"I''m not a businessman-I''m a business, man."
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
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impressions of him are foggy, outdated, or downright incorrect.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
* The real story behind his association with Armand de Brignac
* 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