For Jay-Z's 50th Birthday, A New Biography Centers His Lyrical Legacy

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"We as rappers must decide what's most important / And I can't help the poor if I'm one of them / So I got rich and gave back, to me that's the win/win," Jay-Z raps on "Moment of Clarity," which was released over 15 years ago. Jay-Z turns 50 this week and he enters his sixth decade of life as not only a rapper, but as a billionaire who has extended his brand into alcohol, clothing and internet firms, among other things. In light of the rapper's ever-expanding legacy, Michael Eric Dyson, who has taught a class on Jay-Z at Georgetown University for the past 10 years, has released a new book, JAY-Z: Made in America. Dyson argues that Jay-Z's lyrics — prophetic and profane and hyperspecific to his life — reflect something larger about America. "Jay was...

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For Jay-Z's 50th Birthday, A New Biography Centers His Lyrical Legacy

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