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Whatever You Say I Am: The Life and Times of Eminem Paperback – September 28, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Why did it take so long you might ask? Well for starters, it was all I could do to keep my interest going. This is NOT an EMINEM BIOGRAPHY. I repeat, this is NOT an EMINEM BIOGRAPHY. The subtitle of this book is called "The Life And Times Of Eminem." While Anthony Bozza does a fine job of creating a book about the history of rap and how Eminem has influenced rap, it's culture and overall society, I soon figured out after reading chapter after chapter thick with rap's roots, that Bozza forgot to include Eminem's life in the book. Each chapter I started, I kept anticipating.....oh maybe this is the part where we get to see Eminem's life, influences, etc. But after reading yet another chapter of rap history such as with historical MC's like Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa, I realized I was wrong again, and had to psych myself up to keep reading. It just got a bit boring after a while.
Also, I am a slow reader in general, but reading this book made me look like a speed demon before. It was truely agonizing at times trying to absorb what I just read. I cannot tell you how many times I had to go back and re-read Bozza's long, flowery-worded sentences laden with so many commas, you had to literally look back to see where the pause was and where the next statement began.
I realize that all the background of rap is influential. Bozza talks of the Blues, Sly & The Family Stone and R&B, The first known rap song, "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang, famous MC's and the underground rap parties they threw, the controversy of Vinalla Ice, The Beastie Boys, and on and on.Read more ›
I enjoyed the first few chapters of "putting Eminem in context." But then it went on and on and on and on. I have no idea what point each chapter was trying to make. Bozza wasn't telling a linear story of Eminem's career; rather, these are random essays/parts of interviews which could each stand on their own as a magazine piece. There is no benefit to having them gathered as chapters in a book, and reading chapter after chapter about Eminem's place with Dre, DMX, Puffy, rap magazines, Rolling Stone, the VMAs, etc. gets old. This is much less about Enimen than it is about pop culture, rap, and hip-hop from 1999 through 2003. Bozza doesn't even do a very good job making Eminem the unifying theme between all his comments on pop culture.
Bozza did an outstanding job with Tommy Lee on his auto-biography Tommyland. This was his first effort, and it shows that he is a talented magazine writer, but not a biographer. If you want a good read, go pick up Tommyland.
Instead we have a well laid-out mini-biography of Eminem that places him within the context of American society and current popular culture. It also serves to put Eminem in context within hip-hop history and culture, discussing racial themes and how Eminem has managed to succeed in a predominately black arena, both because of and despite his race.
There are a few key drawbacks, though. First, the book is clearly pro-Eminem. I certainly did not want to read a lot of Eminem bashing, being a fan. But the lack of any real criticism is telling-especially given the controversy surrounding him. Second, occasionally I think the author stretches logic a bit with some of the parallels he draws between the rise and success of Eminem within the context of American culture at large. Finally, the author relies a great deal on the commentary of music critics. It would have been nice to see a broader array of views outside the music industry than is offered here.
Nevertheless, this book does succeed as a mini-biography of Eminem and hip-hop history, so for those interested , I would recommend the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book provides very interesting insight into Eminem's early career, but stops around 2003. I think that there is a lot more story to be told in the time between 2003 and now.Published 6 months ago by Ian
This book is as boring as Eminem is interesting. I am a fast reader, but this one took me a long time to finish, as it's excruciatingly tedious. That's just not fair. Read morePublished on August 29, 2013 by Nowhere Man
Not a whole lot of information about Eminem in this book. I made it about one third of the way through before I started lightly skimming the pages looking for "interesting"... Read morePublished on January 14, 2012 by coffeemeplz
I bought this book for my daughter for her birthday. so I don't know how good it is but knowing her she will love it. Read morePublished on October 5, 2011 by JG
This is a great book about eminem it the story is about a man who had interviewd him and it goes into personal stuffPublished on January 6, 2009 by usa92joe