NEW YORK (CBS) Rapper Jay-Z thought he would spend his life in jail after, at 12 years old, he shot his crack-addicted older brother, he writes in "Decoded," a memoir that has just hit store shelves.
In it, the 40-year-old music impresario reviews his childhood in the crime-ravaged Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., and how even as a teen, he would practice rhymes as he made his way through the streets dealing drugs.
The argument between the brothers was over some bling. Upset that his brother had stolen his ring to feed a crack habit, Jay-Z pulled the trigger and thought his life was over. "I thought I'd go to jail forever," he wrote. "It was terrible. I was a boy, a child. I was terrified."
Not only did his brother refuse to press charges, but later apologized for his addicted behavior .
The 336-page memoir is published by Random House imprint Spiegel & Grau.
Married to singer and actress Beyonce, Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Cory Carter, is one of the most financially successful hip-hop artists of all time. The "Empire State of Mind" artist has won 10 Grammys and is the founder of Roc-a-Fella Records and Roc Nation. He also owns the 40/40 Club, is a part owner of the New Jersey Nets and has his own Rocawear clothing line.