Jay-Z shared details of his life and lyrics in his critically acclaimed memoir, Decoded, in the hope that his words would educate others about his ideologies society, hardship and success. And though much time has passed since Decoded’s release last year, a previously unreleased interview concerning the book has hit the Web, showing Jay-Z as he discusses the potential impact of his book and why people should look at rap as thought-provoking poetry.
“I hope readers take away from this book that rap is poetry. It’s thought-provoking; there’s thought behind it,” he said. “There’s great writing in rap as well. You never hear rappers being compared for like the greatest rap writers of all time. You hear Bob Dylan. So is Biggie Smalls in a Hitchcock way. Some of the things that Biggie wrote … Rakim, I mean, listen to some of the things he wrote, if you take those lyrics and you pull them away from the music and put ‘em up on the wall somewhere and someone had to look at them, they would say, ‘This is genius! This is genius work!’ I want people to take that away.”
Jay-Z also explained that he hoped Decoded would sway the public in ending their swift negative judgments about hip-hop and its culture.
“I want people to also take away the quick judgments. Listen to the song, listen to its intent. Try to figure out why a song like ‘Big Pimpin’ can exist. The same way that you try to figure out a song why ‘Meet the Parents’ exists. It’s clearly obvious that it has different meaning, but this, on the surface, is just fun and party music but there’s reasons behind that as well,” he continued. “I really wanted to lay this out in a clear and concise way that people could look at it and say, ‘OK, if there’s thought and there’s intelligence and there’s reason and logic behind it, then maybe you have to deal with everything like that.’ ”
Well said, Mr. Carter.