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Did Jay-Z Plagiarize In His Memoir, 'Decoded'?

by Photo of Kryshel Charles

A writer has accused Jay-Z of stealing his work to create his popular 2010 book.

Did Jay-Z Plagiarize In His Memoir, 'Decoded'?

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For Jay-Z, "it was [literally] all good just a week ago." The rap mogul has been hit with a lawsuit by writer Patrick White. White is accusing Jay-Z of using his personal work to compile his 2010 memoir, Decoded. Decoded is Jay-Z's debut publication in which he presents a collection of lyrics along with their meaning, sound and feeling. The novel also gives readers insight on Jay-Z's background by superimposing his life experiences with the lyrics they've inspired. The NY Daily News reports that according to White, "the book contains various colors/expressions/phrases which correlated to my work." 

This isn't the first time Jay-Z has been accused of jocking lines however.  His long running beef with Queens rapper, Nas, has moved rap audiences to look even closer at Jay-Z's lyrics. An avid rap consumer could immediately see the recycled Biggie rhymes in songs like "Death of Autotune" when he says Biggie's line about kids dying, dogs crying...verbatim. 

But, why would Jay-Z need to plagiarize in order to produce a book that is essentially the story of his life? I'm not sure. 

White even goes as far as claiming that Jay-Z and his team physically stole from him."In 2009, my personal computer was compromised," says White,"resulting in my personal work being used in Jay-Z's book." Jay-Z and writer Dream Hampton teamed up with their publishing buddies at Random House and somehow got their hands on a lowkey writer's laptop. Although Jay-Z is capable of getting it done if necessary, it's hard for me not to think about how many people file lawsuits against celebrities and they fall short of any kind of success. 

Google Patrick White and see what you get. Nothing, besides results about the long-gone award-winning writer, Patrick White and this current lawsuit case. This is good reason to believe that White is just another unknown looking for to get his name out there. Jay-Z's party has yet to make any comment about the lawsuit. 

But, if Jay-Z did steal work from Patrick White and never offered him co-author status or gave him some kind of shout out, he will definitely lose some cool points. Decoded was better than many people anticipated and according to The New Yorker, "better than it needs to be," but could this be because Jay-Z had a little extra "help?" 

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