The NY Post has a couple of excerpts from Jay’s book DECODED.
* His First Arrest
Jay-Z’s first arrest came at age 16. He was dealing in Trenton, because his friend “Hill” had a supplier there. Hill had enrolled in the local high school, and one day when Jay-Z went to meet him, he got caught with crack in his pockets on the campus. Since he had no prior arrests, the police let him go, but they confiscated his supply. In order to make up the cash to the supplier, Jay-Z had to go back to Marcy and deal crack 60 hours straight — three days in a row, he writes. He kept awake by “eating cookies and writing rhymes on the back of brown paper bags.”
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* Getting Away With It
Soon Jay-Z was onto bigger deals. He and his crew traveled up and down the East Coast, sourcing and unloading drugs. Jay-Z recounts the time, in 1994, when he was driving down I-95. He had a stash of crack in a fake compartment in the sunroof of his Maxima when he got pulled over by cops for “no good reason.” The police knew they couldn’t search his car without probable cause, so they called the K-9 unit — the dogs would be able to sniff out the drugs. But the unit didn’t show up, and the cops had to let him go. A minute later, he saw the K-9 unit speeding down the highway in the other direction, but too late — he was already home free. It’s a moment he would later recount in his 2004 hit song, “99 Problems” with the lyric: “I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one.” At the time, Jay-Z was slammed for the misogynistic use of the word “bitch” — but, as he reveals in his book, he was actually referring to a female dog, or the dogs that never caught up to him that day. “It would have changed my life if that dog had been a few seconds faster,” he writes.
* The Lance Rivera incident
Jay-Z glosses over his 1999 stabbing of record producer Lance Rivera, which resulted in the rapper pleading guilty to assault and receiving three years probation. He says he was infuriated because someone had leaked a bootleg copy of “Vol. 3 . . . Life and Times of S. Carter” more than a month before the release date of the album. When he asked who was behind the leak, everyone kept repeating the same name: Rivera. When Jay-Z saw him at rapper Q-Tip’s album release party at the Kit Kat Klub, he confronted him. Rivera “got real loud with me right there in the middle of the club,” Jay-Z writes, “It was strange. We separated and I went over to the bar . . . I was . . . in a state of shock . . . I headed back over to him, but this time I was blacking out with anger.”
After this, chaos ensued in the club, “That night the guy went straight to the police and I was charged with assault.” He says he decided to plead guilty after watching Puff Daddy’s trial on weapons violations that same year. Puffy was acquitted, and Jay-Z says he feared the state would be harder on him after failing to convict his friend.
“The hilarious thing,” he writes, “if any of this can be considered funny, is that the Rocawear bubble coat I was wearing when they paraded me in front of the cameras started flying off the shelves the last three weeks before Christmas.”