"Decoded" is not a conventional or even linear memoir, but it works on two levels: as a riveting exploration of Jay-Z's journey from the projects in Brooklyn, and as a critique of the rise of hip-hop culture. The best part? You don't have to be a fan of the rapper and mogul's music to get lost in "Decoded." It helps, of course, but it's so thoroughly engrossing, it reads like a good piece of cultural journalism.
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