Hunt the streets of New York for pages of Jay-Z’s Decoded

In (auto)biography, Author, Book, Interactive, Marketing, Memoirs on 01/11/2010 at 15:30
Jay-Z - Decoded

Jay-Z - Decoded

On November 16, 2010, Jay-Z’s long-awaited memoirs Decoded will be released. To warm up his audience the way only Jay-Z can warm up an audience, Jay-Z teamed up with ad-agency Droga5 and search engine/geo-mapping company Bing, which resulted in an internet-driven real-life scavenger hunt.


For those who don’t know much about the author and his background. Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter, was born and raised in Brooklyn’s notorious Marcy Projects. Regardless of his impoverished childhood, Jay-Z grew out to be one of hip hop’s greatest rappers selling over 50 million albums world wide and winning 10 Grammy awards (without a shadow of a doubt, he’s the greatest rapper alive today), as well as a business tycoon who founded the famous Rocawear clothing brand and now co-owns the 40/40 club-chain.


Using images and by decoding some of his lyrics, Jay-Z narrates his life’s story in his own words. He shares the story of his life through 10 codes that define him.

The cover of Decoded features one of Andy Warhol‘s 1984 Rorschach paintings.

The book will be released on November 16, 2010, but it’s already available for pre-order at Amazon.

Join the hunt

Over 300 page's of Jay-Z's life and lyrics, placed in the streets where it all went down. Crack the clues. Claim the pages.

click image to go to jay-z.com

Pages of the upcoming book have been spread throughout New York, on places that have mattered in Jay-Z’s life. Places he mentioned in his raps. When opening the Jay-Z.com website, you are invited to take part in the challenge:

“Over 300 page’s of Jay-Z’s life and lyrics, placed in the streets where it all went down. Crack the clues. Claim the pages.”

In an interview with MTV’s RapFix, Jay-Z said the Decoded clues relate to each other. “We just took these pages and we just threw them out to the world, almost like a sampling,” said Jay-Z. “You know, these are the real pages, you’re getting to read some of the book.”

It’s a remarkable and innovative move in terms of marketing. In an age where ebooks (and similar digital publications) are outselling hardcover books, it’s a logical move to combine the digital world with the real world to promote a new book.

Excerpt from the book

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.

Jay-Z - Decoded

Jay-Z - Decoded

Book details

Title: Decoded
Author: Jay-Z
Pages: 336 pages (hardcover)
Publisher: Virgin Books
Publication date: November 16, 2010
ISBN-10: 0753522691
ISBN-13: 978-0753522691

In print, the book is released as a hardcover, but of course it’s also released digitally. Both hardcover and ebook contain illustrations, lyric analysis and the autobiographic content.
The iPad/iPhone version takes it one step further with interactive features, an exclusive video and customizable content.


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