Jay-Z’s long-talked about book, “Decoded,” is set to hit bookstore shelves on Nov. 16 through publisher Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. The book is a narrative of the famous lyrics and overall life of the multi-platinum rapper.

Featuring an image of Andy Warhol’s “Rorschach” on the cover, the fully-illustrated book decodes 36 songs from Jay-Z’s extensive catalog, offering an intimate, first-hand account of the rapper’s most famous raps.

In addition to the hardcover release, Random House will publish “Decoded” as an eBook, as well as an interactive iPhone/iPad application that will include exclusive video and customizable content.

Here’s an excerpt from “Decoded:”

“When I first started working on this book, I told my editor that I wanted it to do three important things. The first was to make the case that hip-hop lyrics-not just my lyrics, but those of every great MC-are poetry if you look at them closely enough. The second was I wanted the book to tell a little bit of the story of my generation, to show the context for the choices we made at a violent and chaotic crossroads in recent history. And the third piece was that I wanted the book to show how hip-hop created a way to take a very specific and powerful experience and turn it into a story that everyone in the world could feel and relate to.”


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