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

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

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But despite Jay-Z's success, there are still many Americans whose impressions of him are foggy, outdated, or downright incorrect.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

4.0 (152 )
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4.0 (124 )
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  •  
    Tyler 04-17-15
    Tyler 04-17-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Cory B Oklahoma 04-15-15
    Cory B Oklahoma 04-15-15 Member Since 2014

    Remember... be a servant

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    "Must read to gain critical perspective"

    If you want to peek into the life of the greatest rap artist/ business.man in history you need to read this book.

    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
  •  
    Adam 03-16-15
    Adam 03-16-15 Member Since 2015
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    "It was on point."

    I loved it. I often find myself considering Jay-Z's perspective, before proceeding with any of my own business ventures. I learned a lot about business, and also it unveiled a lot of truth about the music industry. It's definitely going on my bookshelf.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    teh bomb 03-02-15
    teh bomb 03-02-15
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    "Amazing!"

    I just love everything about this book... Never knew that much about jayz till now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jesse 02-15-15
    jesse 02-15-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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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
  •  
    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
  •  
    Joanna Chicago, IL, United States 01-29-13
    Joanna Chicago, IL, United States 01-29-13 Member Since 2011

    Traveler. Artist. Dreamer.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "He's not just a businessman. He's a business, man."

    Fascinating story about Jay-Z's business approach. He truly has a 360 degree mentality, meaning that he incorporates his friends with his business with his interests with his home life and then capitalizes on it all. It tells you how Jay-Z intertwined all the important things in his life and still made crazy amounts of money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 21 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Adam Evans
    Birmingham, UK
    6/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
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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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