There are many reasons why people may want to read the book written by a famous rapper and entrepreneur, Shawn Corey Carter, known as Jay-Z. Some people are eager to read Decoded because of their personal music interests and admiration of this rapper. Some people have to read it as a part of an educational program. And some people just want to read a single book during their vacation. Still, the emotions after reading it are almost the same: it is hard to believe how interesting and educative Jay-Z writing actually is.
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In addition to the fact that Jay-Z focuses on his past, his experience, and his motives, he is also good at identifying the main aspects of rap music and the conditions under which people make a decision to be involved or fond of rap. His attention to the “hustler’s story” is an important aspect of hip-hop narrative. Jay-Z admits that “the story of the rapper and the story of the hustler is like rap itself, two kinds of rhythm working together, having a conversation with each other, doing more together than they could do apart” (10).
Some people misunderstand a true definition of hustler developed by Jay-Z by interpreting it as something rude or illegal. However, why not consider the idea of hustling as something that provides people with a sense of life. This word can motivate people to take the steps that make their dreams come true, as the majority of American mythologies and stories do by underlining the best and worst qualities of people. Even if some people may treat hustlers poorly or prejudiced, Jay-Z teaches his readers never quite what they are fond of and try to use any possible means to achieve the goals set because “Only God can judge me” (Jay-Z 30).
In fact, the book under analysis is great, indeed. And it is great not only because it is written by a famous rapper and touches upon the issues that are interesting to many people. As soon as readers handle and open it, they are welcome to the world of music that is usually heard but never read. Jay-Z shares his personal photos and notes to explain the reader the way of how he becomes a respectful rapper.
Almost every photo is connected with Jay-Z’s life and helps to comprehend his emotions and feelings at the moment that is discussed. His songs that are handwritten and offered in the book with a number of comments prove themselves as the products of his life full of certain intentions and dreams. His words help to realize that every song and every show of his is created for a particular reason that makes his life fulfilled.
Jay-Z introduces a beat and the flow as the two main compounds of a rap song where “beat is time,” and “flow is what we do with that time, how we live through it. The beat is everywhere, but every life has to find its own flow” (12). If a person, who has already listened to some of Jay-Z’s songs, reads the book, they can hardly understand that the author of the songs and this book is the same person due to the possibility to touch the depth of rap lyrics and the reasons of why rappers put so many words in their short but informative songs.
Jay-Z. Decoded. New York: Spiegel & Grau Trade Paperback Edition, 2010. Print.