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Publisher's Summary

This program is read by the author, and includes an introduction written by Pharrell, and read by Nick Cannon.

"Dyson's incisive analysis of Jay-Z's brilliance not only offers a brief history of hip-hop's critical place in American culture, but also hints at how we can best move forward." (Questlove)

Jay-Z: Made in America is the fruit of Michael Eric Dyson’s decade of teaching the work of one of the greatest poets this nation has produced, as gifted a wordsmith as Walt Whitman, Robert Frost and Rita Dove. But as a rapper, he’s sometimes not given the credit he deserves for just how great an artist he’s been for so long.

This audiobook wrestles with the biggest themes of Jay-Z's career, including hustling, and it recognizes the way that he’s always weaved politics into his music, making important statements about race, criminal justice, Black wealth, and social injustice. As he enters his 50s, and to mark his 30 years as a recording artist, this is the perfect time to take a look at Jay-Z’s career and his role in making this nation what it is today. In many ways, this is Jay-Z’s America as much as it’s Pelosi’s America, or Trump’s America, or Martin Luther King’s America. Jay-Z has given this country a language to think with and words to live by. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2019 Michael Eric Dyson (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

Named a November must-read by Salon | A The Washington Post 50 notable works of nonfiction in 2019 | Detroit Free Press' Holiday gift guide 2019: The best books that will inspire and delight readers 

"This book is a long look into hip-hop’s critical place in culture. Dyson reveals the role of politics, criminal justice and social change in the words and music of Jay-Z." (Detroit Free Press)

"Under Dyson’s guidance, to read about Jay-Z is to learn not just about the journey and works but also about ourselves, our history, our world, and our way forward... we are sitting in a classroom under the spell of a captivating teacher." (Library Journal, Starred Review)

"[An] astute cultural biography... Dyson’s excellent study serves as a succinct blueprint of Jay-Z’s artistry and legacy." (Publishers Weekly

What listeners say about Jay-Z

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a good read

I loved every word of it! pretty sure I learned some new words too lol!

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  • Jay
  • 2020-06-04

didn't live up to expectations.

I thought it would be more about Jay-z story and back story but it was more or less just a commentary about his career. A lot more comparisons to other artists and political figures. Very textbook like. The performance was good.

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Jay Z is Hip Hop & Progress.

The Author does a great job of providing and intellectual observation and breakdown of Jay Z, Hip Hop & Black Culture. He gives respect to Drake, Nipsey Hussle & Other rap Moguls. The one downside of this Audio (Book) is the clear Polticial Bias by Dyson. His bias clouds the great insight that is brought to Us. Overall, Dyson is over intellectual to the point of nauseau. Smart, but it takes from the Great Rags to Riches Story of Jay Z. Interesting overall though. Shout out to Nick Cannon & Pharell.

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  • Tim & Ty
  • 2019-12-22

No Surprises for Fans

Loved that M.E.D. selected to not dumb down the vocabulary like most authors do when writing about rappers. Jay-Z deserves all the accolades that he is hailed with throughout the book, however I do believe that someone else should read the book. M.E.D. reading and reciting Hov's lyrics was painful... humorous at times, but mostly painful. There are no surprises if you're a fan of Jay and have listened to his poetic elaboration of his reality since Reasonable Doubt. This I give credit yet again to Jigga for being so authentic in his craft... there is nothing anyone can tell you that he hasn't already said! Overall, worth listening to, but if you only have 1 credit, choose "The New Jim Crow" 1st.

21 people found this helpful

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  • T Washington
  • 2019-12-11

Interesting

I bought this because I am a Jay-Z fan but the various tangents the author goes on was very distracting. I had to stop my playing by audiobook because I forgot exactly who this story was “supposed” to be about.

11 people found this helpful

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  • M. Sanchez
  • 2019-12-15

5 hour Jay-Z Infomercial.

More of an informercial than biography. If you’re looking for a clearer picture of Jay-Z, look elsewhere. I can’t think of one new fact that I picked up with this audiobook.

If you’re looking for a 5 hour Jay infomercial where the narrator unapologetically kisses J’s ass — you’ve found the right audiobook!

19 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-12-10

Great Book about Great Artist

I loved the book and the perspective it provided on so many topics. I especially liked the concept of the hustle and the chapter on the civil rights movement and participants.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jarvis
  • 2019-12-09

I'm a Beyond Fan of Jay Z now

This book broke down lyrics in a way that prove Jay is far beyond a hip hop legend. He is a master thinking and artist. I aspire to be more intellectual because of this book. Just an extremely dope dude Jay Z is.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ms.LadyNotIam
  • 2019-12-11

A great book!

I absolutely loved how he spoke on issues within our communities and on his personal issues

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  • Antwan Daniels "Texas Science Guy"
  • 2019-12-05

Relevant, but over-spoken

Book has great value and is in-depth. Examines many different moments of Jay-Z career, but it seems to only cast Jay-Z as Superman no matter the outcome. Love to see this and many more works by Dyson. For instance it was like watching Floyd Mayweather's impeccable right jab in a fight but never seeing the killer left cross. You feel good but unfulfilled.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Luis
  • 2019-12-11

Tremendous artwork by Dr. Dyson!

This phenomenal literature this will be on repeat for me for days to come, thanks!

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  • Shauna
  • 2019-12-03

Iron Sharpens Iron!

Loved this dope and insightful look at America through the backstory of Jay Z. This book is intelligent and great intellectual food for many discussions to come! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Darnell Baldwin
  • 2019-12-21

Great

This is a good read (listen) Michael gives an authentic feel when breaking down the lines from the verses and gives you a great understanding of everything JAY-Z is a great artist and this book gives you all the facts on why many feel this way

2 people found this helpful