Book Review: Rock & Roll Books

Eminem

Rock & Roll Books

The Way I Am

by Eminem
Dutton, 205 pp., $40 (with accompanying DVD)

Eminem earned his reputation by spraying violent, often funny fantasias across hip-hop culture, so it's disappointing to find the rapper often contrite and relatively buttoned-down in this memoir-cum-scrapbook. With a translucent, blood-red dust jacket that announces across the back, "The Biggest Rapper in History," this image-heavy tome begs to be judged by its cover. And with a new album in the works, Eminem wants to clarify a few points, such as: His duet with Elton John was in response to accusations of homophobia, an Ecstasy trip inspired his spiked peroxide do, and actor Denzel Washington would be his role model if he ever quits hip-hop and goes into film. His sense of humor intact, Em also declares, "I'm the hip-hop Dirk Diggler." Meaning? "I don't have too much of a problem showing my ass to the world." The author deserves credit for apparently penning much of his own autobiography, as well as including captivating images and lyric sheets, but with few personal revelations, The Way I Am pales in comparison to Eminem's far more illuminating film 8 Mile.

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