Jay-Z is prepping for the highly-anticipated release of his memoir, Decoded. Co-penned by veteran writer-filmmaker Dream Hampton, the book decodes 36 songs from the rapper’s broad musical catalog. Reflecting on his career, the rap king has certainly changed since hitting 40 and marrying Beyoncé. Jay-Z has major regrets about how his former lyrics depicts women; namely in his top-charting record “Big Pimpin.”

He tells the Wall Street Journal that his lyrics were harsh in the club-banger.

“Some [lyrics] become really profound when you see them in writing. Not ‘Big Pimpin.’ That’s the exception.”

Jay-Z says he can’t believe he said it. “It was like, I can’t believe I said that. And kept saying it. What kind of animal would say this sort of thing? Reading it is really harsh.”

Surprisingly, Jay-Z goes on to say that we need more love in hip hop music.

“We have to find our way back to true emotion. This is going to sound so sappy, but love is the only thing that stands the test of time.” Mr. Carter gives props to hip hop’s most acclaimed albums, stating it was all about love. “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was all about love. Andre 3000, ‘The Love Below.’ Even N.W.A, at its core—that was about love for a neighborhood.”

Jay’s Decoded hits book shelves Nov. 16. Check out an excerpt below:

“When I first started working on this book, I told my editor that I wanted it to do three important things. The first was to make the case that hip-hop lyrics-not just my lyrics, but those of every great MC-are poetry if you look at them closely enough. The second was I wanted the book to tell a little bit of the story of my generation, to show the context for the choices we made at a violent and chaotic crossroads in recent history. And the third piece was that I wanted the book to show how hip-hop created a way to take a very specific and powerful experience and turn it into a story that everyone in the world could feel and relate to.”


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