I recently read “Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From The Street Corner To Corner Office” by Zack O’Malley Greenburg. The quotes I found most interesting are below. As always, if you like the quotes, please buy the book here.
“Remembers Jaz-O, ‘I taught him that in order to be the best, you don’t have to outwardly hone your craft. But in privacy, hone your craft. People don’t have to know how hard you work to get something.’” (15)
“The decision was part of a business philosophy that can be boiled down to a very simple rule: focus on whatever venture offers the most realistic opportunity to make the most money.” (28)
“If you did it in the streets, and you did your business properly in the streets, and you made good money in the streets, when you walk into a boardroom you look at everybody in the boardroom like they’re suckers,” Kent explains.
“Dash’s guiding principle: “We shouldn’t let other people make money off us, and we shouldn’t give free advertising with our lifestyle.” (45)
“Dash wasn’t saying that Jay-Z and other Roc-A-Fella artists should stop rapping about designer clothes and high-end liquor; rather, that they should be compensated for the endorsements – or create their own brands.” (45)
“Where other rappers might have been cast as sellouts, Jay-Z was able to maintain a high level of credibility because of his relationship with the highly respected Biggie.” (56)
“Fueled by the feud, Jay-Z’s music was selling faster than ever; his new album achieved platinum status barely a month after its release. “What really became interesting about that battle is how Jay used it to create more popularity for his music and less popularity for the battle, and I think it was a very smart business move on Jay’s part,” says Serch.” (60)
“Chang believes Jay-Z engineered the clash to keep himself relevant on the street and to satisfy the hardcore fanbase that he risked alienating with some of the more poppy songs he’d been putting out around that time.” (61)
“This was a period that would be characterized not by spats, coastal or local, but by placing himself, both lyrically and physically, in the presence of people associated with victory.” (62)
Did you like the quotes? Then buy the book here.