Jay-Z Decoded: SoulCulture Finds First Page x Meets Jay-Z (Video)


We were visiting New York last month covering the CMJ Festival when on Monday 18th October our very own Creative Director Eddie “Versetti” Smith randomly took himself on an Easter-egg hunt of sorts around Manhattan to find pages of Jay-Z‘s new book, Decoded.

Co-written by respected journalist [and former Source editor] Dream Hampton, Jay-Z’s hardcover, illustrated book is set for release in the UK on November 18th, mixing first-person memoir with ‘detailed discussions of his most famous and provocative lyrics’.

Following lyric-based clues and virtual map navigation on bing.decodejay-z.com, launched that day to promote the book, Versetti found the first two pages of the book ‘hidden’ in full public view at locations around New York; specifically, in a Chelsea art gallery and on the side of a building at Lafayette and Bleecker St [freaking out their tech team in the process; they didn’t anticipate nerdy tag-teams…].


The couple of hours spent locating Jigga’s book pages in New York turned from geeky, indulgent time-wasting on a Monday afternoon to a pair of flights to Miami on Wednesday morning, to attend the Decoded media launch at the Delano hotel, meet the iconic emcee in-person – and to leave with the all-important “childrens education fund” securing signed-copy of the first pages. With a unexpected speech.

After a chat with Jay-Z about the book’s co-author, Dream Hampton, music, business and the weather I followed them both, cam-in hand, as a speech ensued… […not really the weather]

It turns out, Jay-Z doesn’t like giving speeches. At all.

(“I’m just uncomfortable speaking,” he told the Wall Street Journal in a recent interview. “I can do a stadium show for two hours and I’m in my comfort zone. But if you look at any of my acceptance speeches they’re maybe seven seconds. I want to get off the stage.”)

Good times!

I’m no photographer, so check out Seth Browarnik of WorldRedEye‘s set of shots from the night; like the ones below…

Decoded is released on November 16 in the US via Spiegel & Grau / November 18 in the UK via Virgin Books.

PRE-ORDER: Amazon UK / Amazon US

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