Who knew that all it took to get Camel to admit Oprah’s influence, discuss his marriage to Beyonce and consider therapy, was a little motivation to sell books? Jay-Z has been doing a slew of interviews this week in preparation for the release of his new book ‘Decoded’ which drops today.
The rapper/author did several radio interviews yesterday and spent Tuesday evening at a special New York Public Library event with Cornel West.
Fans waited in line starting at noon on Monday to see Jay-Z speak at the “LIVE from the NYPL” series at the New York Public Library to promote his new book, “Decoded,” in stores Tuesday.
Billed as a conversation with Jay-Z, the event featured the Grammy-winning artist fielding questions from both the “LIVE from the NYPL” director Paul Holdengraber and from guest Cornel West, Princeton professor and one-time Prince collaborator.
Both Harry Belafonte and Lupe Fiasco took in the discussion from the front rows, but there was no sign of Jay-Z’s wife Beyonce.
Dressed in a suit with an open collar, the artist, whose real name is Shawn Carter, seemed genuinely honored to see Belafonte, but he credited the writing of his book to another African American celebrity.
“Oprah was a big reason I wrote this book,” he said. “We had conversations about language and the N word, and while we didn’t agree, we left that conversation with a better understanding.”
So why did he write his memoir now?
“I want to encourage young artists to not be afraid to use their voices,” he told an adoring crowd. “I’m trying to expand the genre of hip hop and keep it truthful.”
Not just sticking to his book, Jay-Z covered a wide range of topics, everything from religion to humanity to hustling on a street corner in Brooklyn.
“You have to question everything about life,” says the rapper. “I believe in God and for me different religions are all praying to the same God.”
It’s pretty interesting that he brings up God, since the image he chose to grace his book’s cover — one of artist Andy Warhol’s “Rorschach” paintings has received some comparisons to Baphomet. SMH. Y’all know who that is right?
Yeah we’re not buying it, but we figured we’d share for those of you who continue to believe Jigga carries a torch for the Illuminati.
Interestingly enough, Hov discussed the cover art selection on Howard Stern’s show yesterday. Howard asked Jay-Z a range of questions about his upbringing, his marriage, his music, his relationship with President Obama and details about the book. The full audio (it’s long but worth it!) is below:
For all those aboard Hov’s book bandwagon, you can check him out this Thursday on “Bloomberg Game Changers” on Bloomberg TV at 9:30 pm and 11:30 pm EST. The show will re-air Friday 11/19 at 9:30 PM and 11:30 PM
The show will include interviews with Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons; Warner Brothers Records Chairman and CEO and former Def Jam CEO Lyor Cohen; Translation LLC founder and CEO Steve Stoute; music journalist Zack Goldberg; Jay-Z biographer Jake Brown; “New Jack City” screenwriter Barry Michael Cooper; childhood friends and fellow rappers Jaz-O and Mr Cee and Jay-Z’s grade school teacher Renee Lowden.
That should be interesting. And news just broke that Hovvie Baby will reunite with his buddy Oprah next month. He’ll be performing for “The Oprah Show” on December 14th when the show travels to Australia.
Check out more photos from Jay-Z’s Public Library discussion below: