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It's No Secret: From Nas to Jay-Z, from Seduction to Scandal--a Hip-Hop Helen of Troy Tells All Hardcover – November 28, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: VH-1; First Edition edition (November 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416532668
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416532668
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carmen Bryan lives in Long Island, New York, with her daughter. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

This book was very difficult to read because of the poor editing.
I bought both Video Vixen's Confessions of a Groupie and this book and compared to Karrine Stephans tell-all book, Its no secret shoulda stayed just that!
I don't like to judge people but since she's a mother this just really bothers me.
Natalie Bates

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Dorrie Wheeler on November 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Carmen Bryan, best known as Nas' baby mother, has released her long awaited tell all, "It's No Secret-From Nas to Jay-Z, From Seduction To Scandal a Hip-Hop Helen of Troy Tells All." Readers who frequent the Internet know that this book was a long time coming. Buzz about this book circulated on popular hip-hop websites years before anyone had heard about the Karrine Steffans book Confessions of a Video Vixen.

It's No Secret really doesn't have much merit for a reader outside of the hip-hop arena. Those who know and love hip-hop may find this story entertaining to a degree. It's filled with a lot of juvenile relationship drama primarily about Carmen's relationship with Nas, and Jay-Z who is referred to as SC for the majority of the book.

It's hard to not look at Bryant as an opportunist. She met Nas when she was twenty years old. He was a newly signed rapper and still broke for the most part. Obviously old enough to know about birth control Carmen is pregnant three times within their first year of dating. Carmen gives birth to her only child with Nas, Destiny and the rest of the book is basically about the relationship misadventures of young Carmen and Nas.

Their relationship, if you can call it that, rarely seemed to be exclusive. Carmen chalks this up to a conversation her and Nas had with his father Ola Daru early in their relationship. Ola declared that a couple should only be faithful and exclusive if they are married to one another. Carmen details their ups and down's and the financial pitfalls she would find herself in due to Nas' poor business sense or when he decided he was going to cut her off financially.

Career wise, Carmen mentions her brief employment at Rush Communications, Def Jam, and at Capital working for Tracey Waples.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Jaye on November 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I never thought I would read this type of book, but after hearing Carmen on the Wendy Williams show, I decided to pick it up.

Wendy obviously has problems with Carmen Bryan as demonstrated by the attitude she had with this young lady on her show. Several times during the interview, Wendy raised her voice with Carmen and expressed her doubts about many of the things Carmen was telling her. Because of this, I didn't think Wendy was giving Carmen the opportunity to discuss certain things that the listeners wanted to hear, so I purchased the book thinking that maybe Carmen's side of the story wasn't so bad afterall... WRONG!

Although Carmen did go through the typical relationship problems that women experience in high profile romances, she had COMPLETE control over whether or not to put herself out there as another industry ho. As readers will find after the first couple of chapters, before she even becomes involved with Nas, she had already set herself up as a trick in her teenaged years.

During one of Carmen's relationships, prior to meeting Nas, she dated a drug dealer from Connecticut whom she moved to Connecticut to be with only to find out shortly afterwards that he would be going to jail. After her boyfriend goes to jail, Carmen forms a close relationship with his close cousin and eventually starts a relationship with him. As readers will see, Carmen is careful to blame the decision to get involved with her man's cousin on the fact that he had some other female(s) visiting him while he was locked up. However, this pattern of hers (blaming others for her promiscuity) continues on in her relationships with Nas, Allen Iverson, Jay-Z, Wood Harrison and others.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Arguably, anybody who compares herself to Helen of Troy is just asking for it. And Carmen Bryant does, in her autobiography "It's No Secret: From Nas to Jay-Z, from Seduction to Scandal."

Bryan didn't launch a thousand ships or burn the topless towers of Ilium, and in fact she didn't do much more than worsen a temporary feud between two rappers. She's more a hip-hop Cressida than a Helen, and "It's No Secret" is more an attempt at literary revenge on her exes than an autobiography.

Bryan started screwing up her life after high school, eschewing college in favor of modelling and helping run a drug lab. But after leaving that behind, she got involved with the rapper Nas, who was then a struggling artist on the brink of massive success. Months later, Bryan gave birth to their only daughter, Destiny.

But neither Bryan nor Nas were big believers in fidelity, and while Nas was having sex with dozens of other hip-hop groupies, Bryan was having sex with Nas's biggest rival, rising star Jay-Z (whom she refers to as SC). But when the story came out, it destroyed her up-and-down relationship with Nas, once and for all.

You'd think a longtime hip-hop groupie who was living the luxe life would have some great dish and stories to tell. But don't expect much from "It's No Secret" -- aside from her paramours and their paramours, we get a few pages of Diddy and two sentences of J.Lo, before getting back to more dull experiences that Bryan feels are interesting.

Other authors might be able to make the mundane deeply interesting, but Bryan is a TERRIBLE writer. Her style is trite and repetitive (every man she meets has "caramel skin"), and goes over the same incidents over and over -- she and Nas fight, storm away, sleep with other people, reunite, repeat.
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