Jay-Z Has 99 Problems But A Book Ain’t One

Written by Rizoh. Posted in Hip-Hop 101

Published on September 22, 2010 with 5 Comments

Jay-Z has a new book coming out on November 16, and the Andy Warhol-inspired cover was revealed today. Its title, Decoded, is slightly misleading. Contrary to rumors, this isn’t the book where Jay gets misty-eyed about his rough childhood or dishes dirt on his marriage to Beyonce. Now that would be one hell of a bestseller. Instead, it’s Jay-Z yapping about Jay-Z’s lyrics. What’s that sound? Did I just hear your interest plummet straight to the ground? Decoded isn’t a particularly appealing concept in a world where salacious sells, but it’s still an interesting idea sure to win over lyrics junkies. It’s neither necessary nor  unnecessary. You can’t simply decide that by glancing at the book title and press release.

Decoded peels back the veil on 36 songs from Jay-Z’s catalog.While Jay-Z is no Canibus, he does care about lyrics and it shows. You could make the case that he’s underrated as a lyricist.

Also, a good portion of this book was devoted to spelling out the real-life stories that inspired his lyrics – tales that would exist solely as topics of heated debates in Jay-Z fandom without its main player putting those speculations to rest. Subliminal disses, non-disses misread as shots, street portraits drawn from experience, etc. I want to know the stories behind those songs. I’m a rap nerd like that.

TRU

Rizoh

Rizoh is the most powerful man in all the lands. He lives in Houston where he earned a BS in Nerf Herding. He's the founder of The Rap Up, the former editor of Roc4Life.com, and is in the Grammy-awaiting band Pervertable Disciples.

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5 Comments

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  1. “I dumbed down for my audience to double my dollars…”

    • Yep, that one line pretty much sums up the man’s 15-year career.

      • and yet he still has many songs that aren’t dumbed down at all… so he kinda mislead alot of the jay-z haters out there with that line…

      • and yet he still has many songs that aren’t dumbed down at all… so he kinda mislead alot of the jay-z haters out there with that line…

      • and yet he still has many songs that aren’t dumbed down at all… so he kinda mislead alot of the jay-z haters out there with that line…

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