Decoded by Jay-Z
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'm not a rap fan ... although I can appreciate why others like rap, I don't typically love it. There are some rap songs that I like but that genre tends to be of less interest to me. So, why did I read a book by Jay-Z? I'm not sure but I was intrigued by a mention of the book by Ann Kingman on the Books on the Nightstand podcast. She made the book sound compelling, even to someone who isn't an avid rap/hip hop fan.
Ultimately, I am very glad that I read this book ... it gave me a new perspective on hip hop. Although still not my favorite genre of music, I can see why many enjoy it. I see its value to society in a new way. However, I just don't think that I'll ever be a real rap fan.
This book also gave me a new perspective on Jay-Z. I think I had some preconceived notions about him based on what I've 'heard' about him. This book helped me understand him a bit more. He is a very successful businessman and this book gave me some perspective on WHY he has such staying power!
I enjoyed reading his breakdown and decoding of his songs. It's easy to dismiss rap as just noise but I liked seeing his reasoning for the various choices he made during the writing process. It made hip hop come alive for me in an entirely new way.
This is a good book but not a GREAT book. Perhaps it would have been a four or five star for me if I'd been a Jay-Z fan going into reading it. I recommend it because its a unique book that really opened me up to something new.
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