Jay-Z has just released a book called Decoded. In it he talks about hip hop and rap as a form of poetry and a certified art form. He breaks down his lyrics and the lyrics of others that have inpsired him or interested him in some way as well as tying in autobiographical details that run alongside these explanations. He talks rhyming couplets with the economics of selling crack cocaine. Here is a link to a review of this book that I found in the New Yorker (the review is coupled with another of a book also released called Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop whose intention is also to sell the idea that rap should be held in the same esteem as poetry) and which is rather interesting.
Providing the link also gave me the excuse to search the net for images of Jay-Z and I found this one when I typed in ‘Jay-Z crack cocaine’….It’s a pretty young Jay-Z, all gilded up with gold chains, the accessory de rigeur of any rapper worth his salt.
Here’s the link: