Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy New
$7.50
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $7.50 (50%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Empire State of Mind: How... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Empire State of Mind: How Jay Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office, Revised Edition Paperback – September 22, 2015

3.9 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$7.50
$6.73 $6.00

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
You'll Grow Out of It
The exciting new release from Jessi Klein. Learn more | See related books
$7.50 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Empire State of Mind: How Jay Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office, Revised Edition
  • +
  • Decoded
Total price: $25.00
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fascinating, well-done biography of one of the most extraordinary entrepreneurs of our era."
—Steve Forbes

"Greenburg has become one of the rare reporters to bring dignified coverage of the hip-hop business into the mainstream. Empire State of Mind is a pure product of Greenburg’s care and insight, an exploration of hip-hop’s most enigmatic mogul."
Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop

"Greenburg follows the money and key pieces of the Jay Z puzzle in this insightful,savvy read. This book is like a GPS leading us through the modern urban realityof how Jay Z’s empire was built."
Fab 5 Freddy, artist, hip-hop pioneer, and former host of Yo! MTV Raps

"A superb guide for your career, even if you are looking to be an investment banker or grocery store manager instead of a hip-hop legend."
—CNN.com

About the Author

Zack O’Malley Greenburg is a seniorr editor at Forbes, where he has covered finance and music since 2005. He has profiled the likes of Akon, 50 Cent, and Afrika Bambaataa, and his stories have taken him from the casinos of Macau to the diamond mines of Sierra Leone. He has also written for The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and Dan’s Papers. He lives in New York City.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Revised ed. edition (September 22, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591848342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591848349
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Quinones on March 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
With "Empire State of Mind," Zack O'Malley Greenburg delivers on his promise to chronicle Jay-Z's compelling journey from drug-dealer to 9-figure businessman.

As it turns out, Greenburg pitched the book to Jay-Z's management, but they refused to participate and instead went on to write "Decoded" so they could profit directly.

"Decoded" reads like one of those Donald Trump autobiographies: a very self-congratulatory, shallow look into how he thinks (which is somewhat valuable in its own right), but devoid of any juicy revelation beneath the surface.

"Empire State of Mind," on the other hand, paints a very nuanced picture of Jay-Z's character and gives detailed insight into his major business decisions, including the flops and near-misses that Jay-Z doesn't seem to talk about publicly.

If you want direct testimony from key players in Jay-Z's early life, including former business partner Damon Dash, former mentor Jaz-O, and Dehaven Irby (the guy who introduced Jay-Z to drug-dealing), this is probably the only place you'll be able to find it, since most of them have fallen out and don't talk to him anymore.

Greenburg has done a metric ton of research and reconnaissance work, yet his prose flows smooth like Jay-Z's rhymes. The end result is a fascinating read. Highly recommended.
1 Comment 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Put simply, this book is a wonderful, engaging profile of a figure worth reading about, and will teach even hip-hop devotees something about Mr. Carter they did not know before.

Jay-Z is naturally an intriguing figure, part-musician, part-former hustler, part-executive - just to name a few of the roles he has played. Yet Greenburg - to his credit - does more than simply kowtow to the great lyricist. Greenburg digs further to paint a comprehensive, inquiring, insightful and often less-than-flattering view of one of the great entrepreneurs of the last 50 years.

Greenburg's book reveals Jay's obvious successes, to be sure: rising from dealing in Brooklyn to a career as a recording artist, a successful turn atop Def Jam Records, a happy marriage with Beyonce. But Greenburg also covers those items Jay doesn't want you to know about: a covert deal to profit from Armand de Brignac champagne; a failed attempt at making a basketball documentary; an aborted effort to release a Jay-Z edition Jeep; and repeated failures as part-owner of the Nets.

Greenburg's warranted conclusion is that Jay-Z is a tremendous businessman and individual. The unique piece Greenburg brings to this story is that Jay came to this success through a portfolio approach, dabbling in so many different industries and fields that while some ventures flopped (see: LeBron in South Beach), many others have resulted in unprecedented revenue and publicity (see: Live Nation). Jay would have you know nothing of those failures. Fortunately, Greenburg thinks otherwise. Do yourself a favor: Read this book.
Comment 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I didn't know much about Jay-Z before I read this book. Once I started reading, though, I couldn't put it down. Greenburg paints such a thorough picture of Jay-Z without once interviewing him, and I would guess that these multiple perspectives provide a better picture of the man than the man himself could (or would want to, it seems). I came away suddenly inspired to start listening - really actually LISTENING, not just passively hearing - Jay-Z's music, because now I realize it has a legitimate and meaningful context. I would imagine that for someone who is already a big fan, this book would be even more engrossing. Jay-Z has had a powerful impact on the hip-hop industry, and he is poised to become a music and business legend.

That said, I should point out that what ultimately made this book enjoyable was how well-written it was, with a touch of humor here and there (in well-placed quotes from Greenburg's sources) and a persistently neutral tone. Should we like Jay-Z? Maybe not. Should we respect him? Well, how can you avoid it? When you finally put the book down, how can you not want to be just a little bit more like him?
Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I knew virtually nothing about Jay-Z before reading this, picked it up just on the strength of a friend's recommendation. While it was an interesting idea and parts of the narrative are fairly interesting, I think this unauthorized biography misses the mark for a number of reasons.

* Reads like a collection of business articles, not a biography. Probably because it was . . .
* Jay-Z didn't allow access and many others steered clear because of that. Unfortunately, it reads like someone far removed from the real person.
* While some of the business insights are interesting, not of much help to the average entrepreneur - not a business book in the traditional sense.

Jay-Z is a very intelligent businessman who has carefully cultivated a certain image. The author rarely breaks through that image to expose the real Jay-Z, Shawn Carter.

On a side note, this book also exposes how corporate popular music has become. I read somewhere that there are no Jay-Z fans anymore, just Jay-Z customers . . . pretty close to the real truth. It would be hard for me to recommend this book to many people. It's well written, but not insightful or helpful.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Empire State of Mind: How Jay Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office, Revised Edition
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Empire State of Mind: How Jay Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office, Revised Edition

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: memoir