Wow! I know right?
I, like many of my generation, have been aware of Jay-Z for a long time. I remember his music blaring from speakers in barbershops when I was getting that punk cut, long before I could even figure out what the heck all these rappers were saying.
He was the guy that was always retiring, and then coming back to drop another hit album. The guy that was dating Beyonce. He was J-Hova, claiming to be God — shivers. The one that did that Lucifer song. Omg. That guy!
But I wasn’t thaaat into his music. I mean there were a few catchy tunes that stuck in my head — Hard Knock Life, Izzo, etc. But I’d say eventually it was Kanye that made me explore Jay-Z. You know when they did that sequel to Diamonds and Jay took over? Man? Sick! Of course the defining line…
I’m not a businessman, I’m a business. Man! …
So I started to check out this really confident dude on and off over the years and I developed a kinda offside respect for his hustle, the drive, and the way he made it seem all effortless. He was really impressive. Undoubtedly one of the biggest names in entertainment today. Someone who may get a shoutout from the American president and seats at his inauguration. Impressive.
So imagine how it was finally getting to meet this guy. To sit down over some Colombian and have a chit-chat about his music, the experiences that drove it, the emotion… I can tell you it was epic. Verse by verse, song by song, we, ehrm, no, he talked about what he was trying to do, the connects, the backstory. I just sat there. Grinning. Nodding. Should have done this a long time ago.
I got a lot of context for the music, the stories. A newfound appreciation of that ghetto subculture that’s missing from Africa. I mean we know about hard knocks and all that, but kids with Uzzis? Nah men.
This was actually a while in the making. Apparently my wife and a friend were trying to make it happen last year when I was about hitting the big 3–0. It fell through. But finally a couple of weeks ago, it happened.
Yeah. I got the book. Hard cover and everything. No Kindle kinda thing. Sorry? Y’all thought I actually met Jay Z? Oh…Moving on.
But jokes apart, that’s how the book reads. Like a conversation with Jay. You can almost hear his voice in your ears. And it’s very good too. All those things I said earlier. No spoilers. Go read it.