Jay-Z: King Of America is the first in-depth biography focussing on the life and music of the most successful rapper of all time. Taking in all of the drug busts, beefs, knife attacks, near-death shootings, entrepreneurial brilliance, premature retirements, secret weddings and detailed accounts of all 11 albums, including the seminal classic Reasonable Doubt and the landmark Blueprint trilogy, Mark Beaumont – award-winning music journalist and author of the highly praised Out Of This World: The Story Of Muse – traces Jay Z’s ascent to hip-hop’s throne and his pivotal role in forging modern rap music. This is Jay-Z’s hard knock life fully exposed…
From crack dealing on the mean streets of New York to million dollar deals at the highest echelons of music industry, Jay-Z’s story is a whole new kind of American Dream. Along the way he has sold 50 million records, earned half a billion dollars, become one half of music’s most influential power couple and ceaselessly shattered barriers in rap music to make the genre the global crossover success it is today, and himself its biggest star.
Growing up in the projects of Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood, Shawn Cory Carter seemed destined for a life of crime with only the slim chance of a possible record deal offering a way out. None was forthcoming so, in true American style, he and his friends set about creating their own label — Roc-A-Fella Records. It gradually led to distribution deals but his eventual fame might have amounted to little more than a familiar rags-to-riches music story had the newly rechristened Jay-Z had not been consumed by almost unlimited ambition. His subsequent rise to CEO of Def Jam Records, his Rocawear clothing and accessories line, his New York club 40/40 and an alleged portfolio of investments in everything from real estate to football clubs suggest that Jay-Z always had a game plan far beyond escaping from Brooklyn and cutting a few hip hop hits.
Nevertheless, Jay-Z the musician has not been overshadowed by Jay-Z the entrepreneur. If extra credibility was needed, his marriage to Beyoncé (who, if she were not a superstar in her own right might be seen as a trophy wife and thus part of the Jay-Z plan) certainly supplied it. Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z, The King of America, is living proof that nothing succeeds like success, and that success in the US recognises no barriers. This book charts a truly extraordinary career.
Author Mark Beaumont has interviewed Jay-Z, Kanye West, Chris Martin, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Damon Dash, Dr Dre, Rick Rubin and many more. Revealing insights from these encounters inform this no-holds-barred biography of a great American success story. This fascinating book tells it all, revealing how the good, the bad and the corporate are all part of the incredibly far-reaching Jay-Z legend.
Press Reviews“This unauthorised biography holds the attention as it charts JAY-Z's ascent from Brooklyn drug hustler to most awesome man on the planet.”
– Q Magazine, UK“Definitely THE book to own this Christmas, and takes his rightful place at the top of our book chart.”
- RWD magazine
(Leading UK urban music mag)“In the publication of my biography on the rapper, Jay-Z: King Of America, I uncovered some fascinating snippets about the life and times of the world’s biggest rap star. Is he really a head honcho of the Illuminati? What were the true roots of his beefs with Nas, Beanie Sigel and – gulp – LL Cool J? Why did he shoot his own brother? And how did he fool the copyright owners of Annie into letting him use their chorus for ‘Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)’? My take on all those are in the book."e;
Read more at http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-jay-z#wq5hsFY9ROzDOAHi.99 – Mark Beaumont, Author Jay-Z King of America