Jay-Z’s debut foray into the literary world, “Decoded,” will be more than just a run-of-the-mill memoir — and not just because the author has led a far from run-of-the-mill life. The tome has been described as both an autobiography and analysis of some of Hov’s most acclaimed lyrics. However, Jay has recently said he wants “Decoded” to not just relay the story of his life and music, but also demonstrate the sophistication of hip-hop as a genre.
“I think, more so than anything, just to explain or to let people realize who just listen to rap [like] ’Let’s browse through it,’ to show people the depth in rap and its poetry,” Jay-Z told MTV News during a Miami event with Microsoft search engine Bing on Wednesday promoting the forthcoming release. “[I want to show] that rap is really poetry; it’s not just a bunch of guys putting rhyming words together. There’s thought behind it and there’s cleverness and there’s inspiration. There’s social reason and there’s political reason and there’s angst and there’s anger and all these different things inside music.”
Jay explained that many of the sensational elements of hip-hop expression get more attention from rap novices — an issue he feels can obscure the complexity of the content.
“For the casual listener — people who don’t listen to rap — what they do is listen for buzz words. So if somebody say ’bitch’ or somebody say one of those buzz words, it’s like, ’Aw, there they go again,’ “Jay said. “But they don’t realize the depth behind the writing.”
In the weeks leading up to the November 16 release of “Decoded,” Hov is making fans dig deep for a chance to check out an early look at the book. In partnership with Bing, the MC has tucked away pages of the tome in cities across the globe and has charged rap-loving sleuths with uncovering them by cracking a series of clues Hov will dish out. Jay dropped the first hint on Monday and followed up with another — nestled within the lyrics of his UGK-assisted hit “Big Pimpin’ ” — on Wednesday in Miami.
“Quite simply, it’s almost like a preview of the book. We put all these pages out into the world to be found, and then, through Bing, you bring it all back together and you can read the book,” Jay said. “That’s really the simple part of it. But for participating in it, you get these prizes, like if you’re the first one to find this page, you get it signed, you get it autographed, and it’s yours to keep. And there’s only one of them, so I thought that was pretty cool.”
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