Description: This is the intimate, first-person chronicle of the life and work of Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter in Brooklyn's notorious Marcy Projects, now known to many as the greatest rapper alive. Told through lyrics, images and personal narrative, Decoded shares the story of Jay-Z's life through the 10 codes that define him, giving an unparalleled insight into his background, influences and the artistic process that shapes his work. Each chapter features a highly personal narrative section followed by a visually captivating selection of his most famous and provocative lyrics underlining the chapter's themes, along with Jay-Z's own 'decoding' of each lyric, uncovering the wordplay and stories behind the song. This is a brilliant insight into the art and poetry of hip-hop, as well as the life of one of the genre's greatest artists.
Decoded is a book like no other: a collection of lyrics and their meanings that together tell the story of a culture, an art form, a moment in history, and one of the most provocative and successful artists of our time.
"Hip-hop's renaissance man drops a classic. . . . Heartfelt, passionate and slick."- Kirkus, starred review
"Compelling . . . provocative, evocative . . . Part autobiography, part lavishly illustrated commentary on the author's own work, Decoded gives the reader a harrowing portrait of the rough worlds Jay-Z navigated in his youth, while at the same time deconstructing his lyrics."-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"One of a handful of books that just about any hip hop fan should own."- The New Yorker
"Elegantly designed, incisively written . . . an impressive leap by a man who has never been known for small steps."- Los Angeles Times
"A riveting exploration of Jay-Z's journey . . . So thoroughly engrossing, it reads like a good piece of cultural journalism."- The Boston Globe
"Shawn Carter's most honest airing of the experiences he drew on to create the mythic figure of Jay-Z . . . The scenes he recounts along the way are fascinating."- Entertainment Weekly
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Decoded" is an intimate, first-person portrait of the life and art of Jay-Z, organized around a "decoding" of his most famous and provocative lyrics. This beautifully designed, fully illustrated book offers a surprising and revealing look at the life, influences, and artistic process of one of the most successful, widely admired, controversial, and compelling figures in American culture today.