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March 22, 2011

New bio of Jay-Z: some good business anecdotes, "loyalty to his money," a suggestion he got a discount on the Nets; an AY chapter riddled with errors

Atlantic Yards Report

While Zack O'Malley Greenburg's Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office, is billed as "The Definitive Jay-Z Biography," it focuses, as the author acknowledges, on business, not music.

Thus there's less analysis of Shawn (Jay-Z) Carter's creativity and cultural impact, and no pick-up from the star's own 2010 book Decoded, which is both insightful and cryptic, leaving some lingering questions about the star's ethics.

There's a potted history of Jay-Z's involvement with Atlantic Yards, which offers some intriguing numbers regarding the value of Jay's investment, but is unfortunately riddled with errors.

And Jay-Z wouldn't talk to Greenburg; the author suggests that "Jay-Z doesn't like to share the proceeds of projects he feels he can execute on his own."

"His loyalty is to his money"

That said, Greenburg did crib from other interviews, talk to other journalists, and interview several people who worked with Jay-Z. The book portrays a capable and sometimes cutthroat businessman. As his mentor from Brooklyn, Jonathan "Jaz-O" Burks, suggests, "His loyalty is to his money."


NoLandGrab: That's supposed to be surprising?

Posted by eric at March 22, 2011 11:13 AM