Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office

Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office

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Overview

Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office by Zack O'Malley Greenburg

"I'm not a businessman-I'm a business, man."
--Jay-Z

Some people think Jay-Z is just another rapper. Others see him as just another celebrity/mega-star. The reality is, no matter what you think Jay-Z is, he first and foremost a business. And as much as Martha Stewart or Oprah, he has turned himself into a lifestyle.

You can wake up to the local radio station playing Jay-Z's latest hit, spritz yourself with his 9IX cologne, slip on a pair of his Rocawear jeans, lace up your Reebok S. Carter sneakers, catch a Nets basketball game in the afternoon, and grab dinner at The Spotted Pig before heading to an evening performance of the Jay-Z-backed Broadway musical Fela! and a nightcap at his 40/40 Club. He'll profit at every turn of your day.

But despite Jay-Z's success, there are still many Americans whose impressions of him are foggy, outdated, or downright incorrect. Surprisingly to many, he honed his business philosophy not at a fancy B school, but on the streets of Brooklyn, New York and beyond as a drug dealer in the 1980s.

Empire State of Mind tells the story behind Jay-Z's rise to the top as told by the people who lived it with him- from classmates at Brooklyn's George Westinghouse High School; to the childhood friend who got him into the drug trade; to the DJ who convinced him to stop dealing and focus on music. This book explains just how Jay-Z propelled himself from the bleak streets of Brooklyn to the heights of the business world.

Zack O'Malley Greenburg draws on his one-on-one interviews with hip-hop luminaries such as DJ Clark Kent, Questlove of The Roots, Damon Dash, Fred "Fab 5 Freddy" Brathwaite, MC Serch; NBA stars Jamal Crawford and Sebastian Telfair; and recording industry executives including Craig Kallman, CEO of Atlantic Records.
He also includes new information on Jay-Z's various business dealings, such as:

*The feature movie about Jay-Z and his first basketball team that was filmed by Fab 5 Freddy in 2003 but never released.
*The Jay-Z branded Jeep that was scrapped just before going into production.
*The real story behind his association with Armand de Brignac champagne.
*The financial ramifications of his marriage to Beyonce.

Jay-Z's tale is compelling not just because of his celebrity, but because it embodies the rags-to-riches American dream and is a model for any entrepreneur looking to build a commercial empire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591845409
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/26/2012
Pages: 260
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Zack O'Malley Greenburg is a staff writer at Forbes, where he has covered finance and music since 2005. Along the way he's profiled the likes of Akon, 50 Cent and Afrika Bambaataa; his stories have taken him from the casinos of Macau to the diamond mines of Sierra Leone. He has also written for The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and Dan's Papers. He lives in New York City.

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Empire State of Mind 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Joanne Geschickter More than 1 year ago
A book that is truly inspiring from jay z going from drug dealer to being the best rapper i think he deservers 5 stars not just because of his leagacy to the rap bussiness but because he is a hero and once reading this book you'll feel like a hero to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Freak jayz a bbad rapper
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mshoni More than 1 year ago
Jay-Z is everywhere these days with the opening of the new Barclay's Center and the debut of the Brooklyn Nets. The highlights of his life are pretty well known: his drug dealing days, entry into the world of hip-hop, some of his romantic history. Empire State of Mind chronicles his moves as a businessman and the stories behind the mega-deals and branding he has been associated with. While we are familiar with his clothing brands, his nightclubs, and stint as the head of Def Jam, Greenburg shows us the plans that either never came through because of Jay's need for perfection or were kept under raps because of his need for secrecy. Some of the people interviewed were obviously reluctant to speak about someone who admittedly still holds a lot of power in the world of hip-hop. But Greenburg doesn't give up; especially when tracking down the ultra secret story behind a deal with Jeep that never happened. Perfect for Jay-Z fans as well as for those who enjoy a good business biography.
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Slow start. Got good in the middle.
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