How exactly was JAY-Z made in America? Well, Michael Eric Dyson will be detailing just that with his next book, JAY-Z: Made In America.
Featuring a foreward by Pharrell, the New York Times best-selling author’s latest piece of literature will examine Shawn Carter as a cultural icon, charting the evolution of his work and thinking with in-depth analysis of his most famous lyrics and songs. Dyson, a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, has investigated and championed hip-hop as an art form for decades.
“This book is the fruit of a decade of teaching about one of the greatest poets this nation has produced,” Dyson, a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, told EW. “Jay-Z is not only a remarkable recording artist and ingenious businessman, but he is one of our most gifted wordsmiths whose language drips with all the poetic tricks and skills you’ll find in Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, and Rita Dove. But as a rapper, he’s sometimes not given the credit he deserves for just how great an artist he’s been for so long.”
“This book wrestles with the biggest theme of his career, hustling,” he continued, “and what it looks like when it shows up illegally in the underground and how it looks when it’s part of legitimate society.”
Set to publish this fall (November 26th, to be exact), the release will coincide with the legendary rapper’s impending 50th birthday.
“I thought this was the perfect time to take a look at Jay-Z’s career and his role in making this nation what it is today,” Dyson says. “In many ways, this is Jay-Z’s America as much as it’s Obama’s America, or Trump’s America, or Martin Luther King’s America, or Nancy Pelosi’s America, or Maxine Waters’ America. Jay-Z has given this country a language to think with and words to live by, and his lyrics have shaped the self-understanding of a culture that grapples with race and injustice and inequality everyday. He’s an important thinker and artist, and my book tries to measure his impact and acknowledge his greatness.”
JAY-Z: Made In America is available for pre-order now.