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I have admired Jay-Z.  For his lyrical prowess.  The man has spent his career literally weaving, what should be, pages and pages of information into neat 16 bar segments.  A skill very few can do WELL.

Now he has successfully done the opposite.  Expanded the narratives – the ones he has spent a lifetime deftly compacting into quick witty lines – into pages.

“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.” (Taken from the book’s preface)

Since the day “Reasonable Doubt” dropped I have admired Jay as an incredible wordsmith and a gifted storyteller.  Over the years I have appreciated watching his growth – in lyrical mastery and content, as an icon and as a public relations genius.  If the design and lay out of the book are any indication of his personal design tastes, I am impressed there as well (the book is visually beautiful).

Hip hop fan or not.  Jay-Z fan or not.  The book is worth a read.  And if you are a fan of either…then it’s a must.

Get it here from Amazon or any bookstore.