Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book #30 - Decoded

51B9zjtld6L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_I was reading an article that had a bunch of quotes from Jay-Z, and I found them interesting, so I grabbed Decoded. This is Shawn Carter’s work, as opposed to Empire State of Mind, which was pitched to Jay-Z and refused. I may read that one next.

The book is a series of stories and thoughts, written in the first person, from Jay-Z, going from his early life as a hustler and drug dealer and slowly moving into his career. However it doesn’t follow chronologically and there’s a lot of his career that’s obviously left out.

The thoughts are more commentary on the world, the industry, and a little bit of an explanation on why he writes the lyrics he does, and why he thinks he and other rappers are viewed by the rest of the world. It has a lot of social commentary and some observations about how race comes into play. I think that he’s both right and wrong in places, and it’s interesting to see him explain things from his point of view.

He also talks about specific lyrics, and a number of other lyrics are listed in the book to his raps. They aren’t complete, such as the missing parts of “Renegade” that Eminem sings, but there are notes about what the words mean, sometimes on multiple levels.

I enjoyed the book, and the imagery. This was a great experiment, with the pages from the book posted all over the world on various billboards, signs, even basketball backboards and an ad campaign that’s described. A good look at Jay-Z’s view of the world, though not necessarily much about how he came to become a mogul in the industry.

No comments: