Friday, October 29, 2010

Decoded by Jay Z

Decoded, written by Jay Z, will be released on November 16, 2010. and will retail for $35.00 but Amazon has it for 18.90 preorder.  I love Jay Z and see him as a lyrical master when it comes to music, but will that guarantee book sales? I think celebrity books are tricky because book lovers either love them or hate them. On the other hand fans who aren't usually readers might pick up the book and then find themselves wanting more. Will this be on your reading list? I must admit I am interested so this might find a place on my shelf…in January of course since I’m not buying anymore books until the New Year. Although if Jay Z comes to Houston for a book signing I’m there; Houston is Beyonce’s hometown afterall! Review

Jay-Z on Decoded When you're famous and say you're writing a book, people assume that it's an autobiography--I was born here, raised there, suffered this, loved that, lost it all, got it back, the end. But that's not what this is. I've never been a linear thinker, which is something you can see in my rhymes. They follow the jumpy logic of poetry and emotion, not the straight line of careful prose. My book is like that, too.
Decoded is first and foremost, a book of rhymes, which is ironic because I don't actually write my rhymes--they come to me in my head and I record them. The book is packed with the stories from my life that are the foundation of my lyrics--stories about coming up in the streets of Brooklyn in the 80's and 90's, stories about becoming an artist and entrepreneur and discovering worlds that I never dreamed existed when I was a kid. But it always comes back to the rhymes. There's poetry in hip-hop lyrics--not just mine, but in the work of all the great hip-hop artists, from KRS-One and Rakim to Biggie and Pac to a hundred emcees on a hundred corners all over the world that you've never heard of. The magic of rap is in the way it can take the most specific experience, from individual lives in unlikely places, and turn them into art that can be embraced by the whole world. Decoded is a book about one of those specific lives--mine--and will show you how the things I've experienced and observed have made their way into the art I've created. It's also about how my work is sometimes not about my life at all, but about pushing the boundaries of what I can express through the poetry of rap--trying to use words to find fresh angles into emotions that we all share, which is the hidden mission in even the hardest hip-hop. Decoded is a book about some of my favorite songs--songs that I unpack and explain and surround with narratives about what inspired them--but behind the rhymes is the truest story of my life.

Decode on Amazon

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