Decoded is a ebook like no different: a number of lyrics and their meanings that in combination inform the tale of a tradition, an artwork form, a second in historical past, and probably the most provocative and a success artists of our time.

Praise for Decoded

“Compelling . . . provocative, evocative . . . Phase autobiography, Phase lavishly illustrated observation at the creator’s personal paintings, Decoded provides the reader a harrowing portrait of the tough worlds Jay-Z navigated in his formative years, whilst at the similar time deconstructing his lyrics.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“One in every of a handful of books that almost any hip hop fan will have to personal.”The New Yorker
“Elegantly designed, incisively written . . . an excellent soar by way of a person who hasn’t ever been recognized for small steps.”Los Angeles Times
“A riveting exploration of Jay-Z’s adventure . . . So completely engrossing, it reads like a just right piece of cultural journalism.”The Boston Globe 

“Shawn Carter’s such a lot fair airing of the studies he drew directly to create the mythic determine of Jay-Z . . . The scenes he recounts alongside the way in which are interesting.”Entertainment Weekly 

“Hip-hop’s renaissance guy drops a vintage. . . . Heartfelt, passionate and slick.”Kirkus Reviews (starred assessment)
Amazon Easiest Books of the Month, November 2010: Like its multi-hyphenate creator, Jay-Z, Decoded is many stuff directly. At its middle, Decoded is an eloquent and candid memoir detailing the tale of a person who used to be born in a Brooklyn housing undertaking, spent his youngster years dealing medication at the streets of Trenton, New Jersey, and grew as much as be One in every of his era’s such a lot a success artists and businessmen. However Decoded is a lot more than a memoir: it is an intensely private homage to hip-hop, as written by way of a person who so obviously adores the artwork form; this is a uncommon glimpse of the swiftly deep meanings at the back of probably the most recognizable rap lyrics of the decade; and this is a really shifting number of essays on subjects starting from Storm Katrina to the decline of the track business. Unconventional sort layout, line drawings, and pictures visually emphasize the creator’s message that rap is a sort that transcends and defies simple categorization. There’s now not a lot in the way in which of superstar gossip right here, However what we get, as an alternative, is a gritty and exceptionally compelling glance throughout the cultural phenomenon of rap, from one of the crucial males who contributed such a lot to its form. –Juliet Disparte

Jay-Z on Decoded

When you are well-known and say you are writing a ebook, folks suppose that it is an autobiography–I used to be born right here, raised there, suffered this, liked that, misplaced all of it, were given it again, the tip. However that is not what that is. I have by no means been a linear philosopher, that’s one thing you’ll be able to see in my rhymes. They observe the jumpy good judgment of poetry and emotion, now not the immediately line of cautious prose. My ebook is like that, too.

Decoded is initially, a ebook of rhymes, that’s ironic as a result of I do not in fact write my rhymes–they arrive to me in my head and I document them. The ebook is jam-packed with the tales from my lifestyles which are the root of my lyrics–tales approximately arising within the streets of Brooklyn within the eighty’s and ninety’s, tales approximately turning into an artist and entrepreneur and finding worlds that I by no means dreamed existed while I used to be a child. However it at all times comes again to the rhymes. There may be poetry in hip-hop lyrics–now not simply mine, However within the paintings of all of the nice hip-hop artists, from KRS-One and Rakim to Biggie and Percent to 100 emcees on 100 corners all over the place the sector that you have by no means heard of. The magic of rap is in how it can take probably the most particular revel in, from person lives in not likely puts, and switch them into artwork that may be embraced by way of the entire international. Decoded is a ebook approximately a type of particular lives–mine–and can display you ways the issues I have skilled and seen have made their method into the artwork I have created. It is also approximately how my paintings is now and again now not approximately my lifestyles in any respect, However approximately pushing the bounds of what I will be able to specific in the course of the poetry of rap–making an attempt to make use of phrases to search out contemporary angles into feelings that all of us proportion, that’s the hidden project in even the toughest hip-hop. Decoded is a ebook approximately a few of my favourite songs–songs that I unpack and give an explanation for and encompass with narratives approximately what impressed them–However at the back of the rhymes is the truest tale of my lifestyles.