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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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About the Author
Carmen Bryan lives in Long Island, New York, with her daughter. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The title of this book is laughable. Hip Hop Helen of Troy? You really think too much of yourself. This story is less of how her activities sparked one of hip-hop's greatest rap beefs and more of an attempted assignation of the character and reputation of her child's father. The dedication was to single mothers and as a single mother, I'm offended by the sheer audacity to dedicate this badly written tale of basically greed and revenge to us.
After reading this book, with all of its inconsistencies and verifiable untruths, I feel like it should have one of those "based on a true story" disclaimers because clearly this is a work of fiction based on true events. Which true events are the question.
Carmen wrote this story about her life but her words don't uplift or encourage or even make her seem like a decent person. Is her dedication an indication that all single mothers should solely depend on their child's father as their sole provider? I don't doubt that she and Nas had a dysfunctional relationship. I can't imagine that being with someone like him would be easy. However, she comes across as jealous, vindictive and outright disrespectful. In her attempt to change the public perception of Nas, she fails to acknowledge her own lack of good judgement, morals, and responsibility. Instead, from her teenage years up until the end of the book, Carmen has no problem proudly depicting herself as an opportunist constantly on the prowl for her next big "score."
Reading her depiction of the Jones brothers' actions while their mother was dying was especially jarring, considering that her daughter lost her grandmother and could one day read this book.
Bitter and mean does not make a great storyteller. This is the worst kind of tell-all because it was pointless, heartless, and turned out to be just words on paper with a catchy bait and switch title. In the third or fourth chapter, Carmen states that being taught how to fight turned her and her friend into bullies. This book, as vindictive as it is, confirms that statement.
The book is a 260 page retrospective on Carmen Bryan's relationship with two of the biggest East rap stars, Nas and Jay-Z. And I will admit, it was a definite page turner if you are into the NY rap scene. She also talks about her life (pre-Nas) and other relationships with men in her life, including Allen Iverson. The book jumps around a lot, but you get the gist of her life and her relationships.
I will give Carm points for her honesty about herself. She understands the decisions she made had consequences. She knows what she's done in her life and makes no apologies. But it loses a tons of points because the story just jumps around from one episode to the next. There's not much depth with the story. This book would've been a real read if she had gone more in depths about her relationships - let us know why she made her decisions, what triggered certain behaviors, and what changes (if any) she made in her life. Also, she should've gone into more emotional/intimate details about her relationship with Nas & Jay-Z, whether they were bad or good. And the biggest omission of the book was how her and Iverson stopped seeing each other. What happened? She builds this story about him, but all of a sudden he disappears from the book. What happened? I understand there are some details that she couldn't reveal, her story gets cut off way too many times and the reader is left with a ton of questions.
Although I'm left a bit disappointed with the story, the book was a decent read - particularly since I'm a fan of NY hip hop.
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