10 Things We Learned Reading The Jay-Z Book "Empire State Of Mind"

A new Jay-Z biography has hit the news stands by Forbes' Zack O'Malley Greenburg that has some interesting sources and revelations that may shock even the biggest super-fan.

This month, Forbes' Zack O'Malley Greenburg released his book Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner To Corner Office. The biography of Shawn Carter looks at Jay's personal and business relationships, through comprehsive archival interviews and new and rare insights from the likes of mentor Jaz-O, paternal hustler DeHaven, Dame Dash, MC Serch, DJ Clark Kent, Branson and others.

The staff of HipHopDX thought we knew a lot about Jay-Z, but in the interest of supporting Hip Hop literacy, we thought we would share 10 things about Jay-Z from Empire State of Mind.

1. Jay-Z maintains that his name comes from a childhood family nickname of "jazzy," not the popular belief that it was taken to match mentor Jaz-O's name, or the J and Z train lines that stop at the Marcy station in Brooklyn.

2. Sauce Money, often mistakenly considered a Roc-A-Fella Records artist, was a collaborator suggested by DJ Clark Kent to try and get demo recognition. Additionally, Sauce was managed by then-NBA star Dennis Scott. Jay and Sauce would appear together on Big Daddy Kane's Daddy's Home album, a time in Jay's career that Empire State of Mind sheds new light on.

3. Jay-Z would have likely been murdered during a 1994 shooting - if the assailants gun did not jam. Both DeHaven and Jaz-O, Jay's then-musical and street guides, recall the event. One of them alludes to 'making that problem go away' too.

4. During his Def Jam presidency, Jay-Z helped collaborators The Roots clear a Radiohead sample, just hours before the clearance had to be made. Jay accomplished this through his direct relationship with the British band.

5. Jay-Z never forgets. The book interviews producer A Kid Called Roots, who's known for his work with artists ranging from Memphis Bleek to Sha Stimuli. AKCR provides an anecdote claiming that during a Japanese performance, Jay recognized the Roc-affiliated producer in the crowd, and invited him to the stage for his then-hit, "Do My..."

6. Champagne wishes. Although it's never formally said, Empire State of Mind suggests a number of interesting things about Jay-Z's switch from musically-endorsing Cristal to Ace of Spades. The chapter includes revelations that longtime friend, collaborator and mid-'00s Island Def Jam executive Jermaine Dupri had a business relationship with the same people responsible for Ace of Spades, although Jay-Z has always maintained that there are no business ties to Armand De Brignac, Ace of Spades' producer.

7. Jay-Z invested in Carol's Daughter, a cosmetics line. While we hear about various Jay backings, this one slipped under the Hip Hop radar.

8. Jason Kidd was the first person that suggested to Jay-Z that he explore New Jersey Nets ownership. Count it.

9. MC Serch of 3rd Bass fame was responsible for making "the Jay-Z Jeep" nearly happening. An artistic contemporary of Jay's, Serch presented the idea to both sides, although it never happened - a deal and series of events that the book delves into.

10. Jay-Z is still earning from Roc-A-Wear. Although the brand changed ownership, the book estimates that Jay receives close to $5 million dollars yearly off of the brand that he, Dame Dash, and Kareem Biggs started over a decade ago.

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


  • George

    How did it slip under the radar? I give her my share of Carol's Daughter and a new beach chair. "Beach Chair" is a song I use to introduce people to Hov. How do so called "hip hop heads" not know this track? It's one of his top 5.

  • Joshua El-Tigre Padilla

    15 Mins My SHit will be Deleted

  • Joshua El-Tigre Padilla

    Im Back "Niggers" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Senate Seat

    You forgot ruthless businessman loyal only to his money! , but why should we expect an objective article from stick riders

  • Leonard Findgold

    Are you looking to start your own Company! If you are tired of looking for funding for your business, do it yourself and not owe anyone. BEDZZZ INN, Inc raised $92,867 in capital online in 90 days. Many entrepreneurs are doing this right now, and it is working. http://www.getfundraiser.com

  • Anonymous

    and listen to genesis...wha year?2000?and yall mofukas still debating?...peep wha he say .."i see ur hands.."man 10 years ago... wake up... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu07d1hfHm0

  • Anonymous

    yall r def the realest example how america society is under a spell,brainwashed to the limit...yall mofukas didnt hear pee?ah?here da day dat gay z drop a trak similar to this upliftin our people come at me... check dis video and wake da fuk'up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzKSZO3u9Mc

  • Anonymous

    most of it i couldn't care less about. i call bullshit on #1...come on Jaz-O and Jay-Z? even if it came from "jazzy" he had to be conscious of the similarities... #3 was the only interesting point

  • godbody

    u niggas still talkin illuminati? get a life & stop shootin youtube up lol

  • Anonymous

    $WonDough$ has an empire state of mind

  • No nothing moron


  • h aLi

    JAY-Z has been doing it Big for years!No need for him to say more.

  • The GOAT

    Re: Carol's Daughter, Jay raps about it on BP3. Also says he's in Saphora. He has nothing to prove except that he doesn't need to act like an ignorant nigga - like what is so popular today. If you hate Jay-Z, you're stupid - period. He is the epitome of success and continues to not give a damn about the opinions of those who are well beneath him. He opened this game up for all those wack-ass MCs. So they should just kiss the ring and shut the fuck up.

  • Manni

    Yo no doubt the Illuminati exists with its aim for world domination as well as events today (911 and wars in the Middle East predicted hundreds of years ago by a guy named Albert Pike - Google the high up Mason. BUT Jay Z is not part of the fucking Illuminati. He is an entertainer, a very good entertainer but the Illuminati consider him a puppet. Because whilst you watch the music videos and beat your head, they are making a lot of money. $400 Million is nothing to the trillions that 'John D Rockerfeller' makes. Did you know that in the USA, a 79% tax rate was only payable by one person, John D Rockerfeller lol. Guys Jay Z , has sick lyrics, beats, flow, investments and business ventures. This makes money. In this world, we have to make paper money because the gold in Africa would have meant we were rich. and well the Europeans had potatoes and would be the poorest in the world. Think of rich as natural resources and your culture as wealth. See the drop top phantom is nice don't get me wrong but no where nearer as important as your roots.

  • Joe

    Just remember Jay, you're still a coon in their eyes.

  • @korhoden

    He talks about investing in Carol's Daughter on both the Kingdom Come track "Beach Chair" and the BP3 street single "Ain't I."

    • comachonvargas

      Your mom... if nas lost then why did j have to come out with superugly, blueprint 2, and subliminals like on the watcher 2? Why did j say takeover was 100x times than ether when he was asked about it recently? Why hasn't j battled anyone since ether? Why was j trying to have a boxing match with nas after ether dropped? Why was J nearly crying on hot 97 when he got asked about ether? PLEASE... the scarface/manolo line on last nigga alive was better than anything j had to offer post-takeover... and the stillmatic freestyle is as good as takeover easily... the beef wasn't even close really... I bet J still to this day cant believe that GODSON spit acid on him like he did... bet big and pac would be CLOWNING j if they heard ether too LOL ONE

    • Anonymous

      Real talk, Taon.

  • Ikenna Berkley Jones

    Spear me the BS...If u wanna b where jay z is just sell ur soul to the illuminati aka the people who control hollywood.

    • Joshua El-Tigre Padilla

      WAT a dumm ass "NIGGER" Sell Your Soul 2 Hollywood Fuck Outta Here Wit Thats BS....

    • Taon Sauls

      I dont know why when an African american becomes successful, there are these fairy tales about the illuminati and secret societies, as though people of color cannot rise up to prominence without satanic or white influence, However no one questions the accomplishments of whites. No one states how there must be something behind Steve Job's or Bill Gates successes, do you know why? because these criticisms usually come from the african american community and white people do not indulge themselves in such utter nonsense.

    • Naah Son

      that is a valid and thought out point and i'm sure your sources are legit

  • cottdam

    my man jay-z..you know when you got success ?? when you got a shitload of haters! this man has everything!! let's count them: 1: he is the perfect example of 'self-made' 2: has the hottest bitch in the world 3: from zero to 400 million or so (cottdamn) 4: one of the best lyricist ever 5: entertainer & entrepreneur to the fullest my role model, don't hate fuckers, follow his steps, is the road to success

    • Anonymous

      People Can Use The Word Faggot??? But Noy Nigger???? Hip-hop DX Can Suck it... Fuck This WEBSITE

    • illness

      haha you little gucci mane and wocka flocka faggots always trying to hate...go bump some garbage ass wiz khalifa or whatever the fuck you listen to little nigga

  • L-Boogie

    Jay-z should've stopped rapping after The Black Album, he's too rich now and he isn't hungry anymore. Nas>Jay-z!

    • Anonymous

      Nas>Jay Z in 2001. Just to set that straight. But since black album nas been gettin him too. I think its probably just taste. American Gangster was dope, the shit released up to the release to BP3 was dope, but the album didn't move me. Meanwhile hhid was aite, nigger and distant relatives are dope.

    • comachonvargas

      LOL @ illness another delusional jay stan who prob thinks nas took an L in the beef... all the wittiness, dexterity, and swag went out of js flow after black album... now he is making synthetic rap pop garbage and letting ye string him along like the bitch he has always been.. BP3 Hot? Laughable. Kingdom Come anything BUT shit? Impossible. And i will take Nastradamus over Vol3/Kingdom Come/BP3 anyday... i hope J keeps spouting his revisionist history about the nas beef... I would LOVE to see GODSON destroy his last vestige of rap credibility... ONE

    • illness

      jay's worst shit since the black album (kingdom come) was still better than any of the garbage nas has put out since fucking stillmatic...count it

    • Sean Cody Mahoney

      American Gangster was good though, and besides, there's nothing wrong with releasing music. No one's telling bob dylan to stop, he has a few lame albums coming out but every now and then he'll blow us away. American gangster>nas' last three solo albums

  • Mandy Sandy

    jay-z! comin out wit anotha book? yeah nigga! decoded wuz a mastapiece and diz one'z gon b anotha 1 2. turdman relesin bookz dat steal namez of jay-z!'z songz and shit and they gon flop. knock em out wit anotha 1 jay! they got baby money! RNGMB BITCH!

  • Me

    They don't talk about illuminati!



  • elerict@yahoo.com

    The Charlie Sheen of rap but i dont do that..well i do do that...that sh*t that makes him do that..."WINNING" see if i told i sold how bold am i that i kno how old am i so let go when i unfold the lie i tried to hold that's why you crack the truth thru ur own soul..."SPINNING" you mind that is..what is it that is what it is..."ENDING" "ICANTSEETHETHROWNIFIMON...I.T." EP...pre-order more info...contact elerict@yahoo.com you got I.T.

  • Carnivore

    Jay mentions the Carol's Daughter purchase on Kingdom Come, is this a hip hop site? Do y'all listen to music or do you just skim through it?

    • j

      mad people knew that. just watch that HP commercial where he is showing the portfolio of brands that he has invested in

    • Chris

      Regarding #7, nah, this just slipped off your radar, homey. Cosign Carnivore. This was also reported on again when Jay also partnered with Will and Jada on Fela. Plus 1-3 are common knowledge. Like Wikipedia shit. Up your Google game homey.

    • Anonymous

      jay can rap....theres no dobut about it BUT if he keeps on his current track record of errr experimental songs then i might have to reconsider that he can rap

    • William Scooter Jones


    • Anonymous

      kingdom come sucked nobody listened to it