Empire State of Mind (book)

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Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office
Author Zack O'Malley Greenburg
Country United States
Language English
Genre Biography, non-fiction
Publisher Portfolio/Penguin
Publication date
March 17, 2011
Media type Print (hardcover), E-Book
Pages 240
ISBN ISBN 978-1-59184-381-8

Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office is a non-fiction book written by Zack O'Malley Greenburg, published in March 2011. The book is an unauthorized biography[1] of American rapper and businessman, Jay-Z, detailing his road to success in business and music. The title of the book is a reference to "Empire State of Mind", a 2009 single by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys. This is Greenburg's first book.


From the official blurb:[2]

Empire State of Mind tells the story behind Jay-Z's rise to the top as told by the people who lived it with him- from classmates at Brooklyn's George Westinghouse High School; to the childhood friend who got him into the drug trade; to the DJ who convinced him to stop dealing and focus on music. This book explains just how Jay-Z propelled himself from the bleak streets of Brooklyn to the heights of the business world.

Notable sources include hip-hop luminaries such as DJ Clark Kent, Questlove of The Roots, Damon Dash, Fred "Fab 5 Freddy” Brathwaite, MC Serch; NBA stars Jamal Crawford and Sebastian Telfair; and recording industry executives including Craig Kallman, CEO of Atlantic Records. Greenburg also reveals new information on Jay-Z’s various business dealings, such as:

  • The feature movie about Jay-Z and his first basketball team that was filmed by Fab 5 Freddy in 2003 but never released.
  • The Jay-Z branded Jeep that was scrapped just before going into production.[3]
  • The real story behind his association with Armand de Brignac champagne.
  • The financial ramifications of his marriage to Beyoncé.


  1. ^ "Why I Wrote an Unauthorized Biography of Jay-Z"
  2. ^ JAY-Z BOOK | About the Book
  3. ^ Schultz, Jonathan (17 March 2011). "What happened to the Jay-Z Jeep?". New York Times. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 

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