Jay Z: Made in America

Jay Z: Made in America
Made In America
By Michael Eric Dyson
Published by Macmillan, St. Martins Press

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 book 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 fifties, and to mark his thirty 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.

Named a November must-read by Salon | A The Washington Post 50 notable works of nonfiction in 2019 

"A jewel of a book." ―Veronica Chambers for Shondaland

"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." ―Publisher's Weekly

"[Dyson] makes his case that as a truth-telling racial unifier, political influence, and 'vocal evangelist for developing generational wealth in black communities,' Jay-Z represents a symbol of 'overcoming' for hip-hop culture and American society." ―Booklist

“Michael Eric Dyson, a preeminent public intellectual, has covered the waterfront of black cultural criticism ― from politics to pop culture, from race to religion. With JAY-Z: Made in America, he returns to his roots and offers us a poignant portrait of one of hip hop’s most intriguing figures, a brilliant self-made man who, if he didn’t exist, you’d have to invent. This tour de force takes full measure of an icon who is an American original like no other!” ―Henry-Louis Gates

“If you want the definitive treatment of a man who took it from Marcy Projects to the White House with wit, wisdom, and talent, and changed hip hop along the way, look no further than this insightful and moving book.” ―Common

"My Brooklyn Homeboy JAY-Z is one of the most prolific and gifted rappers of all time. My man Michael Eric Dyson is uniquely qualified to interpret JAY-Z’s art and cultural meaning, and this dope book is all the proof we need." ―Spike Lee

“As a proud standard bearer of hip hop’s golden age, I greatly admire Jay-Z’s lyrical talent, and just as important, his business acumen. This brilliant book not only explains Jay’s magnificent artistry and career, but it sheds light on the broader American culture as well.” ―Queen Latifah

“Jay-Z is one of the most remarkable figures of our time. I identify with him as a person who started poor but who rose high to conquer our realms on our own terms. This brilliant work probes every dimension of this iconic American original.” ―Tyler Perry

“Michael Eric Dyson is the perfect thinker and writer to grapple with Jay-Z’s artistic and political meaning. This is a fascinating and fulfilling book that eloquently engages one of the most profound and influential artists of our time.” ―Al Sharpton

“Jay-Z's music has helped to shape a generation, and his rise from hustler to billionaire is an inspiration to millions. Michael Eric Dyson, himself a gifted writer and inspiring thinker who has risen from the bottom too, offers us a bracing, brilliant look at an iconic American. This book is eloquent and profound, and will help all of us understand why Jay-Z is in a class by himself.” ―Tamron Hall