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Empire State of Mind Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

"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 is 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But despite Jay-Z's success, there are still many Americans whose impressions of him are foggy, outdated, or downright incorrect.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. This audiobook explains just how Jay-Z propelled himself from the bleak streets of Brooklyn to the heights of the business world. 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.

©2011 Zack O'Malley Greenburg (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"[A] fascinating, well-done biography of one of the most extraordinary entrepreneurs of our era." (Steve Forbes)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Jeananne Las Vegas, NV 01-23-13
    Jeananne Las Vegas, NV 01-23-13 Member Since 2011

    I am a solo truck driver in the U.S. and I LOVE to listen, learn and go on adventures with audiobooks while I drive! :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I wanted to understand Jay Z."

    I listened without knowing anything about him except that he is a famous rapper and it seemed like he was respected. This book outlines his business mind and how he has used it over the years to be #1 in everything he does. Even his music is only a means to an end to be #1 in his venture to rise to the top of the business world. Unfortunately his story seemed to be without heart and the people that talk about him describe him as wanting nothing more than money and power. I need to do more research if I am to understand him as a human being. Still, it is and interesting book to listen to because you learn about the world of hip hop music and it's culture via his journey in helping to shape it!!!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gomeezy 02-28-16
    Gomeezy 02-28-16 Member Since 2013

    GomEZ

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    "I'm not a businessman, I'm a BUSINESS MAN!"

    Great non-fiction work on the life of Jay-Z! Jay-Z needs to partner with O'Malley Greenburg to create a follow up to this novel. He can essentially be the Warren Buffet type of inspiration for the future generation of hustler-entrepreneurs. Ya heard!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cire 02-15-16
    Cire 02-15-16

    Cire D.

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    "Dope!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Empire State of Mind to be better than the print version?

    I would most def say yes. Only the way the narrator pulled me in, and kept my attention.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I've always considered my self a "Hip Hop Head" and most def a big Jigga fan. There was a lot of business things I was unaware of. Also, I loved the different pov's from respectable Dj's and former business acquaintances.


    Which character – as performed by Sean Pratt – was your favorite?

    Dj Clark Kent


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was empowering.


    Any additional comments?

    Must read for anyone, everyone, all walks of life, no matter skin color. it will challenge you to do more and want more! #100

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moe 12-28-15
    Moe 12-28-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Good listen overall"

    The book was well-researched and written. I'll likely look into some of the other books by the author.

    The narrator had a clear voice that was easy to follow along with, although it's clear he wasn't familiar with the subject matter. He mispronounced several names of people and brands, which disrupts the flow for listeners who are familiar.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler 04-17-15
    Tyler 04-17-15
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    "Not bad"

    Good book, entertaining and I learned a lot about business..

    Not the greatest bio in my opinion, but its worth the credit or money spent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james 03-26-15
    james 03-26-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Love this book"

    This is basically a way to show you that anything is possible, with hard work and dedication. So reach for sky then the moon and the stars. Just keep reaching

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    jesse 02-15-15
    jesse 02-15-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing book"

    ThisBook offers amazing insight into the life of one of the greatest artists and business person of our era... And maybe the best ever at being both simultaneously...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sergio 01-28-15
    Sergio 01-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Liked it"

    There's always a different side to the same coin jay z is that kind of an example and many more

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Erick 01-27-15
    Erick 01-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Really good information!!"

    The book was great. The reader should of gotten a few Ebonics enunciation classes because several names were read incorrectly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    blake Fort Lee, NJ, United States 01-22-15
    blake Fort Lee, NJ, United States 01-22-15 Member Since 2014
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    "It's just business, man!"

    An interesting, in-depth and objective look at how and why Jay-Z built his empire. This is not heavy on biographical or music industry details or gossip which made this a much better book. The focus is on Jay-Z's incredible ambition and the path to success he took. An interesting and well developed book. The narration, as well, was balanced and engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Matthew Nix
    3/22/16
    Overall
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    "Interesting, but not especially useful"

    An interesting insight into the character and business dealings of the protagonist, but not a lot of useful lessons or insights. More on the entertainment side than the learning side but was still interesting and enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ajay Sahota
    7/27/15
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    "Superb"

    A fantastic audio, inspiring and entertaining. really enjoyed listening to this during my long drives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Adam Evans
    Birmingham, UK
    6/30/14
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    "A biography with a business twist..."
    What did you like most about Empire State of Mind?

    It's focus on the business rather than personal life of Jay-z and the authors well researched insights into deal making in the music industry. It does also go into some detail about his early life before music though which in itself is an interesting rags to riches story.

    If you are in the music industry the business advice contained within is indispensable. Lots of great examples of how to turn your popularity into a stable business enterprise and set yourself up for life. If you are new to the music industry he also explains common practice before going into the details of the deals.

    Also the story is told from a wide variety of view points. Jay-z did not support this book though! Which was a shame but I think makes the book quite a different read, in that it discusses his failures in as much detail as his successes and gives some very detailed facts and figures about his business deals.

    The author went to a lot of trouble to uncover things that Jay-z was gone to great pains to keep hidden. He presents the facts and his opinions on Jay-z's previous dealings and habits and leaves you to make up your own mind about things where he can't prive it one way or another.

    I haven't read Jay-z's own offering but I will be comparing it to this to see how biased it is.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Empire State of Mind?

    The fact that he managed to own his own masters and keep control of his career. He was always in charge and never let a record company or in fact anyone "manage" or direct his progress. He always had a plan and knew where he was going.


    What about Sean Pratt’s performance did you like?

    I've heard his performance in other books. I was surprised to hear him here! I didn't know how he'd handle this genre but it was read well. When slang and hip hop lingo was used he didn't make it cheesy or try too hard. He read with passion for the subject and it was very clear well paced and easy to listen to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The parts where he talks about family and people he has lost. He is very intelligent and very human despite his image. Also the book talks a lot about people underestimating and misjudging him. I have to say I learned things about him I never suspected. He is an amazing individual. A business and music powerhouse


    Any additional comments?

    Really worth a listen whoever you are. I wasn't massively keen on Jay-z when I started but I had friends who worship him. This books turned me into a fan from many angles.

    There is something for everyone from every background in here. From aspiring recording artists to seasoned business professionals or fans. A very surprising and informative read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Interesting listen"

    I haven't really been a fan of Jay Z, but over time I had heard a bit of his achievements in the business world to give this book a try. Not disappointed at all. There is the good and bad from his early days but a lot to respect and admire as well. Interesting to understand how his early days shaped him and how he has moved on from the stereotypical Rapper to a respected business icon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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