Jay-Z Explains Origin Of 'PSA' Verse In 'Decoded'
In his new book "Decoded," Jay-Z will break down the meaning behind some of his game-changing rhymes. However, before the book hits shelves November 16, Hov gave MTV News the behind-the-scenes story of how he dreamed up the lyrics to one of his cult hits, the interlude "Public Service Announcement" from 2003's The Black Album.
Jay said he personally chose each of the songs featured in "Decoded" for several reasons, and "PSA" made the tome because of its unique origin. Bars from the second verse of the Just Blaze-helmed track were penned after a journalist interpreted the symbolism she picked out in one of Jay's outfits. However, Hov thought the scribe's analysis of his look was a bit of a reach.
"The second verse of 'PSA' may not have that many hidden jewels in [it], but the story behind why I wrote the second verse is pretty interesting. It's sort of that look on rap, how this writer had written this article about me wearing this Che Guevara shirt [with a] Jesus piece, and she was like, 'The Jesus piece is hitting his head,' and I was like, 'You're going a little too far. It's a T-shirt and a chain. It's not literally hitting his forehead,' " he recalled. "That [experience] inspired the entire verse. 'I'm like Che Guevara with bling on, I'm complex.' It's the whole entire story of how and why I came to write that second verse on 'PSA.' "
In addition to pulling the curtain back on some of his famed rhymes, Hov said he hopes the volume as a whole will demonstrate the artistry of hip-hop and show that it's not just a bunch of dudes throwing around bawdy rhymes.
"I think, more so than anything, just to explain or to let people realize who just listen to rap [like] 'Let's browse through it,' to show people the depth in rap and its poetry," Jay-Z said. "[I want to show] that rap is really poetry; it's not just a bunch of guys putting rhyming words together. There's thought behind it and there's cleverness and there's inspiration. There's social reason and there's political reason and there's angst and there's anger and all these different things inside music."