Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Way I Am by Eminem – Book Review

The Way I Am by Eminem – Book Review
The Way I Am by Eminem was a very interesting book, and it wasn’t only because we both grew up near the now-famous 8 Mile.    I enjoyed it because it was the story of a person who always had a rough life, who never had a break, and who fought hard to make his own dreams come true.  The Way [...]

The Way I Am by Eminem was a very interesting book, and it wasn’t only because we both grew up near the now-famous 8 Mile.    I enjoyed it because it was the story of a person who always had a rough life, who never had a break, and who fought hard to make his own dreams come true.  The Way I Am is the perfect modern-day white trash Cinderella story, and having grown up near the same area as Eminem makes it just that much better for me. 

Marshall Bruce Mathers III aka Eminem aka Slim Shady was a success straight out of the gate; I can remember listening to his music with awe back when MTV still played videos.  I was fascinated by him, and I think so was everyone else, too.  Well, my 70-year-old Italian godfather even likes Eminem and we had quite the family conversation about Eminem’s talent at my grandmother’s funeral a few years back.  Rolling Stone has dubbed Eminem “the biggest rapper in history” and I agree with them wholeheartedly.  No other rapper I have ever listened to can move me with his lyrics the way Eminem does.

Back to the autobiography – I loved the way Eminem used both his images and his words on every page of this autobiography to tell his story, because I feel Eminem’s life story is as much about his image as it is about his words and experiences.  I have the paperback version of this book and it reminds me of a really cool and modern high school yearbook.  There are so many images of original lyric sheets, personal polaroids, and images from concerts and events that were a part of Eminem’s road to success.  For a moment there I thought I saw myself in one of the concert photos as I had seen Eminem at his show of all shows, the July 2003 appearance at Ford Field in Detroit along with D12, Obie Trice and the fabulous 50 Cent.  Loved that show, it was general admission, and I was within an arms reach of 50 Cent.

Just take a look at the Eminem back in his glory days, with that wonderful dirtbag sex appeal he had.  That bleach blonde hair, that black wife beater, and that attitude you can see from a mile away. 

You all remember the crazy relationship he had with Kim – here they are at their first wedding.

And their short-spanned 2006 second marriage. 

Not only does the book tell a little more about Eminem’s relationship with Kim, Eminem talks about his own childhood, as well as his life as a parent to all three of Kim’s daughters as well.  I was excited to learn more about his relationship with Kim since it was so famously dysfunctional.  I’d see Kim and his daughter around town from time to time and wonder what it must be like to be them, having people stare at them and bother them constantly.  My friend saw them at Outback once and seriously people came up to the table every five minutes.  I know how I want peace when I eat a steak, and can’t imagine how invasive that must have been.  I felt bad because Kim came into my work once and their daughter Hailie was around eight years old, and had the bitchiest look I’ve ever seen on a child’s face, probably because she could tell all of my co-workers were staring at her and her mom.  So sad.  

I love Eminem because he is talented, raw, and emotional.  A rare quality you see in our current world of musicians. This book is true to his voice, and it was quite interesting to read about his story to fame, and his subsequent troubles with the law, Kim, and everyone else.  Any fan of Eminem’s would love this book, and I’m thinking any fan of the underdog would love it as well.  Go buy it, and you can get the paperback copy for under $16 today.  It is so worth it.


To visit Eminem’s website, go here

To purchase his book The Way I Am on Cyber Monday, go here.

My favorite “fun” Eminem song which always reminds me of my trip to Puerto Rico.

And my all time favorite Eminem song, which always takes my breath away.

Another reason to buy this book: I also enjoyed learning new things about Eminem, such as he worked at Little Caesars with Proof and that Eminem used to design and paint hip hop clothing with puffy paint.  The kid had a lot of ambition.  But, my favorite thing to read in this book was that the director of 8 Mile tells people that he came up with the name of the movie, which Eminem disputes and says that he came up with it himself, which I know must be true. 

No one outside of Detroit understands the term 8 Mile like we do, so I’m going to include a mini history lesson here as well.   


This is a photograph of the actual wall built to separate the blacks from whites.  It is located in the Eight Mile/Wyoming neighborhood, and it separates the blacks of Detroit from the whites of the surrounding suburbs.  The wall runs between Mendota and Birwood Streets from Eight Mile to Pembroke.

I never even knew this wall existed until just a few years ago, and I feel foolish even admitting it, but I wonder how many people in this area have also never heard of it.  Here is a mini history of the wall:  Black residents of Detroit moved into the vacant area near Eight Mile and Wyoming after WWII.  It was a rural area at the time.  In 1940, a developer sought to build homes for middle-income whites in a nearby area.  Sadly, the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) policies of that era didn’t allow them to approve home loans in racially mixed areas.  So, to secure FHA approval, the developer put up a wall six feet high, one foot in width and one-half mile in length to clearly separte the white and black areas.  His wall led FHA to approve loans for his project.  I can not believe that this wall still exists, and that I never learned about it until I was in college, even though I lived right by it for many years!

8 Mile today still stretches 27 miles and is lined with strip malls and strip clubs.  The first one I ever saw was called The Booby Trap, and my mom took me by it when I was like 8 years old.  She was giving me a history lesson in her own dysfunctional way I suppose.

Posted in 8 Mile, book blogs, book reviews, books, celebrities, Detroit, Detroit bloggers, Eminem, entertainment, Famous Musicians from Michigan, ghetto, Michigan, Michigan Bloggers, Michigan Writers, music, photos, pop culture, writers Tagged: Breaking news, Eminem Relapse, life, Marshall Mathers, news, personal, random thoughts, Slim Shady, The Way I Am by Eminem, THOUGHTS, White trash, wiggers

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