read.
  7. Include Media That Adds Depth: If you add an image, it should really illustrate something specific in the lyric, not just a general idea.
  8. Be Objective: Your annotations shouldn’t be rude or demeaning to the artist, and you shouldn’t write like a corny superfan.
  9. Be Concise: Here’s a good challenge: say what you mean in the fewest words possible. Wordiness ruins good annotations, but don’t go overboard—not providing enough information ruins tates, too. Annotations should have more than 50 characters.
  10. Be Evergreen: Avoid time-sensitive phrasing that will quickly become inaccurate (e.g. “two years ago,” “next summer,” “recently,” “upcoming,” etc).

Click here for more on writing annotations.

Ask us a question about this song
How can you edit a song's lyrics?
Genius Answer

Click the “Edit Lyrics” button at the top of the song page. Your ability to do so may depend on your IQ and certain specific situations.

How do I submit lyrics?
Genius Answer

Once you have over 100 IQ, you can click the “Add A Song” link at the top of the page to add lyrics to Genius. Search for the song first to make sure it’s not already on Genius! Learn more about transcription here.

How do you change your username and password?
Genius Answer

If you are not a moderator or staff member, you can change your username by scrolling to the upper-right hand corner of the website, clicking your avatar icon and then picking the option which says “View Profile.”

Once on your profile, under your avatar picture, you will see various options. Press the option which says “Change name, email address or password.” Here you can choose your new username, make sure it is not offensive and complies with the Genius community policy.

How do you annotate repeated lyrics or separated lyrics with one annotation?
What is penalty boxing?
How do you add an album cover to an existing album?
What does it mean if your suggestion gets archived?
Does translating a lyric count as restating it?
I can't upload my first profile picture, and I need 100 IQ. What should I do?
What can I do if my annotation was rejected, only to be added by another user?
How do I add gifs to annotations?
What can I do if no one reviews my annotation?
How can I find the 'Edit Lyrics'/'Edit Song Facts' buttons on mobile browser?
How do I create an article in Genius? Do I need a certain level of IQ?
How do you delete your account?
How can I upload my first profile picture
Fastest way to get IQ?
Is a certain IQ level needed to view Metadata, even if not enough to edit it?
Is there a way to play songs I look up?
How can I get verified if I'm not an artist?
Is there a certain amount of IQ that you must acquire before annotating?
How do I put "The lyrics for this song have yet to be transcribed" in a song?
What does it mean when your annotation has been archived
How can I insert a hyperlink in my annotation?
Can you block people from following you if you really do not want them to?
How do you use italics or bold print in lyric transcriptions?
How do you answer questions on a song?
I'm a scholar for song artists I never looked at. How do you become a scholar?
Can you have 2 accounts?
  1. 1.
    About Genius
  2. 2.
    How Genius Works
  3. 3.
    Community Policy & Moderation Guidelines
  4. 4.
    Genius FAQ
  5. 5.
    How to Get Verified on Genius
  6. 6.
    How to Add Songs to Genius
  7. 7.
    How to Add Song Credits to Genius
  8. 8.
    Genius Writing Resources
  9. 9.
    Formatting and Markdown Guide
  10. 10.
    How To Annotate Artwork On Genius
  11. 11.
    How To Annotate & Edit On Genius
  12. 12.
    How to Edit Metadata on Genius
  13. 13.
    How To Write Q&A On Genius
  14. 14.
    How to Embed Text and Annotations
  15. 15.
    How to Make Songs/Artists Lowercase
  16. 16.
    What is a Contributor?
  17. 17.
    What is a Transcriber?
  18. 18.
    What is an Editor?
  19. 19.
    What is a Mediator?
  20. 20.
    What is a Moderator?
  21. 22.
    How to Translate Songs on Genius
  22. 23.
    How to Annotate & Transcribe Musicals on Genius
  23. 24.
    Lit Genius Guidelines
  24. 25.
    Genius International Communities
  25. 26.
    Users’ Languages
  26. 27.
    Song Headers in Different Languages
  27. 28.
  28. 29.
    Thread-making Guidelines
  29. 30.
    Tags - Music (Genres/International)
  30. 31.
    Tags-Music (Type/Competitions/Festivals/Translations)
  31. 32.
    Tags - Non-Music
  32. 38.
    How to Transcribe Podcasts
  33. 39.
    Song Sections & Headers Guide
  34. 40.
    How to Create and Format a Cleanup Page
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Release Date
How Genius Works Translations
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