A blog about hip-hop, rap music, its trends, and an overall thought about the music an culture, without indulging in gossip. A real set of opinions and discussions, not based on the popular sentiment, but examining and challenging it.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Book Review- Scarface Diary of a Madman





As I have grown older and seen the icons of the musical genre I grew up on start to age and begin to reflect I have been especially interested in reading the stories of their rise and dealing with fame. This was a very interesting book because it is timed to be way more reflective than a lot of others which exist more to take advantage of current popularity and cash in a lot of times if you look at them. (DMX's early memoir, Mase, and Snoop all did autobiographies over a decade ago) This seemed like a great opportunity to really have a lot of self reflection.

Now to be honest, there is a decent amount of reflection and admissions by Brad Jordan aka Scarface, whether it is talking about his battles with depression and time spent in the hospital system or use of drugs and pills later on to cope. However, the insights often stop just short of being truly informative. That is the largest issue I have with this book just because there are more chances to talk about life growing up in Houston and we kind of don't get those. For instance when Scarface talks about the differences between North and South Houston they are all superficial and he never really drops in any anecdotes or stories to further illustrate the divide and it's affects other than to say his family members were upset he signed to the North Side's Rap-a-lot records.

Part of this has to do with how Face presents himself, and it's not to say it's a fabrication, but the fact there are stories he can't or won't tell because they in effect 'belong to someone else' is limiting and an issue I can see cropping up in more hip-hop or rap memoirs to come. I totally understand 'minding your business' but there are times when these things affect you and some insight is needed from your personal perspective.

One thing I will say I liked is that he was pretty truthful about his relationships with others like J. Prince and Tupac whom every rapper has to include in a story it seems for credibility but while Face says they had a close relationship at times when they were together he also admits he couldn't be too close because Pac had a tendency to be unpredictable and it wasn't good for his individual life. We don't normally hear that about Pac though we pretty much all see it.

Overall this book was good but it really kind of scratched the surface in some areas where I feel like it could have possibly pushed a little bit further just to really dig in like some of Scarface's classic rap verses. For rap fans you have to read it because this is one of the biggest icons in rap.

Rating: 3/5

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