Luxury Beauty Best Books of the Month STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Wickedly Prime Handmade Mother's Day Gifts hgg17 Shop Popular Services Catastrophe Catastrophe Catastrophe  Introducing Echo Look Starting at $89.99 Kindle Oasis National Bike Month on Amazon disgotg_gno_17
Customer Review

67 of 85 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is a must have..., November 25, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Decoded (Hardcover)
This book is definitely one for your collection of good books based on hip-hop. I grew up in the Bronx during the 70's and 80's and a lot of the "rap" traditions and "crack" traditions he writes about are valid and true. Once you read through the book you will learn a few things. My favorite new fact was how Memphis Bleek was originally not going to do Coming Of Age. I won't spoil it for you.

While the book is great to read, it's also great to look at. The pages are thick. There are pictures on almost every page which relate to that particular topic. The art direction, overseen by Jay-Z, looks really good. Honestly, they should make this book a coffee-table edition.

Now, the reason I did not give this book a five is for two reasons.

1. I wanted more. I have a few songs and lyrics from him that I would have like to have seen addressed.

Example: "...the fire I spit burn down Happy Land / Social Club, we unapproachable thugs..."

Growing up in the Bronx, I knew what that line meant, but many people don't.

"Happy Land Social Club was an unlicensed social club in the Bronx. On March 25th 1990, 87 people were killed in an fire set by Julio Gonzalez."
- Wikipedia

That line isn't deep but it made me stop and say "Wow! I forgot about when Happy Land got set on fire."

2. It didn't address one of my 9 year discussion over a line Jay-Z says in You Don't Know (Blueprint).

"I sell ice in the winter, I sell fire in hell, I am a hustler baby, I'll sell water to a well/whale."

Either word works, but I'd like to know the true word. Did he intend to confuse us with a clever play on words?

Nevertheless, the book is great. The people who gave the book 1 star ratings didn't read the book, as they say in their reviews, so please rate those posts as unhelpful. However, If you actually read the book, and still give it one star, then that's justified.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the guidelines and FAQs here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 25, 2010, 10:50:53 AM PST
Tori says:
well!

Posted on Nov 25, 2010, 3:58:07 PM PST
Chad von Nau says:
well.

Posted on Nov 27, 2010, 3:16:05 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2010, 3:23:21 AM PST
Real217 says:
No offense bro, and i dont mean to be condescending honestly, but 9 years and you're just discovering the meaning of that line? i was in West Africa when that album came out,(you dont want to know wat it means to get internet connection) me and my homies didnt have to 'decipher' it, it was that simple, the previous bars should have given you a clue, rap is like poetry, or the Bible, you need the whole story to understand some lines sometimes. winter makes ice, hell makes fire, a well/cistern makes water, besides he's talking about selling something to the unlikeliest of buyers.(he may well have said, i'll sell beer to heineken) the Social club line? thats the line that'll get anybody googling, apparently its something more personal.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2010, 9:01:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 30, 2010, 11:26:56 AM PST
I wrote, " 9 year discussion." It didn't take me nine years to discover the meaning. IMO, it's just an interesting conversation and it's great that you and your boys were in Africa, surrounded by wells and immediately knew what it was. However, because well and whale sound similar, the line could go either way. To sell water to a whale would be pretty difficult considering that he's surrounded by water. It's selling someone something they already have. Cassidy said something similar about selling salt to a snail.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2010, 6:49:29 AM PST
Real217 says:
ok, my bad about the 9 year thing. i've been in the States for three years so far, and i'm just going to go out on a limb here and pretend that the "surrounded by wells" comment is not a diss to my heritage but you making a point.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2010, 11:19:45 PM PST
A. McMillan says:
It could definitely go both ways. Not sure why you got people jumping down your throat, S. Jay-Z's always been able to craft those lines with double (sometimes triple... the "run it back/straight with the rock" line on Dirt Off Your Shoulder comes to mind) meanings, and the well/whale one is a perfect example.

Really liked your review, too. Thanks.

Posted on Dec 13, 2010, 10:10:17 AM PST
Oluseyi says:
Well. The line structure is commodity :: originating-environment. Go to hell, you'll find fire everywhere, so selling it there is a spectacular act of hustling. In the dead of winter you'll find ice everywhere, so the same applies. Wells contain water... You can finish the rest. It's a pretty straightforward quartet.

Nice review.

Posted on Jul 26, 2011, 12:59:25 PM PDT
D. Jones says:
It's BOTH...this is Jay-z's M.O. the use of the double entendre...Anyone arguing that it's either or doesn't know or really listen to Jigga. He does this all the time.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Jersey City, NJ

Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,806,288