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Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Officeby Zack Greenburg
Synopses & Reviews
"I'm not a businessman-I'm a business, man."
Some people think Jay-Z is just another rapper. Others see him as just another celebrity/mega-star. The reality is, no matter what you think Jay-Z is, he first and foremost a business. And as much as Martha Stewart or Oprah, he has turned himself into a lifestyle.
You can wake up to the local radio station playing Jay-Z's latest hit, spritz yourself with his 9IX cologne, slip on a pair of his Rocawear jeans, lace up your Reebok S. Carter sneakers, catch a Nets basketball game in the afternoon, and grab dinner at The Spotted Pig before heading to an evening performance of the Jay-Z-backed Broadway musical Fela! and a nightcap at his 40/40 Club. He'll profit at every turn of your day.
But despite Jay-Z's success, there are still many Americans whose impressions of him are foggy, outdated, or downright incorrect. Surprisingly to many, he honed his business philosophy not at a fancy B school, but on the streets of Brooklyn, New York and beyond as a drug dealer in the 1980s.
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.
Zack O'Malley Greenburg draws on his one-on-one interviews with 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.
He also includes 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.
* The real story behind his association with Armand de Brignac champagne.
* The financial ramifications of his marriage to Beyonce.
Jay-Z's tale is compelling not just because of his celebrity, but because it embodies the rags-to-riches American dream and is a model for any entrepreneur looking to build a commercial empire.
"Forbes staffer Greenburg's first book is a fond look at a successful idol; in fact, the author thanks 'Jay-Z for living a life worthy of chronicling.' Celebrity enchantment aside, this effort offers little new information. Though it's not for a lack of trying; Greenburg is an enthusiastic researcher but admits to having requests to interview Jay-Z himself declined. Thus, only a few first person interviews-rambling anecdotes at that-have made the cut. Perhaps this obvious omission resulted in Greenburg's unfortunate decision to analyze the mogul's behavior. The chapter devoted to Beyonce reads like a compilation of People magazine articles: 'raised a devout Methodist...in an upper-middle-class neighborhood in Houston, Texas.' When their six-year relationship was formalized by marriage, Beyonce wore a '$5 million Lorraine Schwartz ring.' Perhaps the book's most interesting moment also illustrates Jay-Z's single-minded determination to succeed: after Greenburg met with Jay-Z's 'consigliere,' John Meneilly, to discuss the book, Jay-Z 'repurposed the memoir he'd scuttled in 2003 and released his book before this one went to press.' "
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
WE IDENTIFY WITH EACH OTHER. I SEE MYSELF IN MY FANS AND MY FANS SEE THEMSELVES IN ME. I CALL THEM LITTLE MONSTERS BECAUSE THEY ARE MY INSPIRATION.” —LADY GAGA
Famous for her avant-garde outfits, over-the-top per­formances, and addictive dance beats, Lady Gaga is one of the most successful pop musicians of all time. But behind her showmanship lies another achievement: her wildly successful strategy for attracting and keeping insanely loyal fans.
Shes one of the most popular social media voices in the world with more than 33 million Twitter followers and 55 million Facebook fans. And she got there by methodically building a grassroots base of what she calls her Little Monsters”—passionate fans who look to her not just for music but also for joy, inspiration, and a sense of community.
In Monster Loyalty marketing expert Jackie Huba explores Gagas biography and fan philosophy and iso­lates the seven lessons any business can learn from her. For instance
Love her or hate her, you cant ignore Lady Gaga. And while not all businesses want to stand out the way she does, any business can win big by creating monster loyalty.
An acclaimed marketing expert pinpoints the loyalty strategies behind Lady Gagas unique path to success.
It's not just crazy outfits, over-the-top performances, and catchy tunes that have made Lady Gaga one of the most successful pop stars of all time. Marketers have also been awed by her unconventional customer loyalty strategy.
With 31 million Twitter followers and 53 million Facebook fans, she blows away her peers on social media. She has methodically built a grassroots base of what she calls her Little Monsters”—passionate fans who look to her not just for music but also for joy and inspiration.
Now marketing expert Jackie Huba unpacks the method behind Lady Gagas success and isolates the seven strategies businesses can learn from her. They include:
About the Author
Zack O'Malley Greenburg is a staff writer at Forbes, where he has covered finance and music since 2005. Along the way he's profiled the likes of Akon, 50 Cent and Afrika Bambaataa; his stories have taken him from the casinos of Macau to the diamond mines of Sierra Leone. He has also written for The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and Dan's Papers. He lives in New York City.
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rap and Hip-Hop