The NY Post got an early preview of Jay-Z’s Decoded book and they released a few excerpts.
* His First Arrest
Jay-Z’s first arrest came at age 16. He was dealing in Trenton, because his friend “Hill” had a supplier there. Hill had enrolled in the local high school, and one day when Jay-Z went to meet him, he got caught with crack in his pockets on the campus. Since he had no prior arrests, the police let him go, but they confiscated his supply. In order to make up the cash to the supplier, Jay-Z had to go back to Marcy and deal crack 60 hours straight — three days in a row, he writes. He kept awake by “eating cookies and writing rhymes on the back of brown paper bags.”
* Getting High with Biggie
Biggie made a cameo appearance in the 1996 video for “Ain’t no N – – – a,” which Jay-Z was filming
with Foxy Brown in Miami just when he started to break. Jay-Z says he looked down on smoking pot as counterproductive, and only did so on vacation. “I could count the number of times I’d smoked trees,” he writes. But when Big asked him to smoke, he said to himself, “Relax, you’re not on the streets anymore.” So he smoked, and got stoned out of his mind just before the video started shooting. Laughing at his formerly sober friend, Biggie leaned in and whispered in Jay-Z’s ear: “I got ya.” It took Jay-Z 20 minutes in his room to gather his wits. Later he told his friend: “Never again my n – – – a.”
Even though he was still dealing drugs, whenever Jay-Z came back to New York he met with his friend Jaz, another rhymer, and the two would lock themselves in a room “with a pen, a pad, and some Apple Jacks and Haagen Dazs.” Jaz got a record deal with EMI in 1989, and Jay-Z took note when the record company dropped his friend after his single flopped. “I thought to myself, ‘This business sucks.’ No honor, no integrity; it was disgusting. In some ways it was worse than the streets.” Jay-Z learned from that experience and started his own label, Roc-a-fella, in 1994, with Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke.
* Cristal Diss
Biggie first introduced Jay-Z, who says he rarely takes drugs, to Cristal Champagne in 1994. Since then, he and other hip-hop stars put the expensive drink on the map by name-checking it in their rhymes. So when Cristal’s managing director, Frederic Rouzad, was asked by a reporter if the brand was compromised by the “association with the ‘bling lifestyle’,” and he replied, “We can’t forbid people from buying it,” Jay-Z decided to boycott the brand altogether. “That was a slap in the face,” Jay-Z writes. “I released a statement saying that I would never drink Cristal or promote it in any way or serve it at any of my clubs ever again. I felt like this was the kind of bull – – – t I’d been dealing with forever, this kind of patronizing disrespect for the culture of hip-hop.”
Jay Z’s Decoded is due out 11/16.
Read more excerpts at the NY Post