For those who know me know I love HOV, Jigga, Jay Z...Mr. Shawn Carter. In 2011 I purchased his book Decoded. I was about twenty three or twenty four years old. I just couldn't get into it. I read pages over and over but wasn't comprehending even though I understood and loved his music. I figured I just wasn't ready to receive the information so I stopped forcing it.
In between books I listened to his interviews with various people. With whom he discussed spirituality, music, relationships, family, wealth, etc. Fast forward to 2017. I decided to pull Decoded from the back of my bookshelf, dusted it off and gave it another try. Let's just say I couldn't put it down. Talk about timing! With all of the wisdom thrown at me there is no way I was ready to receive that in my early twenties. I wouldn't have appreciated it the same.
Reading and understanding Decoded has allowed me to listen thoroughly to his lyrics. I thought I was doing that previously but six years later I had a better understanding of not only his lyrical content but him as an individual.
Here's what I've learned:
1. Reading Decoded I learned about the 8 Degrees of Giving. This had me in complete silence because it's so deep and motivational. (please Google the 8 Degrees of Giving in Judaism). It will change your life, especially if you have a giving spirit.
2. Studying the G.O.A.T I learned to diversify my coins. Ok, I don't have Jay Z money (yet) but he has his money in many things that he's passionate about and it works for him. Most of his money doesn't come from his music. It comes from his investments like real estate, his multiple businesses (Tidal, Live Nation, Roc Nation Sports, 40/40 Club, Champagne, Jet Smarter, which is like the Uber for private jets, and Art).
3. In "Legacy" on the 4:44 album he uses the Red Queen's Race as an example of how African Americans struggle and no matter how hard we try things never change for us.
The Red Queen's Race is a representation of a Queen and Alice constantly running but never leaves the same spot, from the novel Through the Looking Glass By Lewis Carroll.
While researching the Red Queen's Race I also came across this meaning, "In order for a species to avoid extinction, it has to keep moving forward. And if they want to get ahead to out survive the competition, prey or predators they need to evolve quicker." I can totally see Jay Z thinking like this. He's very selective about who he works with, and he doesn't have issues with ending those relationships that aren't worth keeping.
He'll always be my favorite because of his evolution. He continues to get better and he's always dropping knowledge. He is the G.O.A.T