Torenberg, though, thinks of himself as a rapper, and that affects the way he interacts with his site.

"The reason I made the website is because I wanted to learn how to rap," he says.

Bronx rapper YC the Cynic, one of the better up-and-coming rappers in the city, vouches for Torenberg's talent: "I participated in a real-life cipher with [Torenberg]. He's incredible. And I never say that. He's one of the best at freestyling that I've ever heard in my life."

Battle-tested: rapt.fm CEO and co-founder Erik Torenberg
Courtesy of rapt.fm
Battle-tested: rapt.fm CEO and co-founder Erik Torenberg

Torenberg's attitude toward hip-hop informs the community that he's created. Every employee at Rapt is encouraged to use the site and learn about the rap community. The emphasis is on sharing and empowering those who might be too timid to participate in or lack access to hip-hop communities. Not to mention that Rapt encourages rap meritocracy. All that matters is how well you perform.

"Just seeing this is joyous," says Dres. "It very well may become a tool that sharpens the new generation of emcees."

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