• Empire State of Mind

  • How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office
  • By: Zack O'Malley Greenburg
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 5 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-16-11
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (409 ratings)

Regular price: $20.72

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Publisher's Summary

"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 is 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But despite Jay-Z's success, there are still many Americans whose impressions of him are foggy, outdated, or downright incorrect.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. This audiobook explains just how Jay-Z propelled himself from the bleak streets of Brooklyn to the heights of the business world. 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.
©2011 Zack O'Malley Greenburg (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp
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Critic Reviews

"[A] fascinating, well-done biography of one of the most extraordinary entrepreneurs of our era." (Steve Forbes)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Miles Klos on 06-20-17

The book is good, but the guy who did the audiobook is clearly out of his element

I liked the book okay, some of the business stuff seemed pretty useless and didn't interest me. The audio book version has a ton of mispronunciations of A list celebrities names and the narrator doesn't seem to have any knowledge of hip-hop culture.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jeananne on 01-23-13

I wanted to understand Jay Z.

I listened without knowing anything about him except that he is a famous rapper and it seemed like he was respected. This book outlines his business mind and how he has used it over the years to be #1 in everything he does. Even his music is only a means to an end to be #1 in his venture to rise to the top of the business world. Unfortunately his story seemed to be without heart and the people that talk about him describe him as wanting nothing more than money and power. I need to do more research if I am to understand him as a human being. Still, it is and interesting book to listen to because you learn about the world of hip hop music and it's culture via his journey in helping to shape it!!!

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Matthew Nix on 03-22-16

Interesting, but not especially useful

An interesting insight into the character and business dealings of the protagonist, but not a lot of useful lessons or insights. More on the entertainment side than the learning side but was still interesting and enjoyable.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Ajay Sahota on 07-27-15


A fantastic audio, inspiring and entertaining. really enjoyed listening to this during my long drives.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 06-18-17


boring. struggled to finish. slow pace. probably a combination of the content and the speaker.

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1 out of 5 stars
By Andrew M on 09-11-16

Not a business book. Just a semi biographical goss

I thought this was suppoesed to be a business book. This is just a gossip book

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