• Empire State of Mind

  • How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office
  • By: Zack O'Malley Greenburg
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 5 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (673 ratings)

Prime logo Prime members: New to Audible?
Get 2 free audiobooks during trial.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Empire State of Mind  By  cover art

Empire State of Mind

By: Zack O'Malley Greenburg
Narrated by: Sean Pratt
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $18.92

Buy for $18.92

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

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But despite Jay-Z's success, there are still many Americans whose impressions of him are foggy, outdated, or downright incorrect.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

Critic reviews

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

Featured Article: Big Ideas in Business and Tech


Even the most successful entrepreneurs had to start somewhere. When it comes to groundbreaking technology, the people who became leading business executives often began as lone visionaries with nothing but an idea. Now that they’re global industry leaders, many of them have shared their amazing stories in memoirs. These tales of heartbreak and triumph will bring you along on the roller-coaster of success, all the while showing you the secrets of how business greats transformed their dreams into reality. Read on to find your next great inspiration!

What listeners say about Empire State of Mind

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    336
  • 4 Stars
    197
  • 3 Stars
    93
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    22
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    279
  • 4 Stars
    154
  • 3 Stars
    90
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    14
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    293
  • 4 Stars
    146
  • 3 Stars
    78
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    20

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It was ok

The book was written from a "outsider" perspective. Jay Z did not approve him writing this book. If you really want to understand the mind of Jay Z and how he went from Street corner to board room, then I was suggest that you read Decoded which is written from Jay Z's soul perspective. Personally I don't think that a Jewish boy could ever really understand the plight of a Brooklyn boys' hustle. While I appreciate what he has to add and offer, i'd rather hear it from the horses mouth.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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!!!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

What was most disappointing about Zack O'Malley Greenburg’s story?

The book just talked about business deals and how much they were worth. I wanted to hear stories about Jay Z's actual struggles and how he overcame. Only delved into this a little bit.

What does Sean Pratt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

good voice

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The book is good, but the guy who did the audiobook is clearly out of his element

I liked the book okay, some of the business stuff seemed pretty useless and didn't interest me. The audio book version has a ton of mispronunciations of A list celebrities names and the narrator doesn't seem to have any knowledge of hip-hop culture.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

If this white guy drops the “N” bomb 1 more time!

I wished I had realized this was an unauthorized book before I bought it. It was a decent attempt to tell someone’s life without actually setting down with that person. Although it was blatantly obvious this author and the narrator are not very familiar with the hip hop culture. Every time I heard the white narrator drop the N word I cringed . I understand the word is parts of Jay’s music , it doesn’t make the use of the word ok for just anyone to repeat. In my opinion.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

boring and sleepy

horrible narrator.. dry and no emphasis. Robotic and C3PO like. Please release again with another narrator

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unauthorized Business Biography of Jay-Z

If you could sum up Empire State of Mind in three words, what would they be?

Captivating, Interesting and Brilliance of mega proportions.

What did you like best about this story?

This is a great story about a former drug dealer who has become a multimillionaire and is married to one of the most beautiful,talented, megastar, and wealthiest women in the world - Beyouce. I really appreciated learning from the authors perspective on Jay-Z and his business and marketing acumen. Jay-Z is a marketing genius and I really appreciate that he did not participate in giving away free information for this book because he would not benefit from it financially. Makes sense. Now my question is how do I apply the principals that made Jay-Z millions? I respect Jay-Z and rap so much more because it has become mainstream. It is not a black thing, a white thing, or a purple thing is is a young thing with International flavor. A nice read, opps, I mean a really nice listen.

Have you listened to any of Sean Pratt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Nope.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Chapters are messing

Chapter 12,13,14 are not there but the book was good I give it 10 stare

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I've always wanted to know how Jay Z has accomplished so much

This book gives great insight and perspective through real life associate about the business icon. Jay-Z's ability to elevate his success with each step is impeccable trait. One that is not easily imitated. I look forward to utilizing what I've learned in this book do my best Jay Z personation in the world of real estate and business. Thank you for this well-written book my only critique is that you learn how to pronounce some of the artist name better.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful