Throughout his career Jay-Z has often shied away from sharing too much of his private life, however excerpts of his new book “Decoded” reveal plenty thanks to its anecdotal nature. Check out Camel’s rare revelations on his drug dealing past, his father, drug dealing and his inaugural experience below:
On “99 Problems”
Jay-Z recounts the time, in 1994, when he was driving down I-95. He had a stash of crack in a fake compartment in the sunroof of his Maxima when he got pulled over by cops for “no good reason.” The police knew they couldn’t search his car without probable cause, so they called the K-9 unit — the dogs would be able to sniff out the drugs. But the unit didn’t show up, and the cops had to let him go. A minute later, he saw the K-9 unit speeding down the highway in the other direction, but too late — he was already home free. It’s a moment he would later recount in his 2004 hit song, “99 Problems” with the lyric: “I got 99 problems but a b*tch ain’t one.” At the time, Jay-Z was slammed for the misogynistic use of the word “ITCHBAY” — but, as he reveals in his book, he was actually referring to a female dog, or the dogs that never caught up to him that day. “It would have changed my life if that dog had been a few seconds faster,” he writes.
That’s something most people would consider a blessing, because unless there happens to be a more serious crime going on nearby, police tend to not give a fawk about making you wait as long as they deem it necessary to catch your a$$ in some ISHT.
On How Stabbing Up Lance Rivera Helped Rocawear Sales:
Jay-Z glosses over his 1999 stabbing of record producer Lance Rivera, which resulted in the rapper pleading guilty to assault and receiving three years probation. He says he was infuriated because someone had leaked a bootleg copy of “Vol. 3 . . . Life and Times of S. Carter” more than a month before the release date of the album. When he asked who was behind the leak, everyone kept repeating the same name: Rivera. When Jay-Z saw him at rapper Q-Tip’s album release party at the Kit Kat Klub, he confronted him. Rivera “got real loud with me right there in the middle of the club,” Jay-Z writes, “It was strange. We separated and I went over to the bar . . . I was . . . in a state of shock . . . I headed back over to him, but this time I was blacking out with anger.”
After this, chaos ensued in the club, “That night the guy went straight to the police and I was charged with assault.”
He says he decided to plead guilty after watching Puff Daddy’s trial on weapons violations that same year. Puffy was acquitted, and Jay-Z says he feared the state would be harder on him after failing to convict his friend.
“The hilarious thing,” he writes, “if any of this can be considered funny, is that the Rocawear bubble coat I was wearing when they paraded me in front of the cameras started flying off the shelves the last three weeks before Christmas.”
SMH @ Hov using the old “I blacked out” excuse.
On Smoking Weed:
Biggie made a cameo appearance in the 1996 video for “Ain’t no N – – – a,” which Jay-Z was filming with Foxy Brown in Miami just when he started to break. Jay-Z says he looked down on smoking pot as counterproductive, and only did so on vacation. “I could count the number of times I’d smoked trees,” he writes. But when Big asked him to smoke, he said to himself, “Relax, you’re not on the streets anymore.” So he smoked, and got stoned out of his mind just before the video started shooting. Laughing at his formerly sober friend, Biggie leaned in and whispered in Jay-Z’s ear: “I got ya.” It took Jay-Z 20 minutes in his room to gather his wits. Later he told his friend: “Never again my n – – – a.”
On How Hip-Hop Exposed Rappers (Tupac, Biggie etc…) To More Danger Than The Hood Life:
“They were both perfectly safe before they started rapping; they weren’t being hunted by killers until they got into music. Biggie was on the streets before he started releasing music, but he never had squads of shooters (or the Feds) coming after him until he was famous.”
He recalls meeting with Eminem in the studio in 2003 to record “Moment of Clarity” for Jay-Z’s “Black Album.” When Jay-Z went to hug his friend, he realized he was wearing a bulletproof vest. At the time, Eminem had three multiplatinum albums and a No. 1 film, “8 Mile.” Jay-Z believed Eminem should have been “on a boat somewhere” without the worry of being shot or attacked by an enemy from the underworld of rap.
On His Father’s Role In “Moment Of Clarity”:
The song “Moment of Clarity” deals with the abandonment by his father when Jay-Z was 11. He says he realized only later that his father, Adnis Reeves, began to unravel after his brother, Jay-Z’s Uncle Ray, was murdered outside a Brooklyn club and the cops never found the killer. “My dad swore revenge and became obsessed with hunting down Uncle Ray’s killer. The tragedy — compounded by the injustice — drove him crazy, sent him to the bottle, and ultimately became a factor in the unraveling of my parents’ marriage.” He only reunited with his dad, at his mother’s urging, three months before his dad died of liver disease in 2003. But he writes, “By the time he left, he’d given me a lot of what I’d need to survive.”
Meeting Obama And His Inaugural Experience:
A friend of President Obama’s helped set up a meeting with Jay-Z in 2008, he says. The two talked for hours. “I wish I could remember a specific moment when it hit me that this guy was special. But it wasn’t like that,” he writes. “It was the fact that he sought me out and then asked question after question about music, about where I’m from, about what people in my circle — the wider circle that reaches . . . all the way back to Marcy — were thinking about politically.”
When Beyoncé sang at the inauguration, he writes, he watched from the audience instead of backstage so he could “feel the energy of everyday people. It was unbelievable to see us — me, Beyoncé, Puff, and other people I’ve known for so long — sharing in this rite of passage.”
It’s good to see him sharing ANYTHING at all to do with Beyonce. They are so danged stingy about their private life.