Sunday, June 26, 2011


I lost people I loved, was betrayed by the people I trusted; felt the breeze of bullets flying over my head.  I saw crack addiction destroy families -- it almost destroyed mine -- but I sold it, too.  I stood on cold corners far from home in the middle of the night serving crack fiends and then balled ridiculously in Vegas; I went dead broke and got hood rich on those streets.  I hated it.  I was addicted to it.  It nearly killed me.  But no matter what, it is the place where I learned not just who I was, but who we were, who all of us are.  It was the site of my moral education, as strange as that may sound.  It's my core story and . . . that core story is the one that I have to tell.
From his 2010 book, Decoded, which is part autobiography and part a collection of  annotated Jay-Z lyrics.

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