Hip hop mogul, Jay-Z is made headlines earlier this week, as the details about his memoir, “Decoded” surfaced on the internet. Billboard.com reported that the book will come fully illustrated, including a feature of an Andy Warhol image, “Rorschach”. The book decodes 36 songs from Jay-Z’s catalog as he explained in an excerpt from the book:
“When I first started working on this book, I told my editor that I wanted it to do three important things. The first was to make the case that hip-hop lyrics-not just my lyrics, but those of every great MC-are poetry if you look at them closely enough. The second was I wanted the book to tell a little bit of the story of my generation, to show the context for the choices we made at a violent and chaotic crossroads in recent history. And the third piece was that I wanted the book to show how hip-hop created a way to take a very specific and powerful experience and turn it into a story that everyone in the world could feel and relate to.”
According to Chris Jackson, Executive Editor of Spiegel & Grau, Decoded is a narrative journey through the lyrics and life of one of the most prolific artists of our time. As Jackson puts it:
“This is a book that could only have come from JAY-Z. Every aspect of it reflects his style and ambition and heart. The unique structure he devised – combining intense personal narratives with revealing ‘decodings’ of some of his most powerful lyrics – underlines his central mission for the book: to use his famously layered and poetic lyrics and his one-of-a-kind life story to tell a wider story about the world he grew up in and the transformative power of hip-hop. JAY’s rigorous attention to every detail of the book, right down to the book’s jacket, which he art directed, was impressive, and the depth of his thinking – about his experiences and lyrics, but also about the creative process, the poetry of hip-hop, and the art of life – was a constant revelation. This is a book that will offer gratifying surprises and insights to both the long-time JAY-Z fan and to the reader who might meet him here for the first time.”
Decoded will drop November 16, 2010. However, the book is available for pre-order at Amazon.com today.