Jay-Z’s first book will feature one of Andy Warhol’s Rorschach paintings on its cover, it was announced today. Decoded is a collection of lyrics out in November on Random House’s Spiegel & Grau imprint.
As Leon Neyfakh noted back when the deal was being negotiated, Jay claims not to write his lyrics on paper, though in a release today seemed eager to see them that way. Among other stated goals for the book, he said wanted 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.” We also reported earlier that the mogul was shopping two other books, a traditional memoir and a business book.
Warhol’s 1984 series of 38 Rorschach paintings was a later-in-life experiment that, to hear him describe it, doesn’t sound too far off from this book.
I was trying to do these to actually read into them and write about them, but I never really had the time to do that. So I was going to hire somebody to read into them, to pretend it was me, so that they’d be a little more . . . interesting.
At any rate, Decoded is turning out to be more than a stocking stuffer. We’re holding out for the business book, though.