I am loving all the activity around Jay-Z's new book, Decoded. First of all, the book: the cover is awesome. Secondly, the timing is great since it's a worthy distraction from the Yale University Press Anthology of Rap debacle. Since the editors at YUP managed to bungle up their book so badly, we could have lost an opportunity to talk--however briefly--about the literary value of rap, but thankfully Jay-Z released his book at the same time.

In promotions for the book, he's already appeared in conversation with Cornel West and directors of NYPL programs, Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library.

Then, last week, he was on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Tracy and I were talking about how Terry is such a dork before I heard this interview; I love listening to her talk to pop stars and trying to have a serious conversation about *NSYNC. She may have an irritating voice, but she brings out the most polite and charming qualities in guests I never cared for before. The wide sociological gulfs between her and her guests can also be a recipe for hilarity, as demonstrated by the incredible mess that was her interview with Tracy Morgan last year.

All of this was evident in the interview with Jay-Z. Terry was like your mom (you're soooooo embarrassing!):
GROSS: I have to say some of those baggy jeans are so loose around the waist like they fall down to the middle of your behind and I think if you had a weapon in there they'd definitely drop to the floor because the weapon would like drag them right down.
GROSS: ...You know how a lot of hip-hop artists, when they're on stage they kind of like grab their crotch?
HOVA just takes it all in stride, dutifully answering the questions without a hint of impatience. It's all very endearing. And the later, I found out that he's also an investor in the Spotted Pig. Big pimpin' indeed (sorry, Terry's rubbing off on me).

1 comment:

Heidi W. said...

Have you seen the interactive marketing campaign for the book? The agency hid blown-up pages around the world as part of a scavenger hunt. Pretty incredible stuff: http://www.fastcompany.com/1704745/jay-z-decoded


Hope you're doing well in Mtl!