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Read-Alikes: Decoded by Jay-Z

Want to delve into what it means to be part of the hip hop scene? Try these to get a taste of what it's like in that world.

 

Jay-Z and the Roc-A-Fella Dynasty
ML420.J29 B76 2005

Fills the reader in on the early days of Roc-a-Fella Records, when Jay-Z was still Shawn Carter.

 

Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation
ML3531.C5 2005

The history of hip-hop is explored, from its roots in 1960s Jamaica, to its birth in the Bronx, to its modern commercial success.

 

Know What I Mean?: Reflections on Hip-Hop
ML3531.D97 2007x

Set up in tracks rather than chapters, this book touches on pillars, historical figures, and controversies of hip hop similar to the ones Jay-Z muses on in Decoded. Fans eager for words directly from Jay-Z can get a taste from his introduction.

 

Angry Blonde
ML420.E56 A3 2000x

A provocative collection of his uncensored lyrics, complete with personal commentary on each controversial song.

 

City Kid: A Writer's Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success
ML423.G317 A3 2009

The story of the rise of black pop culture from someone on the inside. Nelson George started out writing articles and books on the music scene, went on to invest in some of the biggest names in soul and hip hop, and has produced television shows and movies about the explosion of African American culture. This book is also the story of the success of his own family and how they beat the odds.

 

Beats, Rhymes, & Life: What We Love and Hate About Hip-Hop
E185.86.B3775 2007

Essays penned by music journalists, about pros and cons, symbols, fans, musicians, businessmen, the mystique and the reality of a musical genre that became a powerful cultural force for better and worse.

 

Somebody Scream!: Rap Music's Rise to Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power
ML3531.R44 2008

Traces the history and various movements within the hip hop movement, including a chapter on Jay-Z and many other prominent artists in the genre.