On November 1st, Jay-Z will be re-releasing Decoded in paperback. The revamped book will also include a new chapter, seven new illustrations, breakdowns of three more songs (I Know, Young Gz, Lost One) and a new afterword (shown below).
What still excites me about rap is that it’s an open thread, a cipher that listeners find their own meanings in. The point of this book is not to settle arguments or transform rap songs into neat stories with a beginning, middle, and end. Rather, I’m trying to point readers to some ideas and information, get them to see deeper into the music than they saw before and learn more about worlds different from their own (or find new ways of looking at the worlds they already know)—to find their own meanings and connect them back to their own lives. I want readers to see the craft and learn the context—and I want them to still be able to feel the magic, and enjoy the show.
The updated version also comes with a black version of the original cover. Shouts to rr on the heads up.