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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inside Jay-Z And The Art Of Hip Hop
It's hard to define just what this book by Jay-Z actually is; it's not autobiography, not picture book and not lyric sheet. But somehow it manages to be all these things. In an incredibly engaging and intriguing style, Jay-Z reveals anecdotes about his life, notes on some of his favourite lyrics and thoughts on many subjects usually involving rap, hustling and life on the...
Published on 2 Dec 2010 by Michael Cater

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1.0 out of 5 stars Jay Z decoded
Totally rubbish never been so bored in my life this book was just pointless waste of money, waste of post and packaging. And most of all waste of my time I read most of it but gave up half way through cause I was bored.
Published 3 months ago by Bubbles


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inside Jay-Z And The Art Of Hip Hop, 2 Dec 2010
By 
Michael Cater (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decoded (Hardcover)
It's hard to define just what this book by Jay-Z actually is; it's not autobiography, not picture book and not lyric sheet. But somehow it manages to be all these things. In an incredibly engaging and intriguing style, Jay-Z reveals anecdotes about his life, notes on some of his favourite lyrics and thoughts on many subjects usually involving rap, hustling and life on the streets. The content is accentuated throughout with pictures of himself and others that have inspired or interested him.

Decoded is a fairly short read, but a thoughtful one as well, which demands to be returned to. If you're interested in Jay-Z you'll find it essential; similarly, if you want to study the art of hip hop, you won't go far wrong, as it contains many insightful comments and advice. For casual readers, with little interest in the author or in rap music, it may not hold your attention as avidly. Me? I thought it was awesome.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jay-Z Decoded, 6 Dec 2010
By 
A. Greenwood (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decoded (Hardcover)
I've been a Jay-Z fan for a while now, I own most albums by Jay and would consider him one of my favourite artists in hip-hop, so when I stumbled across this book, a possible in sight in to a man that has always seemed very closed and some what a mystery, you don't hear anything about his celebrity marriage with beyonce, a very high profile couple that did not become a tabloid story, the next posh & becks, I respect this man, he seems real. In my eyes it was a must read, so much so it was the first book I ever pre-ordered.
To start, a very well presented book. Even of you don't get round to reading it, the appearance of this book is striking, the gold design on a white back ground is, to play it down, eye catching.
Threw out the book, at the end of most chapters, Jay decodes lyrics, which gives good insight in to the style and influences on the man. Particularly enjoyable on the songs you know, as you pick up on things that you may have miss heard or not put thought into. The only down side of this is that at times it can be hard to read.
One thing to note is that it's a quick read, just over 300 pages but with lots of full colour, full page pictures that aid the reader into understanding.
As with any musician writing a biog he mention though out the book his influences on him and his music, this I found really entertaining, so much so that I'm re reading and taking names, as a means to understand the man more.
BUT, I felt this book lacked. We get a glimpse of the man but I want a good look. There is no talk of him marriage, I respect his privacy, but this is a biography after all so where's the life story. He recent opened up in an interview about how he once shot his brother, when I heard this I thought this might be some side marketing for the book but there was no mention of this in the book.
DONT GET ME WRONG, if you like jay you will like this book, maybe love it, but I want more. Maybe my mistake is I read a biography of Jay-Z and expected biography Shawn Carter.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legend., 5 July 2011
This review is from: Decoded (Hardcover)
I have not yet had time to finish the book, and I hope I never do. After reading parts here and there, I know that this book is going to be something I have looked for for years. Jay-Z is unmatched. He has also had a heightened sense of the world and its workings. However, these past years, after he made his "comeback", his depth and perspective have become even more developed and giving.

This book is epic. He is covering unchartered territory, which I, as a complete rap fan, could not be more happy for. Yes, he's commercial and all that, but I get caught up in the actual meaning of his most important rhymes, and that is where this book is amazing. Especially since I am a middle class, white girl, from Norway.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Jay Z decoded, 15 May 2014
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This review is from: Decoded (Hardcover)
Totally rubbish never been so bored in my life this book was just pointless waste of money, waste of post and packaging. And most of all waste of my time I read most of it but gave up half way through cause I was bored.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great read, 13 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Decoded (Hardcover)
if your a jay-z fan then this is a great read. The product was delivered in great condition. highly recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 5 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Decoded (Hardcover)
Great book about Jay-Z and what he's been through. It's also great to decode his songs. Well worth it. Awesome book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jay Z-Decoded, 10 Jan 2012
This review is from: Decoded (Hardcover)
i am a big fan of jay z but never thought anything of his books and right away when i got a kindle i thought i would look into sampling this one. i was glued to it. it so interesting and hooks you right in with all the details of shaun carters amazing life and how he started with nothing. this is a realy good buy and i would recomend it to anyone. an amazing and facinating book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Decodedly Interesting, 13 Nov 2011
This review is from: Decoded (Hardcover)
This book took me to a place I didn't even know existed. It was a birthday present from my sister who knows I'm a Jay Z fan. Not in the screaming, die-hard, I hate Beyonce cos she's got my man way. When I first bumped into his music, I thought his gift was interesting. About 12 years ago, I realised that he was peotic. I'd listened to rap for a long time before Jay Z but he was the one who made me realise that these cats really have a way with words; they're telling a story which weaves in and out with a beginning, middle and an end and there was real darkness and humour in the way they put their words together. If it wasn't for my love of the English language and my fascination with words and their meaning, I probably would have never given Jay Z a second thought, but somehow the way he composed his lyrics made me sit up and listen.

So... the book. I thought it was going to be a light biography for some reason. Instead, it was another reason for me to sit up and listen. This man is extra-ordinary in many different ways. In parts of the book I clearly understood him, I also admired him and I think he's a total one-off and in others, especially some of the lyrics; he came across like some kind of mad-cryptic-scientist... in a good way. I mean, he's incredily deep with a humourous flip-side.

The book is interesting, insightful and intriguing and I dread the day I reach my final page which is quite likely going to be within the next 24 hours!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Was well recieved., 11 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Decoded (Hardcover)
Brought this as a gift for my other half, who is a Hiphop/Rap fan. He was delighted to recieve it, as he'd tried and failed to get hold of a decently priced copy. He respects Jay Z greatly, and this was the cherry on the cake. Great birthday/christmas gift for anyone who has more than a passing interest in the genre. And Amazon beat all others on price!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great idea for a gift, 6 Jun 2011
This review is from: Decoded (Hardcover)
Bought this as a birthday present for my friend. He loves hip hop, but finds books are too much hard work. This is an excellent way to create interest in reading for hip hop music fans, opening the door to more literary avenues.
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Decoded by Jay-Z (Hardcover - 16 Nov 2010)
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